Serving Southern California Since 1984
Get A quote

Orange County Key Card Entry System and Card Key Access Control Installation

Action 1st Loss Prevention is your #1 Access Control Company in Orange County for Key Card Entry System and Keycard Lock installations. We offer access control solutions to various businesses and industries that require card key access systems in their buildings and facilities.

Access control is all about WHO, WHERE and WHEN. A key card access control system dictates who is allowed to enter or exit, where this person is allowed to ingress or egress and when they are allowed to do this.

In the past, access control was enforced through keys and door locks. A person with a key can enter a locked door. And that is about as far as access control went. There was no way to restrict people entering a building or property on specific times or dates; so long as a person possesses the key, they were in.

Nor did mechanical door locks and keys provide records on who used the keys and on what doors. You needed a security personnel with a logbook to do this. Looking back at it now, it all seems so ancient and prehistoric. But this is how access was controlled and restricted in buildings and facilities just a few decades ago.

The age of access control systems began in the 1960’s. Key card access control was an innovation that addressed problems associated with lost keys and enabled those in charge of security to add, allow, restrict or deny any person’s access to anywhere at any time. It also allowed for an audit trail that shows a report on people’s movements within premises. Installation of electronic access control eliminated the use of mechanical door locks and keys through the use of computers.

How Does Electronic Access Control Work?

You need credentials for card key access control. This does not mean your educational attainment or your degree. A credential can be a physical or tangible object, a piece of knowledge or a facet of a person’s physical make-up that allows access by a person to a facility or property. A credential could be a PIN (personal identification number), a badge or a biometric feature such as a fingerprint. The most typical is an access card otherwise known as a key card.

In an electronic door entry system, credentials replaced mechanical keys. These are used to grant access. When access is granted, the door is unlocked for a predetermined time and the entry or exit is recorded. If access is denied, the door remains locked and similarly, a record is made of an attempted access. As an added security measure, the key card entry system will monitor the door and sound an alarm if a door is forced open or held open too long after being unlocked.

The Beginnings of Key Card Entry System - Swipe & RFID

Early versions of entry systems used keypads with PIN codes. This was replaced by “swipe” or insert cards that had magnetic stripes. These were called “card keys” or “key cards”. To this day, these terms are still in use. Swipe cards were replaced with non-contact “proximity cards” as RFID technology replaced the early versions in the late 1970’s. This was because magnetic stripe cards can easily be copied and also can stop working if the magnetic strip is damaged.

Card Key Systems Explained

Though there are many advances to the keycard lock access control system and electronic door lock, the mechanics of how it works still remained essentially the same. The access key cards work with a card reader. This is connected to a door controller which contains stored programming information from the access control software. This contains information on WHO is allowed WHERE and WHEN. An audit trail is created by the system and this is used to generate management reports.

Today, there are two common types of proximity cards:
  1. Clamshell - typically cheaper
  2. Printable - allow for double usage with one side being printed to be used as a photo ID
An alternative to key card with basic card reader is the key fob for keyless entry system, which has the same function but can be bundled together with other keys instead of being stored in a wallet or purse.

The Advantages of Using Keycard Control Systems with Card Reader

1. Each Card is Unique

Entry key cards are programmed for each individual. Key card entry system allows customized access for each person. A business can choose to grant full access or limit it during scheduled times. This has many practical applications. Just to cite examples: Managers may be given full access while limiting access for regular employees to just the office hours of 7:30 am to 5:30 pm. Or stock custodians may be granted access to storerooms but other employees may be restricted.

2. A Card Key System is Flexible - can be used for External or Internal Access Control

External control is practiced by businesses or organizations who want to limit people entering to their facilities. The external card key access control systems are usually installed in storage facilities, manufacturing firms or college dormitories. Other uses are for parking garages.

Key cards are installed for internal doors to control access to highly sensitive areas such as hospital supply rooms or IT areas where private information is stored. In some cases, they are used by schools for classrooms to prevent theft and restrict access to certain areas of the school such as the computer labs.

Hotels or apartment buildings also install and use internal card entry systems in elevators to restrict access to just the floor guests or tenants who are billeted or live in, and to the public areas of the building such as the lobby or the restaurant floors.

