Who Can Help If a Parking Access Control System Goes Wrong?

Did you know that approximately 78 million new cars are sold worldwide each year? It also means that in addition to the existing ones, almost 80 million extra cars will need a space to park in office buildings, shopping malls, events, or residential areas’ parking lots. This massive increase in traffic places a heavy burden on parking locations and their operators.

Fortunately, there are plenty of smart devices available today to fully automate parking access control systems. With these, the possibility of human error is almost completely ruled out. But what about systems and machines?

Here are some questions that we’ll discuss in this article:

What can you do to avoid a system failure?
Why is proper maintenance critical?
What are the most common malfunctions of the parking access control system, and how can you identify them?
Who can help if you are not able to fix the problem?

Let’s see the answers.

How Can You Avoid System Failure?

Advanced technology allows parking location managers to operate their property more efficiently and conveniently than ever. However, for a smooth long-term operation, the chosen integrated devices and system provider is critical. The key to a trouble-free operation is to work with as few devices as possible and to minimize the possibility of human error.

How can you achieve this? With a versatile and reliable solution that integrates seamlessly with existing access systems and automates processes. One of these advanced solutions is the automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) camera, which certainly will continue to play a key role in the access systems for the foreseeable future. 

Choosing a trustworthy provider which works with dependable, high-quality products and has user-friendly customer service is also an essential part of the smooth operation.

Parking Access Control Systems: Why Proper Maintenance Is Crucial

First of all, persistent monitoring is the basis for the long-term health of the parking access control system. A  preventative maintenance program is useful to find problems early when these are still relatively easy and cheap to fix. It can be similar to your car’s regular inspection when issues that you didn’t even know about can be revealed and repaired before they cause a more significant problem in the vehicle.

Just like any item of use, the parts in an access control system can wear out over time. Locks, cameras, card readers, and barriers are all potential victims of time and use. Their failure can form a loophole in your security system. Some errors are immediately noticeable, such as a barrier that does not open quickly enough. There are, however, others that are difficult to detect without persistent inspection and maintenance.

In addition to the physical equipment, do not forget to maintain and update your software and computer systems used for access control. A lost connection between the computer and the physical equipment can cause a major problem in day-to-day operations. Also, a poorly maintained access database can lead to unauthorized access, vandalism, espionage, or denial of access to a person who would be, by default, permitted to enter the facility.

Depending on the parking site, the implemented devices, and the traffic, an inspection of your access control system is highly recommended to be performed quarterly, every six months, or at least once a year.

All in all, preventive maintenance programs are critical to maintaining the proper operation of the system. It can save you a significant amount of money in the long run, as you can filter out and eliminate most failures before they get out of proportion in terms of severity and costs. In addition, it results in fewer system malfunctions, which is crucial, especially if you rely on the system daily to keep your property safe.

What Are The Most Common System Failures?

A common solution for parking access control systems is the ticketing machine connected to the barriers. This, however, has many potential failures: the ticket system can fail physically and software-wise as well, or barriers can stop working. Moreover, the connection between the two devices may be down, leading to a complete system shutdown. 

Moving on to the list of physical devices, badge or access card readers and security cameras are also often at risk of failure.

Power outages can interrupt the system and cause failure or inconsistent operations in connected devices such as cameras, ID scanners, ticket machines, or barriers. The solution is to check the power supply frequently to ensure all connections are good and within acceptable manufacturer limits.

As the system gets older, its power consumption gradually increases. This can drive the system to short and the fuses to blow, which in turn can lead to the whole system being deemed a fire hazard. Software failures are also quite typical, which would be preventable with frequent maintenance. 

Parking locations are complex to operate and have countless possible malfunctions. However, as we stated before, the risk of failure of advanced technology with versatile solutions is much lower. Instead of many systems and tools, you get a single, easy-to-integrate reliable system that automates most processes, minimizing the possibility of human error.

A great example of that is a parking access control system integrated with ANPR cameras. They provide one of the most efficient and secure solutions currently available in the market for parking locations. ANPR cameras have been a specialty of Adaptive Recognition for decades and their smart parking solutions are some of the industry’s most capable and versatile examples.

Who Can Help If You Can’t Fix The Problem?

The most convenient situation is when the company that installed the system is responsible for the maintenance as well as any repair work. They are well acquainted with your facility, the devices, and the software they sell, so it’s easier for them to fix the problem quickly and efficiently.

When installing the system, it is a good idea to ask them for information on basic troubleshooting and clarify the point where you should stop trying to fix the problem by yourself and contact their customer services instead. When choosing a service provider, make sure that their customer services are available at all times and that the repairs will be completed in a short time.

Alternatively, you can outsource maintenance and repair tasks to a third-party company too.

Conclusion

A parking access control system is a key component to maintaining security at any site or location.  Therefore, it is crucial to choose a solution with a low probability of failure, such as ANPR-based access control systems. Preventive maintenance is also critical in minimizing malfunctions and errors in your access system. It helps discover a vulnerability, fixes minor problems, prevents major failures and assures a sustainable and extended life for your hardware.

Adam Hansen