Assa Abloy: Key Cards Introduced at School
At one residential school, a simple upgrade has swapped manual keys for centralized electronic access control using a Smartair Wireless system from Assa Abloy.
Online access management has proven a simple, school-wide electronic solution for greater control and security at Westbridge school. Each staff member carries one RFID credential card programmed with access rights personalized to their individual role. In an emergency, the school can institute a complete lockdown via the centralized system. The school’s teaching, administration and residential buildings require multiple layers of access control, for both staff and students, and the inflexibility of a mechanical locking system had presented facility management and pupil safety challenges for years.
"Having a Smartair system in place has given us peace of mind. It’s quicker, it’s safer and it’s simple", says Joanna Brunton, Executive Officer at Westbridge School. "With over 50 staff, we needed more subtlety in assigning access permissions, which you simply can’t do with a bundle of metal keys", Brunton explained.
Westbridge had a number of other requirements for its new access system to replace piecemeal mechanical locking on 80+ doors around the site. New electronic locks must provide a real-time audit trail, so facility managers always know which doors are opened by which staff cards. And the new system would also need to work within the school’s security budget — and be installed over the holidays, for minimal disruption to the school’s busy calendar. System administration is now easy, even for non-specialists. "I taught staff how to use the software and encode access cards", says Kylie Bray, director at Western Lock Services, who have long managed hardware maintenance for Westbridge. "If a staff member loses their card, you can go straight in and delete it."
"We now have the ability to set higher security for specific areas of our site. Our regular maintenance contractors also have their own access rights, so they just get straight on with their work without calling us to get access", Brunton adds. "This saves us time, and keeps their costs down."