3. A Card Key System Allows for Record Keeping.

With a key card access system, audit trails are created and businesses can keep a record of persons who entered and the exact time they entered. This becomes especially useful if thefts or any incidents occur that can be narrowed down to a specific time period; records can be pulled up to determine who entered the building corresponding to the time period.

What information is stored by the system?

  • Date and time card was read
  • Name of card holder
  • Unique ID number or badge number
  • Name of door or reader being accessed
  • Access granted/denied condition

This information can be stored in the access system up to several years.

4. A Card Key System Can Be Used for Multiple Locations

Monitoring several properties, even overseas locations can be done from just one location or server. Businesses can monitor security control over several buildings located over a large area.

5. Terminating Access is Simple

In the past when traditional door lock and key card system was used, in the event that an employee is terminated or a key is lost, the entire facility needed to be re-keyed to prevent any unauthorized entry.

With proximity cards, the process is simplified. An authorized person just needs to access the credentials record and it is just a matter of deactivating a card. It works the same way, too, when a new hire comes onboard. The credentials record just need to be accessed to add a card.

Video Surveillance For Hotel Door Locks

Often, as an added security measure, hotels and companies choose to pair key card door lock or access control system with video surveillance cameras to ensure that the person entering the building is really the authorized person not just someone using someone else’s credential. Once access is initiated, video surveillance is activated in the particular door being accessed and it becomes easy to verify if the person is authorized to enter or not.

Many businesses choose key card access control system to secure their facilities because of the convenience they afford. More importantly, they offer peace of mind because of many added security features.

Action 1st Loss Prevention offers a whole range of smart door locks for hotels and other businesses. Our hotel door lock system delivers reliable locking solutions. We also offer key card access control systems and key fobs. Call us today for an appointment at (949) 828-3008 for electronic door lock installation services. Our experts will be happy to discuss your door lock needs and provide a free onsite survey and estimate.

Key Card Door Lock Installation for Businesses

Key cards are an excellent choice for businesses and large institutions to keep guests and employees safe and the property secure. Codes can be immediately and regularly changed, or even loaded onto a card for a one-time use, which many of our clients find convenient for visitors to their buildings.

Not only do entry cards increase the protection of your property, but they remove the need for traditional keys. Modern buildings are moving away from traditional keys and locks due to the risk these pose to the property. Traditional door locks are more prone to being broken or tampered with and keys can easily be copied. The key card access control systems offered by Action 1st are state of the art for commercial building security solution.

If you need to increase the safety of your building or property, contact us today. We will arrange a complimentary onsite review to determine exactly what type of door lock and surveillance is the best fit for your needs. Following this, our door lock expert team will carry out the installation of key card access control with card reader so that you can be assured that your premises is protected from intruders.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a key card system?

A key card system is a type of security token that allows someone to gain access to a room, building, or facility through electrically operated doors. These systems necessitate specially configured readers and can be accessed by tapping your card on the device, swiping it, or inserting it.

Individuals no longer need to insert a traditional key into a tumbler lock to gain access with a key card access system. Instead, the key card contains an embedded access credential, which is detected by the readers whenever someone attempts to use it.

When a card reader recognizes an access credential, it interacts with the door lock. Permission is granted if the key reader recognizes the card's unique ID. In reality, the entire process can be completed in less than a second.

How does a key card unlock a door?

A key card with a magstripe must be "written" before it can be used. That means the stripe is magnetized using an encoder. The key card is then swiped through a card reader. If the card has the appropriate authorization, this reads the magnetic field and unlocks the door.

A power supply, main panel, card reader, and electric strike are common components of most key card access systems. In most cases, a user will produce a key card or key fob, which will be scanned at a reader near a door. This credential unlocks the door and grants access to the area. This is also useful for determining who has been where and for how long.

A power supply does what its name implies: it provides power to the main panel. The main panel is linked to a card reader and communicates with it as well as with the electric strike.

When a card is presented to the card reader, the panel communicates and determines whether or not the user has access to the door. If it does have access, the panel will send a signal to the electric strike, which will cause the door to open. All of this happens quickly, with permissions set up and data transmitted in milliseconds.

