Which Access Controls Are Most Effective Against Crime?

Access controls come in all shapes and sizes, and most people probably associate them with their use by business. However, there’s a growing demand for the same technology in the domestic market too so here we look at the best options for protecting your home.


Digital keypads are widely used as a low-cost option to improve security. Both cheap and simple to install, they’re the most popular and secure form of keyless locking currently available. They’re fitted as part of the handle set and battery-operated. This means no wiring is involved and no need for any kind of specialist installation. All you need to do is type in a four to six digit code number and access will be granted. .

Most batteries last two years and will give you ample warning if they’re running out. Some models include an ‘ambush’ feature, where typing in the unlock code plus two additional numbers releases the lock but also notifies a security service – very useful if you’ve been coerced into unlocking the door.

Wireless remote deadbolt

This is another low-cost, easy-to-install system – all you need is a screwdriver and a cordless drill. Using a battery-powered deadbolt, it’s locked or opened by pushing a button on a remote fob, very similar to the kind used on many car alarms. You can get fobs using radio or infra-red transmission; infra-red is less expensive, but only works at short range, while radio transmission will work from up to thirty feet away.

If the fob is misplaced, the lock can be opened by a keypad instead. The main drawback, of course, is that the fob is as easy as a key to lose or misplace, or to have stolen, thereby rendering your home vulnerable to illegal entry.

Electromagnetic Locks

Electromagnetic locks, or maglocks, are very simple but very effective, consisting of an electromagnet attached to the door frame and an armature attached to the door. They come in two forms: fail-safe and fail-secure. A fail-safe lock mechanism locks when a current is passed through it, while the passage of current through a fail-secure mechanism will release the lock from the armature. In terms of price they compare very favourably with conventional locks and they use less power than a conventional light bulb.

The big drawback with maglocks is their vulnerability to power failure. A fail-safe mechanism will cease to work entirely, while a fail-secure one can leave the occupants trapped inside, which is a potential danger in the event of fire. If, however, you’re looking to safeguard a second or holiday home which may be left unoccupied, maglocks – especially the fail-secure variety – are ideal.

Video and Audio Systems

One final consideration: access control isn’t just about locks. Sometimes it’s about choosing when to open your door and when to leave it firmly shut. Not all intruders will try to pick your locks or copy your keys; some will try to talk their way in.

Audio and video systems – again, both easy to install and low in cost – provide a very effective additional line of defence. If you own a larger residential property, you might want to consider a CCTV system, which is more expensive but gives you that additional level of security.

Over To You:

Ultimately, it’s your home and only you can decide which system or systems are going to give it and you the best protection against criminals and at Access Control Solutions we have everything you need. Contact us online or by phone on 0116 236 6044 and we’ll help you decide the right measures for your security.

Posted in Access Control