Andy Wray, general manager SME, at Stanley Security on how simple access control security systems can sometimes be the better option for food businesses than those with all the bells and whistles

In the food sector, and especially in food production, securing your premises is vital to prevent unauthorised people gaining access and risking contamination.

Electronic access control is commonly used here as these systems provide a secure, flexible and easy-to-manage method of controlling who enters your site/building and specific areas within those premises, and at what time. 

There’s a huge array of access control systems on the market, with an even wider array of features and functions, but more often than not, a straightforward system, minus all the bells and whistles, does the job well – and is highly affordable to boot.

While cost-effective access control systems are perfectly possible, what you don’t want is a cheap one that isn’t very secure as they could be cloned.

Stand-alone systems are ideal if you have just one or two doors to control. Any more than this and you need to go up a level and opt for a software-based system. You don’t want to be paying for an array of advanced features that you don’t need, so ensure the system allows you to buy a basic package you can add to if and when the need arises.

When it comes to hardware, you want robust readers and electronic locks that stand the test of time. The locks have the most wear and tear, and will require maintenance, so check if your security provider offers service and maintenance packages and what those cover.

If you have an intruder alarm system in place, check to see if existing cable can be used (eight-core alarm cable) as this could also save you.

Lastly, check to see if finance options are available. Some companies now offer security systems on a rental basis.

Electronic access control systems are highly effective and affordable if you are realistic and don’t get carried away by all the clever features and add-ons. Sometimes, simple is best!