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Keyscan’s access control system meets security challenges at Abbotsford City Hall building in British Columbia
The Keyscan system is also being used to arm and disarm the intrusion alarm
A Keyscan access control system is installed in approximately 20 of the City of Abbotsford buildings

The city of Abbotsford is a progressive agricultural community with a growing population located in the heart of the Fraser Valley, just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Its close proximity to the City of Vancouver holds many perks, but also some disadvantages. This reality is exactly what prompted a security review of all City-run buildings including city hall, fire halls, police stations, recreational centres and maintenance yards.

One of the greatest challenges the City was facing was controlling access to their facilities. While they had an access control system in place, it simply was not measuring up. It was fraught with issues and reliability concerns and certainly did not instill the type of confidence that the City had planned, so they set out to find a security solution that could expand with its needs.

When the job of installing a new security system was tendered, the choice to hire Rose Security Services, who had done similar applications in the past, seemed fairly obvious. With Keyscan behind Rose Security, it secured the project and began installation of a Keyscan Access Control system in the Abbotsford City Hall building.

"It was one thing for us to approach the City to sell the Keyscan product,” recalled John Rose of Rose Security Services. “With the problems the City experienced with the previous access control system it had, having the manufacturer at the table with us during the tender was a big help. It really showed the committed relationship between the manufacturer and the security and access control integrator. It really instilled confidence in the turnkey solution that Rose Security Services had proposed.”

Once the first system in the City Hall building was installed, the City of Abbotsford took some time to test the value of the product. "They had a poor experience with their previous access control system”, said Rose. “So they were hesitant with a new product. Once they had a Keyscan access control system in the City Hall building, it wasn’t long before they were convinced it had to be in all of their buildings."

Currently a Keyscan access control system is installed in approximately 20 of the City of Abbotsford buildings, including 7 fire halls, the public works yard, the library and its police stations. There are approximately 120 readers throughout the City. Each of the buildings required slightly different functionality, but all are operating on a database maintained by employees at City Hall. The exception being the police department that needed to manage its own system, for greater control.

The City of Abbotsford has really put the flexibility of the Keyscan system to the test. Each of the buildings had different requirements. A system needed to be able to address this demand. For example, the use of the system at City Hall, where both perimeter and interior doors are secured with readers were quite different than what was needed at the Public Works yard, where Keyscan is limiting access to heavy machinery owned by the city and the readers control gate access rather than traditional doors.

Some exceptions existed where particular sites needed to manage their own systems. However, the City of Abbotsford has its Keyscan system operating on their wide area network (WAN) and the entire system is overseen by Victor Pankratz, Manager, Civic Facilities. “It’s been great,” says Mr. Pankratz, “I can manage the Keyscan system from my desktop at work or remotely from my laptop, whether I am at home or somewhere like Calgary.” The ability to remotely connect to the system is just one of many conveniences the Keyscan system has been able to offer the City of Abbotsford.

One of the City’s favourite elements of the Keyscan system has been the Present 3 feature. In facilities such as the Exhibition Park, which consists of approximately 12 buildings, including show barns and other various spaces that are rented to community groups, the Present 3 feature allows people on-site to lock and unlock the doors for large

“It’s been great. I can manage the Keyscan system from my desktop at work or remotely from my laptop, whether I am at home or somewhere like Calgary”

groups that have not been equipped with access cards. “We have several buildings up there that have irregular users,” Mr. Pankratz commented. “When we need to open the building up it is very easy to do so."

The Keyscan system is also being used to arm and disarm the intrusion alarm. This allows authorized individuals on-site to use their access card to activate the alarm system. Mr. Pankratz found this feature particularly useful. "It is a huge time-saver for arming the alarms. No one has to remember a code, which is a lot easier to manage, because it is all connected through the Keyscan system."

This has been an especially useful feature for the fire department, where the building needs to be locked down on a moment’s notice. Prior to the installation of the Keyscan system, it was very difficult to secure the fire halls when leaving for a call, so buildings were quite often left open and there were several incidents of theft and vandalism.

With the alarm panel integration function enabled, firefighters are now able to secure the fire hall on a moment’s notice, providing these first responders with the peace-of-mind to do their job of saving the lives and property of Abbotsford residents.

The Keyscan system has also eliminated problems associated with lost or stolen keys. "It just works great,” Pankratz added. “It enables us to control access very easily. It’s great for our security needs and the ability to cancel cardholders rather than constantly re-issue keys. It makes everything a lot easier."

As the Civic Facilities Manager for the entire city, the Keyscan system has made it easier for Mr. Pankratz to have outside contractors and individuals enter buildings, while ensuring that their access to buildings is restricted to allotted time periods. "From a maintenance point of view, it is easier to access buildings with one card, rather than having many different keys,” he said.

The City of Abbotsford has been extremely happy with the Keyscan system, and the expert installation and service they received from the entire team at Rose Security Services. Mr. Pankratz comments on his experience with Rose Security Services very positively. “Rose Security Services has exceeded our expectations; they walked us through the entire installation. Any time we need somebody on-site they are there to help us."

The City has plans to expand their Keyscan system into several more buildings and continue to add systems at existing sites. Mr. Pankratz concludes by stating “The Keyscan system is so reliable and easy to use; we want it in all of our buildings.”

Let Keyscan Access Control Systems provide your City, Town or Municipality with the same peace-of-mind as the City of Abbotsford. Keyscan has a North American and Latin American network of exceptional Access Control Integrators.

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