Browse Mechanical / Digital Door Locks

Mechanical digital locks - Expert commentary

Providing fast and secure access in life-threatening emergencies
Providing fast and secure access in life-threatening emergencies

A defibrillator can save the life of a person suffering from cardiac arrest – but it is most effective when used in the first few minutes of the patient collapsing. Studies have shown that a shock given within the first three minutes provides the best chance of survival and even one minute of further delay can substantially lower the chances of recovering. Public Access Defibrillators (PADs) were created to allow untrained members of the public to deliver life-saving treatment in those precious minutes before an ambulance arrives. There are currently over 10,000 in the UK, located in parks, offices, high streets and sporting venues, and they are especially popular in rural communities, where ambulance response times are longer. Every second counts Over the years there has been a long-running debate as to whether PADs should be kept openly accessible or locked. Leaving them open could lead to theft, vandalism or misuse. Leaving them locked could mean that precious moments are lost waiting for a local guardian to arrive – and could even cost a life. To save as many lives as possible, it’s clear that PADs need to be available 24/7, fully operational and easily accessible to users and local guardians. But there is a solution that can meet all these conditions – a lock that can protect against vandalism while providing convenient instant access when required. Life-saving solutions Over the years there has been a long-running debate as to whether PADs should be kept openly accessible or lockedDigital locks are ideal for securing PADs because they don’t require a key, and anyone can be given access over the phone. In the case of a cardiac arrest, the user calls 999 and the ambulance controller provides them with a simple, easy-to-remember code. The ambulance controller can then advise them, step by step, what to do. Local guardians, who have responsibility for the PAD, can be provided with an override key to enable them to monitor and maintain the defibrillator. The PAD cabinets built by Duchy Defibrillators show exactly how this works in practice. Based in rural Cornwall, Duchy Defibrillators manufactures, supplies and installs monitored PAD cabinets. To provide public access to the defibrillators, it needed a lock that could keep its cabinets secure, make them easily accessible and withstand the stormy Cornish weather. Codelocks recommended a digital electronic lock that could operate on a standalone battery, making it especially suitable for remote areas. As well as offering flexible access, digital locks come with a range of varying options and functions to suit different applications. As Duchy Defibrillator cabinets are installed in a wide variety of locations and sometimes need to withstand outdoor exposure, it opted for a robust electronic digital lock that is both affordable and easy to set up. A digital-access revolution Using smart locks in combination with a dedicated app or portal allows operators to send time-sensitive codes to end-users The example of Duchy Defibrillators shows how digital locks can be used to keep defibrillator cabinets secure while affording instant access to users when they are needed. But the flexibility of digital locks also makes them suitable for securing property and equipment in a wide variety of situations, especially for shared and public facilities. This is why you’ll increasingly see digital locks used to secure restricted areas in hospitals, schools and offices, as well as shared facilities like hotel and gym lockers, public restrooms and more. Digital locks are available for a number of specific applications, including doors, lockers and cabinets. They can range from simple mechanical locks through to more sophisticated electronic locks and state-of-the-art smart locks. Using smart locks in combination with a dedicated app or portal allows operators to send time-sensitive codes to end users – making them very popular for contactless entry and with facilities managers that need to manage access to buildings and campuses. One thing is certain – whatever your access control requirements are, there’s a keyless lock solution to suit. The digital access revolution is here.

Automatic gates: Making the right investment for access control
Automatic gates: Making the right investment for access control

The experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has made us all more conscious of who is coming and going from our property. Whether it is a family home, business premises or public building, property owners want full control over access for protection and peace of mind. As a provider of access control technologies, we are seeing a growing demand for automated gates with a variety of access control systems. There are a number of considerations that buyers need to make when investing. And as an installer, there is advice that you can offer to help your clients make the right choice for their property. Here are some of the key considerations you’ll need to make and discuss with your client. Whomever you buy from, you should be offered more than a simple instruction manual. Electronic locks, magnetic locks and code security In the first instance, you’ll need to advise on the type of lock and access control available. Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open. Locks are required for all non-locking (also known as reversible) operators and are recommended for any gate on a multi-user site or any gate over 2.5m. Apply the same logic to an automated gate as you would to a domestic door – for example, you wouldn’t fit your front door with a lock on the same side as the hinges or a drop bolt at the hinge end of a manual gate so why dispense with this logic when the gate is automated? Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks. These are all designed for external use. While the gate itself will provide physical security, the customer will want to feel in control of who enters their property, when and for what purpose. Consider access for post and deliveries, waste disposal and visitors arriving on foot etc. There is a range of options available. Intercom systems will allow the user to vet visitors, keypad entry can allow remote access for visitors with a specific code, remote controls allow an oncoming driver to open the gates without getting out of the vehicle, and a timer control can be used to open or close the gates at certain times of the day. Vehicle detection loops can be installed discreetly under the tarmac allowing the presence of vehicles to exit the gates and prevent closing whilst obstructed. Sliding gates versus swinging gates There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks Gates can be automated to either swing or to slide open and in the case of swinging gates, the opener may be concealed underground or gate mounted. The most suitable opener for your installation will depend on the space available and the type of gate selected. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates. However, where gates are fully infilled (typical of many timber designs), gate mounted openers are concealed from the front of the gate by the gate leaf and present a cost-effective option. The choice between slide and swing is largely down to space - swing gates require a clear space for their opening arc whilst sliding gates require space to one or both sides of the gate. Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited, as they use the least space when opening. Voltage Most swing gate and sliding systems are available in 24v or 230v. The 24v systems still need 230v mains power – there is a transformer built into the 24v control panels. Deciding which voltage to use can include a combination of factors such as the material of the gates, the location of the system and the safety features you want. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates With wrought iron gates, the wind can pass through them whereas with fully boarded wooden gates (popular because they give full privacy) the wind has nowhere to go, so they act like sails. For commercial or industrial applications with larger entrances and a heavy gate, you may need 3 Phase 400v power (sliding gates only). Installing gate motors in confined spaces The environment in which you are fitting may well influence which gate and motor you recommend. Will it be in an exposed area which is subject to the elements? Will it be positioned on a slope? Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited Installers have always faced the challenge of installing gate motors in confined spaces. When fitting a pedestrian gate, there is often limited space in which to work – potentially making an installation time consuming and technically demanding. If this is the case for you, consider a gate operator which is designed specifically for installations with limited space for manoeuvre. An example of this is the E5 compact gate operator. The operator is not only small but has an optional slide lever attachment designed for installations where there is extremely limited space, meaning that just 8cm of the pillar is needed for installation. What’s more, improved fixing points and a simple ‘hook and fasten’ process means assembly is safe, quick and straight forward. Ultimately, you’ll be looking for a good quality, reliable product with good service. Work with a supplier that offers more than just a manual. If they are happy to offer training, their time and advice when you buy, the chances are you’ll get their support long term.

The digital transformation of access control solutions
The digital transformation of access control solutions

