Tcom Access Control Systems

Access Control

Access Control & Intercoms

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Access control systems are electronic security solutions that are installed to manage the flow of people into, around and out of buildings. The three primary functions of access control systems are to monitor and report the locations of individuals within a building, control where individuals are able to gain access and manage individual user permissions to ensure that access is granted to the correct individual to the correct areas at the correct times. Normally access is physically controlled by automation such as turnstiles and automatic doors or magnetic or solenoid controlled electrical releases.

Tcom Fire & Security are specialists in the design, installation and maintenance of Access Control Systems. All systems are fully approved by Insurers and Police, NSI Gold and UKAS Accredited Quality Management. TCom will ensure that your system is professionally installed and maintained on your current operating system and satisfy obligatory Building Fire and Safety regulations.

TCom offers a full range of access control products from core components to peripherals enables us to offer a complete solution tailored to address individual site requirements.

Our specialist design, installation and maintenance team utilise the following Codes of Practice to satisfy full compliance of statutory regulations on Access Control and Locking Devices. Compliance to the required standards is confirmed with the issue of a Certificate of Compliance on completion, following the commissioning and handover of any system.

The following Codes of Practice demonstrate the requirement for competency in critical areas such as Design and Installation, Commissioning and Inspection Routines and a robust Local Management Process to guarantee optimum performance and reliability from any system.

Access Control System – Codes of Practice

BS EN 50133-1: Alarm systems – Access Control Systems for use in security applications

BS EN50133-7: Access Control Systems - Application Guidelines

EN 12209-1: Electro-mechanical locking devices

BS 7807: Integrated Access Control Systems – Code of Practice

BS EN 50133-2-1: Component requirements for Access Control Systems

Access Control System – Types


Basic: Access Control Systems

Access Control Systems are typically installed to protect a single door and include Single Standalone Card/Tag/Fob Reader, Pin/Code Keypad, Card Reader and Pin/Code Keypad Combined, Audio & Video Intercom Systems with or without integrated Reader or Pin/Code Keypad. The main applications for these systems are at Controlled Gates or Doors to premises e.g. residential blocks of flats, small offices or factories, schools, nurseries or any restricted area that is un-manned.


Standalone: Access Control Systems

Access Control Systems comprise of a small network of individual card readers, pin-code-pads or both combined and controlled by local door controllers. These systems are suitable for one or two door installations within small offices, building sites, schools or retail units.

Networked or PC-based

Networked or PC-based: Access Control Systems

Access Control Systems comprise of a front-end PC connected to a network of door controllers and card readers. These systems are most suitable for multi-door and/or multi-site installations within large office complex, manufacturing plants, industrial estates, warehouses, hospitals, colleges and universities.



Integrated: Access Control Systems

Access Control Systems that are partially networked to interface with a Building Management System (BMS) or Local/Wide Area Networks (LAN or WAN). Access to the network is normally centrally based or limited to a number of authorised software carrying PC's to control areas, access time windows the issue and control limits of individual badge/card/fob users.


Access Control Systems - Optional Technologies

The following technologies are available in both cards and readers in single technology or combined technology versions.

Bar Code

A bar code card is an optical machine-readable representation of data. Bar codes represent data in the widths and the spacing's of parallel lines often referred to as linear or 1D.

  • Not recommended due to high risk of being easily compromised.

Barium Ferrite – (Touch Card)

Barium Ferrite – (Touch Card)

Old technology which is still currently in use on many doors, gate, and traffic barrier access control installations.

  • Spares are still available.
  • No longer used on new installations.
  • Can wipe/erase Magnetic Stripe memory on other cards.
  • Alternatives offer superior security and are more competitive.


Magstripe (Swipe Card)

Magstripe (Swipe Card)

A magnetic stripe card is a card that stores data on a band of magnetic material on the card. The card is read by physical contact and swiping past a reading head. Magnetic stripe technology remains in wide use in Access Control Systems. However, it is not as secure as others. It can be compromised as the data on the stripe is easily be read, written, deleted or changed with the use of off-the-shelf equipment.

  • Magstripe Cards are relatively low-cost to products
  • The Readers are not weatherproof as standard and are not as robust as Proximity.
  • Magstripe Technology is still not that quick to use and can cause bottlenecks.
  • Magstripe technology is also easily damaged.

