CLEAR IT SECURITY offers the best Access Control Systems near me in the DFW metroplex area. We provide sales, installation, service and repair for most single or double door, overhead garages and gate entry/exit systems. We work with one-door stand alone keypad systems all the way up to an entire office, storefront, facility, warehouse, campus or high-rise building.

Access Control Systems

In addition to a complete line of card readers, keypads, keyfobs, HID cards, magnetic locks, panic bars and electric strikes, we also offer video imaging and alarm systems. We even sell, service and integrate a number of badge printers. Video imaging software is included as a standard feature in many of the access control software packages.

We are one of the few security companies in the area that offer monitoring service for access control systems. We also can provide database management for your facility. As part of this service, we can even monitor or watch for door conditions such as doors held open or alarms that go off.

We can integrate access control with intrusion detection and CCTV systems for a unified security platform.

If you are planning for an upgrade of your existing or want a new access control system we are the experts and can provide guidance. We can verify the access cards you are using now will work with our system and in most cases, we can utilize your existing cabling and card readers.

What is an Access Control System?

The purpose of access control system is to grant physical entrance or access to a door in a building or open a gate only to those who are authorized or allowed access. The deadbolt lock, along with its matching brass key, has been the gold standard of access control for many years; however, today’s homes and businesses want more flexible access control.

Today’s access control systems not only allow you to control who enters locked doors and gates, but some can also be remotely monitored and manage access without physically changing keys. Keys have now passed the baton to computer-based electronic access control systems that provide quick, convenient access to authorized persons while denying access to unauthorized ones.

Basic Parts of an Access Control System

Many people new to access control may think the system is made up only of the card or PIN # used, card reader or keypad mounted next to the door or gate and magnetic lock or panic exit bar. There are a few more parts behind the scenes, all working together to create the magic of granting access to the right person.

Keypad/Door Access Credentials Reader (required)

The most familiar part of access control systems are the keypads, keyfobs, RFID prox-cards or ID badges and bio-metric readers that emit a chirp or beep when presented at a card reader and unlock the door. These are also known as credentials since they bear the user’s data that tells the reader to grant you permission to be on the premise, or in other words, that you are an authorized entrant. The benefit of using credentials is that they are personalized, so access can be quickly given and revoked without physically changing the key and or affecting any other user’s access to the door. When paired with advanced door access controllers, allowed/denied access times can be scheduled and all unlock events are recorded for tracking of entry by the person associated with it.

Access cards are typically proximity cards that, rather than being swiped or inserted like credit cards, are held two to six inches in front of the card reader. The same procedure is followed for phone apps.

Fail-Safe and Fail-Secure type Door Lock/Unlock Hardware (one type required)

Electronic lock/unlock hardware is used to either lock or unlock a door. The 2 most common types of electronic locks are called fail safe and fail secure.

Fail safe locks are used to keep a door locked by use of electrically charged magnetic plates and require power to keep the door LOCKED. Unlocking these types of doors from the inside usually requires a device such as a push-to-exit button, electrified push-to-exit bar or motion-sensing device mounted near the door. Secure facilities using these types of locks for keeping people locked inside such as prisons, holding areas, etc may have a security guard or other identification checking method present to allow you access to leave. This means these types of locks require constant power, back-up batteries or other physical or mechanical means such as deadbolts or keyed locks to keep the doors LOCKED and secured during power outages. Fail safe locks also generally require permitting and a connection to a fire alarm system output at a minimum, so that in the event of a fire but power is not lost the door will disconnect power and allow free egress. Check with your local fire marshall or AHJ’s fire code and rules to ensure compliance.

Fail-Safe Type Locks – Magnetic Locks (or Mag Locks)

Fail secure locks are used to keep a door locked by a special electrical latch or strike that do not require or use power to keep the door LOCKED. Unlocking these types of doors from the inside usually only requires the use of mechanical push-to-exit paddle bars, panic bars or other mechanical levers mounted on the door. This means these types of locks DO NOT require constant power or other physical or mechanical means such as deadbolts or keyed locks to keep the doors LOCKED and secured during power outages. These types of locks always allow free egress from the inside but remain secured from the outside regardless of power outages.

Fail-Secure Type Locks – Electrified Deadlatch (preferred for compatible type doors)

If you happen to have a standard 3070 or 6070 aluminum and glass stile storefront type door we can typically just replace your existing 1-1/8″ backset deadlatch with the Adams Rite 4300 Steel Hawk eLatch and add a deadlatch paddle for a clean installation without frame modification. This also means you can use your existing keys to unlock the door from the outside so in case of power failure, you are not locked out!

Fail-Secure Type Locks – Electrified Strike (for most other type doors)

For most solid wood or metal construction doors, these electrified strikes can be used to retro-fit them for access control systems.

The choice of which to use depends on the area being secured. Entry doors call for fail safe locks, since they need to comply with building codes and fire regulations, that call for people to be able to exit at any time, even in the event of a power outage. IT rooms should be wired fail secure because they need to remain locked at all times, even in the case of emergencies. Fail secure doors also need to be equipped with electrified push bars to allow people to exit quickly in case of a fire.

Request to Exit Buttons and/or Push to Exit Panic Bars (usually required)

A request to exit, push to exit button or panic bar, opens the door and ensures everyone inside can always exit the building in case of an emergency. The button or bar is typically installed on the inside or exit side of the door as credentials are not verified when the button or bar is pressed. Motion sensors can also be installed at the door and used instead of having to press a button.

Access Controller (required in most cases)

Access controllers or access control panels are the centralized control centers that connect the all door access components together. These control boards hold the configuration settings, log events, process requests and trigger the doors to unlock in the correct situations. Advanced access controllers support wired Ethernet networks and can be monitored and administered using a Windows PC app.

Access Control Power Supply Controller (required)

Access Control Power Supply Controllers carry enormous importance in electronic access control systems – they keep fail-safe type doors locked. Some also provide power to the reader.

Low Voltage Cable and Wiring (required)

Cables are one of the most important parts of a good access control system as they deliver the signals and voltages required by the components. Proper wire type, gauge and size are vital for proper operation depending on the distance, type of signal and power requirements needed.

Door Access Control System Wiring Diagram with AWG Cable Sizes and Pairs
Typical Door Access Control Wiring to Controller Diagram

Door Access Control System Installation (required)

Installation cost can vary substantially depending on the type of door or gate. Everyone knows what a door is, however there are often three types of doors: Glass, Metal or Wood doors.

Glass doors are the most difficult to install access controls on. As the name suggests there usually isn’t much of a frame or hidden area where a lot of wiring or mounting of the door lock can be hidden. Extreme care must be taken when drilling into the frames and working around the glass as it’s easily cracked. As such, these installations are generally the most labor intensive and as such more expensive.

Metal (or steel, alluminum, etc) doors can also be difficult to work as sometimes the frames are fairly solid and may not have cavities that are accessible. Generally these are of moderate difficulty and not as expensive as a glass door but possibly more expensive than a wood door.

Wood doors are generally fairly easy to work with but may have some challenges in the construction, existing mounted hardware or sensors installed on the door.

What type of door access control do you need?