There are several innovations in the access-control market, ranging from improved functionality to modern styling. All the features you have come to expect from a high-end access-control system are still there, such as card readers (with payment-at-the-keypad options), pinhole cameras, proximity control and intercoms.
In addition, there are wireless keypads at an affordable price to reduce trenching and conduit costs to the office, and the ability for the keypad to store all of the information so it will have offline functionality and improved lightning protection.
Also, look for modernized keypad housings. You can now find strong polycarbonate housings that are impervious to rust and salt and are non-conductive to reduce lightning damage while still providing a solid vandal- and weather-resistant solution.
Last, but perhaps most important, check with your security company about what kind of warranty it provides. What does it include and for how long? There are many access-control companies, but not all are designed specifically for the self-storage market. For example, does the security software interface with your management software so status changes such as automatic lockouts, move-ins, move-outs, etc., are properly logged without the need for double entry?
Digital Video Surveillance
Digital video is a must at any facility. If you’re still using time-lapse VCRs or black-and-white fuzzy cameras, do yourself a favor and see how much better things can be. Not only is the quality of new digital systems superior to the older ones, but they add several features you will soon realize you can’t live without, for example, remote connectivity to your site from anywhere in the world. Simply enter a username and password on a website and you can view live video, review recorded video or even save events to your local hard drive or CD/DVD burner.
Digital video recorders (DVRs) allow you to easily and quickly search for events by time, camera, date or even detected motion. When you’ve found what you’re looking for, pop in a CD or DVD and record it. Now you can give a copy to a tenant, police or insurance company while keeping the original event recorded on the DVR hard drive. Some digital systems even allow you to trigger sirens or strobe lights when motion is detected on a given camera or during a certain time. This is a great way to add supplemental security for little expense.