The safeguarding of premises through the monitoring of entrance and exit points has traditionally been a very manual aspect of security. Human operators have been relied on to make decisions about who to admit and deny based on levels of authorisation and the appropriate credentials. But the access control business, like many industries before it, is undergoing its own digital transformation; one where the protection of premises, assets and people is increasingly delivered by interconnected systems utilising IoT devices and cloud infrastructure to offer greater levels of security and protection. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification, right through to complex networks of thermal cameras, audio speakers and sensors. These systems, connected through the cloud, can be customised and scaled to meet the precise requirements of today’s customer. And it’s the ease of cloud integration, combined with open technologies and platforms that is encouraging increasing collaboration and exciting developments while rendering legacy systems largely unfit for purpose. Remote management and advanced diagnostics Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution.Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution. For example, as the world faces an unprecedented challenge and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause disruption, the ability to monitor and manage access to sites remotely is a welcome advantage for security teams who might otherwise have to check premises in person and risk breaking social distancing regulations. The benefits of not physically having to be on site extend to the locations within which these technologies can be utilised. As an example, within a critical infrastructure energy project, access can be granted remotely for maintenance on hard to reach locations. Advanced diagnostics can also play a part in such a scenario. When access control is integrated with video surveillance and IP audio, real-time monitoring of access points can identify possible trespassers with automated audio messages used to deter illegal access and making any dangers clear. And with video surveillance in the mix, high quality footage can be provided to authorities with real-time evidence of a crime in progress. Comprehensive protection in retail Within the retail industry, autonomous, cashier-less stores are already growing in popularity The use of connected technologies for advanced protection extends to many forward-looking applications. Within the retail industry, autonomous, cashier-less stores are already growing in popularity. Customers are able to use mobile technology to self-scan their chosen products and make payments, all from using a dedicated app. From an access control and security perspective, connected doors can be controlled to protect staff and monitor shopper movement. Remote management includes tasks such as rolling out firmware updates or restarting door controllers, with push notifications sent immediately to security personnel in the event of a breach or a door left open. Remote monitoring access control in storage In the storage facility space, this too can now be entirely run through the cloud with remote monitoring of access control and surveillance providing a secure and streamlined service. There is much to gain from automating the customer journey, where storage lockers are selected online and, following payment, customers are granted access. Through an app the customer can share their access with others, check event logs, and activate notifications. With traditional padlocks the sharing of access is not as practical, and it’s not easy for managers to keep a record of storage locker access. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers. The elimination of manual tasks, in both scenarios, represents cost savings. When doors are connected to the cloud, their geographical location is rendered largely irrelevant. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers They become IoT devices which are fully integrated and remotely programmable from anywhere, at any time. This creates a powerful advantage for the managers of these environments, making it possible to report on the status of a whole chain of stores, or to monitor access to numerous storage facilities, using the intelligence that the technology provides from the data it collects. Open platforms power continuous innovation All of these examples rely on open technology to make it possible, allowing developers and technology providers to avoid the pitfalls that come with the use of proprietary systems. The limitations of such systems have meant that the ideas, designs and concepts of the few have stifled the creativity and potential of the many, holding back innovation and letting the solutions become tired and their application predictable. Proprietary systems have meant that solution providers have been unable to meet their customers’ requirements until the latest upgrade becomes available or a new solution is rolled out. This use of open technology enables a system that allows for collaboration, the sharing of ideas and for the creation of partnerships to produce ground-breaking new applications of technology. Open systems demonstrate a confidence in a vendor’s own solutions and a willingness to share and encourage others to innovate and to facilitate joint learning. An example of the dynamic use of open technology is Axis’ physical access control hardware, which enables partners to develop their own cloud-based software for control and analysis of access points, all the while building and expanding on Axis’ technology platform. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification Opportunities for growth Open hardware, systems and platforms create opportunities for smaller and younger companies to participate and compete, giving them a good starting point, and some leverage within the industry when building and improving upon existing, proven technologies. This is important for the evolution and continual relevance of the physical security industry in a digitally enabled world. Through increased collaboration across technology platforms, and utilising the full range of possibilities afforded by the cloud environment, the manufacturers, vendors and installers of today’s IP enabled access control systems can continue to create smart solutions to meet the ever-changing demands and requirements of their customers across industry.

Latest UNION, part of ASSA ABLOY Security Solutions news

ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware Group provides hands-free door opening solution to stop COVID-19 spread
ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware Group provides hands-free door opening solution to stop COVID-19 spread

