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Access Control Installation: Step-by-Step Guide

Access Control Installation

Security is crucial for both residential and business establishments in the modern world. Installing cloud-based access control systems is one of the best ways to improve security. With these systems, you can control who is allowed access to particular locations on a property, preventing illegal entry and guaranteeing the protection of people and property. This in-depth manual will take you step-by-step through installing an access control system, covering everything from tool gathering and planning to testing, maintenance, and programming. We’ll also understand the various door access control systems and their unique characteristics.

How to Install Access Control System

Planning Your Access Control System

The first step in installing an access control system is thorough planning. This involves assessing your security needs, determining the areas that require controlled access, and deciding on the type of access control system that best suits your requirements.

  1. Assessing Security Needs:

Identify the critical areas within your property that need to be secured. This could include entry and exit points, server rooms, storage areas, and other sensitive locations.

  1. Choosing the Right System:

Various types of access control systems are available, including key card access systems, smart locks, mobile credentials, and PIN code access systems. Each has its own advantages and is suited for different applications.

  1. Budget Considerations:

Determine your budget for the access control system. The costs of a new access control system can vary widely based on its type and complexity. It’s important to factor in initial installation and ongoing maintenance expenses.

  1. Compliance and Regulations:

Ensure that your access control system complies with relevant regulations and standards. Certain industries may have specific requirements for access control and security.

Gathering the Necessary Tools and Equipment

Once you have a clear plan, the next step is gathering all the necessary installation tools and equipment. This typically includes:

Access control panels

Door readers (critical card readers, biometric scanners, etc.)

Door locks (electric strikes, magnetic locks)

Power supply units

Wiring and cables

Mounting brackets and hardware

Programming devices (laptops, tablets)

Software for system configuration

Installing Access Control Hardware

  1. Installing Door Readers:

Start by installing the door readers at the designated entry points. These readers can be mounted on the wall beside the door or frame. Ensure they are positioned at a convenient height for users.

  1. Installing Door Locks:

Next, install the electronic locks on the doors. Different types of locks, such as electric strikes and magnetic locks, have different installation procedures. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation.

  1. Mounting Control Panels:

Install the control panels in a secure location, such as a server room or utility closet. These panels will manage the signals from the door readers and control the locking mechanisms.

Wiring and Connection

  1. Running Cables:

Run the cables from the door readers and locks to the control panels. Use appropriate conduits and cable management systems to protect and organize the wiring.

  1. Connecting Power Supply:

Connect the power supply units to the control panels and ensure they provide the system’s correct voltage and current.

  1. Network Integration:

If your access control system is part of a more extensive network, connect the control panels to your network infrastructure. This allows for remote monitoring and management.

Programming and Testing

  1. Software Installation:

Install the access control software on a dedicated computer or server. This software will configure the system, enroll users, and manage access permissions.

  1. Configuring the System:

Program the control panels with the access rules and permissions for each door. This includes setting up user credentials, access schedules, and special conditions.

  1. Testing:

Thoroughly test the system to ensure all components are working correctly. Test each door reader and lock to verify that they respond appropriately to authorized and unauthorized access attempts.

Maintenance and Troubleshooting

  1. Regular Maintenance:

Perform regular maintenance checks to ensure the system is functioning optimally. This includes checking the condition of door readers and locks, inspecting wiring, and updating software as needed.

  1. Troubleshooting Common Issues:

Be prepared to troubleshoot common issues such as power failures, network connectivity problems, and hardware malfunctions. Keep a log of any issues and resolutions for future reference.

Door Access System Types

Key Card Access Systems

Key card access systems are among today’s most common access control systems. These systems utilize cards with embedded chips or magnetic strips to grant authorized users access. When a user presents their key card to the reader, the system verifies their credentials and grants access if authorized. Key card access systems offer high security and can be easily integrated with other security measures, such as surveillance cameras and alarm systems.

Smart Locks & Mobile Credentials

Smart locks are another popular choice for access control, especially in residential settings. These locks can be controlled remotely using a smartphone app or Bluetooth-enabled device, allowing users to lock and unlock doors from anywhere. Mobile credentials, such as virtual keys stored on a smartphone, offer added convenience and flexibility compared to traditional key cards. Smart locks are often equipped with additional features such as biometric authentication and activity logs, enhancing security and providing peace of mind for users.

PIN Code Access Control Systems

PIN code access systems require users to enter a personal identification number (PIN) on a keypad to gain access. These systems are simple yet effective, offering a cost-effective solution for controlling access to entry points. PIN codes provide administrators flexibility in controlling access permissions because they are simple to issue to authorized users and may be altered or revoked as needed. Residential structures, small companies, and educational institutions frequently use PIN code access systems.

How Do PIN Code Readers Work?

PIN code readers function by comparing the PIN entered with a database of approved codes stored. The reader notifies the access control system to unlock the door when a user inputs the correct PIN. Keypads are commonly found on PIN code readers, enabling users to enter their PIN safely. Some systems offer additional security features, such as anti-tamper alarm installation and timed lockouts to prevent unauthorized access.

Types of Card Access Control & Door Card Reader Systems

Several types of card access control systems are available, each with unique features and capabilities.

Magnetic Stripe Cards

Magnetic stripe cards are one of the most common types of access cards. These cards have a magnetic stripe on the back that stores data, which the card reader reads when swiped. Magnetic stripe cards are widely used in applications such as hotel key cards and employee ID badges.

Proximity Cards

Proximity cards use radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to communicate with the card reader. These cards contain a chip and antenna that transmit data wirelessly to the reader when held nearby. Proximity cards are convenient to use and offer fast and reliable access control.

Smart Cards

Smart cards are advanced access cards with an embedded microchip capable of storing and processing data. These cards offer enhanced security features such as encryption and mutual authentication, making them ideal for high-security applications. Smart cards can be used for various purposes, including access control, payment systems, and identification.


Installing an access control system for offices requires several steps, including careful planning, the appropriate tools and equipment, and in-depth knowledge of the various home security installation systems available. By following our step-by-step guide, you can guarantee a good installation that improves your property’s security. Whether you want to install a basic key card system or a complex smart lock system, following the above guidelines will help you meet your security objectives. Contact Cabling Drops for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How to design an access control system?

Designing an access control system involves several steps, including assessing your security needs and choosing the right type of system. Consider factors such as the layout of your property, the number of entry points, and the level of security required for each area. Plan the placement of door readers and control panels to ensure optimal coverage and functionality. Finally, test the system thoroughly to ensure it meets your security objectives.

Q2. What is the ISO for access control?

ISO/IEC 27001 is an international standard for information security management systems that includes guidelines for access control. It helps organizations manage the security of assets, including financial information, intellectual property, and employee data.

Q3. What is access control configuration?

Access control configuration refers to setting up an access control system, including programming user permissions, defining access schedules, and integrating the system with other security measures. It involves both hardware and software settings to ensure the system operates correctly.

Q4. What are the basics of an access control system?

The basics of an access control system include identification, authentication, authorization, and access management. Identification involves verifying users’ identities, while authentication ensures that the user is who they claim to be. Authorization determines what actions the user is allowed to perform, while access management involves monitoring and controlling user access to resources.

Q5. Where must access control systems be installed?

Access control systems should be installed at all entry and exit points and at internal doors leading to sensitive areas. This includes main entrances, back doors, server rooms, storage areas, and any other location that requires restricted access.