Proximity Card

Proximity Card

Proximity is the name for contactless integrated circuit devices. Including either old 125kHz devices or the newer 13.56MHz contactless RFID cards, most commonly known as contactless smartcards. The technology is securely stored within the card making it hard to copy or damage after constant use. Users have the choice of cards or fobs with this technology. With the circuit device actually imbedded inside a plastic casting i.e. fob or card, the technology is hidden from the elements meaning it is impossible to scratch or damage. It is also waterproof which means its application in extreme environments is also possible.

  • There is no wear and tear between reader or card as the technology is contactless.
  • All the data is encrypted so copying a card is impossible. Making it the most secure solution available.
  • Proximity technology carries a cost premium when compared to Bar Code, Pin Code, or Magstripe.
  • Can also be used to provide other functions such as payroll and time & attendance reporting

Smart Card (MIFARE iCLASS etc.)

Smart Card (MIFARE iCLASS etc.)

The inside of a smart card contains an embedded microprocessor. The microprocessor is under a gold contact pad on one side of the card. The microprocessor on the smart card is there for security. The host computer and card reader actually "talk" to the card microprocessor. The microprocessor enforces access to the data on the card if the host computer read and wrote the smart card's random access memory (RAM). The pproximity cards or fobs offer the quickest and most user friendly (no alignment sensitivity) read interface.

  • Can also be used to provide other functions such as payroll and time & attendance reporting, cashless vending etc.



Biometrics is the physical and behavioural characteristics unique to an individual such as a finger or palm print, iris pattern or facial image. Each individual has unique biometric data; and so solutions based on biometrics offer a better and more accurate means of ensuring the integrity of an access control system than cards alone. Biometric based solutions quickly capture patterns from physical characteristics of individuals and then match these patterns against records in a database. Many organizations are turning to biometrics to enhance both the security and convenience of their existing systems.

Access Control System – Other Functions

Although access control systems are primarily concerned with granting/denying access at doors, their application extends further. With additional software and /or firmware you can increase the functionality of an access control system to include:

Identity & Badging Solutions

  • PC Security, Cashless Vending, E-cash: Smart Cards are rapidly becoming the technology of choice. Smartcards are extending the use of access control credentials beyond physical access. Using smartcards, one card can be used to gain access to a premises (physical access), to securely sign onto a PC (logical access) and to purchase goods/services.
  • Payroll Reports and Time & Attendance: Door transaction data is a standard output of an access control system, but most systems and card technologies can be used in conjunction with Time and Attendance software, door transaction data can be used to automate your payroll processes.
  • Security System Integration: Utilising common data formats, access control systems can be integrated with intruder and CCTV systems to increase the security of premises.

Access Control System – Handover and Certification

Once the system has been commissioned, the technician will demonstrate how to use the system and issue you with simple written instructions as part of a "User Guide". "Software Guide" if applicable and any "Good Housekeeping Hints" a System Record Book including "Test Routines" are also included.

Once the system is complete and the design, installation and commissioning is finished a "Certificates of Compliance" and conformance is supplied to the customer.

Access Control System – After Sales Service & Maintenance

On-going corrective and preventive maintenance of the system will form part of your contract. Preventative maintenance checks will normally be carried out annually or every six months as a minimum dependent upon the system size and multi-site capability.

A maintenance contract is mandatory if a access control system is integrated into any approved alarm installation. Police Force Policies and Insurance Company approval of any system is conditional upon a maintenance contract being in force for any system.

As an inclusive part of any current maintenance contract there is a call-out facility with minimum response time of same day or four hours in case of emergency. Our engineers provide a telephone response around the clock. In the majority of cases the cause of any problem is an error or simple mistake. Our engineers are always available to talk you through any problems and the correction procedure on these occasions.

Access Control System – Warranty

New systems will carry a comprehensive labour and parts warranty of at least 12 months.

Access Control Brands Supported by TCom

SecuraKey, Videx, Elvox, Telguard, BPT, Adams Rite, Assa Abloy, PAC, Paxton, ACT, TDSI, Progeny, Identec, IDTech, CDVI, Kantech, Datacard, Magicard, Polaroid


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