With the outbreak of COVID-19, reducing touchpoints wherever possible throughout a building is front of mind for many businesses, building owners and facilities managers. Fortunately, there are a range of hands-free door opening solutions – available to suit all budgets and needs – that can help minimise the spread of infection, says the ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware Group. Doors and their hardware are the first and last touchpoints when entering or exiting a building, or when moving between different rooms. However, there are options available that can either limit the amount of direct contact with ironmongery and doors or offer an anti-bacterial solution. Overcoming this challenge Eryl Jones, Managing Director at the ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware Group, comments: “Doors are the one item we all touch every day; a physical barrier to keep us secure and safe. But with the increased risk that touching a door now poses, what can we do to overcome this challenge?” “When looking to limit the spread of infection from doors and kill germs, the first place to start is to make sure existing door hardware is being cleaned properly. As one of the most commonly touched surfaces in a building, it is vital that a regular cleaning routine is established. First, hardware should be cleaned with a mild, non-abrasive anti-bacterial detergent and water solution, using a soft cloth. Then, using water and a soft cloth only, surfaces should be wiped to remove any remaining detergent residue. The treated surface should appear visibly wet then allowed to air dry.” Door furniture solution UNION has launched GripSafe, an anti-viral copper door handle tape that simply wraps around a clean door handle" “For those seeking a more secure solution in areas with high traffic, decision makers might want to consider products that allow doors to be opened without a person having to use their hands. For instance, arm and foot pulls are an easy and cost-effective door furniture solution that limits the level of contact an individual has with a door.” “Alternatively, sites might want to think about products that feature anti-microbial surfaces. Hardware treated in this way, or that use materials such as copper, can effectively reduce the risk of transmission. To meet this need, UNION has launched GripSafe, an anti-viral copper door handle tape that simply wraps around a clean door handle and has been proven to inactivate 99.98 per cent of corona viruses. This offers a simple solution that can make a big difference.” High traffic corridors “The next step up would be to look at hold-open door controls, which can help keep doors open at all times, except in the case of an emergency. For instance, ASSA ABLOY offers its DC300G-HF door closer, which holds doors open in medium to high traffic corridors, allowing people to pass through without touching the doors.” Meeting the demands of BS 8300:2018-2 for inclusive design, it offers unrivalled performance when compared with other door closers on the market. UNION also offers DoorSense, a safe and legal means of keeping fire doors open, but which enables a fire door to close automatically in the event of an alarm. Hands-free solution Sharing keys between personnel can quickly increase the spread of bacteria and germs" “For those after a completely hands-free solution, there are a range of access control devices that simply require the wave of a hand to open. These are fitted with motion-sensing technology, and ideally suited to sensitive applications such as bathrooms, and environments such as hospitals, laboratories and schools.” “Finally, there’s also the option of access control solutions that use personalised keys. Sharing keys between personnel can quickly increase the spread of bacteria and germs. An access control system that employs individual keys puts a stop to this, while simplifying key management throughout a site and saving personnel valuable time and money.” Mechatronic locking system Solutions such as ASSA CLIQ® Remote, which is a mechatronic locking system that assigns access rights to a key, allows users to have their own personalised keys for all doors and eliminates the need to share keys. This reduces the risk of bacteria and germs spreading. “By taking these steps and considering the door hardware options available to them, decision makers can help make sure our buildings mitigate the risk of germs and stop the spread of infections, ensuring everyone feels as safe and comfortable as possible in these spaces.”

UNION by ASSA Abloy announces grade 5 for BS 8607 for push button locksets
UNION by ASSA Abloy announces grade 5 for BS 8607 for push button locksets

Craig Birch, Product Category Manager at UNION, outlines what the new grade 5 for BS 8607 includes, why it has been introduced and the benefits that it can help deliver. At present, mechanically operated push button locksets are not typically security products, but rather access control ones. For example, think about the last time you went to your local doctor’s surgery. No doubt there will have been a lock on the door behind the receptionist, protecting the sensitive information they hold – a demand that has become only more critical with the introduction of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). However, the truth is that the lock protecting the restricted area in question is probably little more than a tubular latch. Essentially, it’s not a security device, but rather one that is used for convenience to simply meet the access control needs of a site. BS 8607 standard for push button lockets BS 8607 offers a series of grades that the push button locks can meet for strength and robustness However, BS 8607 – a standard for mechanically operated push button locksets – offers a series of grades that these locks can meet for strength and robustness. Introduced only recently, grade 5 is the newest and most stringent level for delivering assured security and access control. But what does it offer that grade 4 does not? The British Standards Institution (BSI) states that BS 8607:2014 specifies the requirements and test methods for durability, strength and function for mechanically operated push button locksets and their locking plates for use on doors, windows doors and entrance doors in buildings. Grade 4 and 5 of BS 8607 Both grade 4 and grade 5 of BS 8607 stipulate that products meeting these standards must be suitable for ‘applications where security, abuse and usage levels are expected to be equivalent to BS 3621’, which relates to thief-resistant locks. But if the security, abuse and usage levels are the same, what then is the difference between the two grades? Significance of integral locking units Put simply, those rated as grade 4 can only achieve this standard with the help of an integral additional locking unit. So, with a grade 4 product, users must lock and unlock the solution from the inside with a key, and then operate the push button from the outside to unlock a door. In contrast, a mechanically operated push button lockset that meets grade 5 standards provides a ‘one-stop’ security and access control solution; one that does not require a separate locking unit. In short, with a grade 5 product the latch and lock are integrated and tested together, without the need for an additional key. The result is a solution that offers keyless egress. This means that, when it shuts, a grade 5 solution automatically locks. Then, should you need to exit a room, it’s simply a one handle operation to unlock the door. Automatic locking solutions With a grade 5 solution, security is assured as the door will lock automatically While it’s intended that both grade 4 and 5 devices offer the same resistance to attack and it’s simply the way it is locked that is different, the fact that a user has to physically lock a door themselves with a grade 4 product means the technology is reliant on key holders to secure the premises themselves. Ultimately, users have to take responsibility and ownership for the security of a site. But with a grade 5 solution, security is assured as the door will lock automatically. Essentially, grade 5 has been introduced because it provides a BSI Kitemark approved certification. This means any mechanically operated push button locksets advertised as meeting grade 5 standards will be fully tested and inspected to this certification, offering complete peace of mind to users, installers and specifiers. Grade 5 electronic locking solutions As a result, there is no question that a grade 5 product will meet the security and access control needs that so many commercial environments demand. A grade 4 product is reliant on an additional locking unit that meets BS 3621 being used too, whereas a grade 5 solution delivers assured protection and access control in a single package. Finally, the BSI Kitemark for a grade 5 solution is an official stamp of approval for the quality of the service offered. To date, it is this combination of security and convenience that has not yet been seen in mechanically operated push button devices. Grade 5 of BS 8607 looks set to change all that.