What technology is used in key cards?

The key card reader on the door constantly emits a Radio Frequency (RF) field. When a card crosses the field, the field's power energizes a copper wire inside the card, which powers the chip that contains the card number and any other unique data.

RFID-enabled access control cards contain an internal microchip and antenna. The microchip contains encoded data relating to the cardholder and grants access when used in conjunction with a reader. It can accomplish this by transmitting data via the antenna.

Keys have taken many forms throughout their technological evolution. As a result, key card access systems as a whole have evolved. However, all key cards work on the same fundamental principle.

A token (such as a key card or key fob), which contains an electronic code that stores digital credentials, is presented to a reader, which is an electronic access control device. When the key card is swiped or placed close to it, the reader reads the code and sends the data to a controller.

Depending on the type of match, the controller compares the received credentials with its database, and a signal is sent to the electronic lock. When a positive match is found, access is granted by remotely unlocking the door; access is restricted when there is no match.

How does an RFID key card work?

RFID stands for “Radio Frequency Identification” and reads and transfers data using radiofrequency waves. Data is stored in a microchip, which is commonly referred to as an RFID tag. RFID frequency bands used in card access control systems include 125 kHz for proximity cards, 13.56 MHz for smart key card systems, and 860-960 MHz ultra-high frequency (UHF) for long-range applications.

RFID cards come in a variety of shapes and sizes, especially when it comes to key card entry systems. In fact, all key cards, with the exception of Wiegand and Magstripe, use RFID technology to transfer data to the reader, but their mechanisms differ.

In the context of key control, the RFID card replaces the traditional lock-and-key entry system. When you place the card on or near the reader, the reader recognizes the signal as belonging to an authorized user and unlocks the door.

RFID cards provide a contactless system for unlocking doors, which eliminates the need to swipe the card on a reader. Instead, all you have to do is bring the RFID card close to the reader. The RFID key card contains a tiny chip that stores information such as the room number and unlocking code, which is transmitted to the reader via RF waves.

When the reader receives the information, it processes it and, if the information is correct, it unlocks the door. RFID cards are more secure and durable than magnetic key cards because they are not affected by their environment and provide a secure location to store information that hackers cannot access.

How do I know if my card is RFID or NFC?

Every smart access card you own is based on radio frequency identification or RFID for short. RFID allows devices to communicate with one another via radio waves, transmitting information back and forth.

NFC is an abbreviation for Near-Field Communication. The NFC technology enables the card to communicate with the hotel keycard system without the cards coming into physical contact. As a result, unlike RFID cards, the cards do not need to be "swiped" in order for the card reader to gain access to the room.

The simplest way to see if your device supports NFC is to look for the small NFC tile in the settings menu of your device. Otherwise, go to your device settings and check to see if NFC is listed among the other connectivity options, such as WiFi or Bluetooth.

When did hotels switch to key cards?

Hotels switched to electronic key cards in the 1990s because AAA required many of them to do so in order to receive certain security ratings. In addition, hotels with traditional locks found it difficult to obtain insurance.

Because of its large memory, high security, suitable reading range, stable working performance, and cost-effectiveness, HF (high frequency) 13.56 MHz in RFID is the most popular in hotel lock development.

Invest in Security Today

Action 1st Loss Prevention offers commercial access control systems installation from the most basic key cards to the very sophisticated door lock and cloud-based access control system. Whether you are looking for simple electronic property admittance for your Orange County office block or a complex, network-controlled operation capable of tracking and monitoring door use for international locations, Action 1st Loss Prevention can help.

As the best commercial locksmith in Orange County, our clients include individual retail locations, shopping centers and malls, business offices, manufacturing complexes, industrial and business campuses, medical centers and hospitals, schools, colleges and universities, commercial buildings with multiple tenants, hotels, condominium and apartment complexes, and more. For more information on our customers click here.

Trusted by Industry Leading Companies

Get protection you can count on from the leading service provider of commercial security solutions in Southern California.
© 2020 Action 1st All Rights Reserved

Southern California Located