Millions recently experienced power outages, highlighting a critical issue – the vulnerability of access control systems (PACS) during these events. To ensure continued security for people, assets, and buildings, both users and vendors need to be prepared.

Restarting PACS After a Long Power Loss

Here’s a quick guide to rebooting your access control system:

  1. Power Up: Turn on the server, potentially requiring manual action.
  2. Network Check: Collaborate with your IT team to verify network connections.
  3. Time & Date Confirmation: Ensure the correct time and date are set, and the server has a connection.
  4. Controller & Board Diagnostics: Check all controllers and boards for any errors.
  5. Functionality Testing: Verify system functionality by testing frequently used doors.

Prepping for a Prolonged Power Outage

Power outages can linger. Here are some proactive measures you can discuss with your vendor to ensure your PACS is ready for extended blackouts:

  • Database Backups: Protect against data loss from power surges. Back up frequently and consider multiple backup methods, including physical drives, network storage, or cloud services, while keeping cybersecurity in mind.
  • Understand Your UPS: Know how your Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) handles long outages. Ensure it can manage a safe shutdown to protect the system and batteries from damage due to deep discharge or power surges.
  • Explore Battery Options: Newer security systems use Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries for their longer life, lighter weight, and better discharge performance. 
  • Consider Cloud Services: Cloud-based access control can minimize physical hardware issues. Integration-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) options provide remote server management and automatic software updates.

By proactively addressing backup, UPS capabilities, battery technology, and cloud-based options, you can equip your access control system to handle extended power outages. This ensures uninterrupted security during challenging situations.

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