UNION launches CodeGUARD 5 access control solution meeting BS 8607 grade 5 standards
UNION launches CodeGUARD 5 access control solution meeting BS 8607 grade 5 standards

UNION has launched CodeGUARD 5, the first access control device available to meet the new BS 8607 grade 5 standards. High-security push button locks The recently introduced grade 5 standards provide the most stringent level of security and access control for mechanical push button locks to date. Providing an extremely strong level of attack resistance, grade 5 was introduced because of the need for a high-security push button lock, and UNION is the first manufacturer to answer this need. Grade 4 – previously the highest level – could only meet the required standard with the help of an additional integral locking unit. In contrast, a grade 5 device such as CodeGUARD 5 delivers a ‘one-stop’ security and access control solution, where the latch and lock are integrated and tested together. As a result, CodeGUARD 5 offers users an automatic deadlocking unit, whereas a grade 4 product is reliant on key holders to lock a door. CodeGUARD 5 access control solution Featuring BSI Kitemark certification, CodeGUARD 5 provides access control and security in a single package Featuring BSI Kitemark certification, CodeGUARD 5 provides access control and security in a single package, delivering assured protection for securing people, assets and data, while offering the convenience of access control without the need for wiring. One of CodeGUARD 5’s key features is its 20mm deadlocking latch. This means it will not succumb to the kind of physical attacks that mechanical push button locks typically undergo, such as a crowbar being placed between a frame and lock to force a door open. Mechanical push button lock system Furthermore, the mechanical push button lock system is secured through more than 2,000 code combinations. Unlike its competitors, the unit is also always supplied to customers with a passcode different to the standard factory settings, for optimal security. Providing extremely high corrosion resistance, the new CodeGUARD 5 solution is also ideal for perimeter security applications. The system has undergone a salt spray test for 240 hours to demonstrate its capabilities in highly corrosive environments, with its aesthetics and performance unaffected over time. Fire doors CodeGUARD 5 is offered with universal handing and fixings, so the system is easy to order and specify too Suitable for 30- and 60-minute timber fire doors, and 240-minute metal fire doors, CodeGUARD 5 is offered with universal handing and fixings, so the system is easy to order and specify too. This is all backed by a three-year guarantee, offering the kind of high-quality product assurance that customers have come to expect from UNION. Karen Hubbard, Product Manager at UNION, said: “Whatever the application, CodeGUARD 5 delivers unmatched strength and durability. Building on our reputation and heritage, which dates back to 1840, CodeGUARD 5 is the toughest push button lock available, meeting the latest grade 5 standards for BS 8607.” People and asset protection Karen adds, “The solution brings together security and access control as has never been seen before – protecting people and assets even under determined and prolonged attack. CodeGUARD 5 comes with more than 2,000 code combinations, offering a huge advantage over many competitor products where pre-set factory codes have been a real weakness in the past. This is all complemented with a smart and stylish finish, with CodeGUARD 5 featuring an ergonomically-designed handle that would suit any modern environment." “There is no other mechanical push button lock available that comes close in terms of strength and robustness. As such, CodeGUARD 5 is ready to set a new benchmark for mechanical access control.”

Related white papers

How plate reader technology increases your perimeter security