Shopping Mall Access Control Systems

Today, malls not only have shops; they also have restaurants and food courts, banks, theaters, professional offices and practically all services you can think of. Bigger shopping centers include service stations and full service amusement parks. Shopping has never been made easier and more efficient for both store owners and customers. Shopping Mall Access Control can be a challenge.

Retail Mall Security Challenges

With growing square footage of shopping malls, however, comes the challenge of managing these super structures. Shopping mall managers need to take care of all tenant and building services, including physical security hardware of both the individual tenants’ spaces, the general facility and common areas.

What are some of the security and access control challenges unique to shopping centers and malls?

  1. Multiple tenants across multiple buildings. Access for tenants with their own set of employees needs to be managed efficiently. 
  2. Tenant turnover.  When a tenant terminates his lease, his ability to access the space should be completely revoked.  Mall management must be able to do this in a timely manner for the security of the shared property and for the safety of the next tenant.
  3. Expansion, reduction and relocation of tenants within facilities.  While this does not entail revocation of access, mall management must be able to provide smooth transition, in terms of access control to the new space, and denial of access to the previously-occupied space where a new tenant will be moving in.
  4. Security for Shared Entrances and Spaces. Managing access privileges for shared facilities like that in a mall can be challenging. For instance, if a tenant in a mall hires or fires an employee, mall management needs to be informed so they can update access privileges to common entrances and shared spaces. This also applies for maintenance workers, cleaning crews and the like. An efficient access control system allows mall management to control access privileges with ease.

Shopping Mall Access Control Clientele

Mall management is faced with the challenge of providing a great shopping experience for its clientele while ensuring security for both shoppers and tenants. Good security protocols coupled with an excellent access control system will ensure reduced risk of unauthorized access and reduced risk of security threats.

Retail Mall Access Control System Options

Master Key System

This system entails the use of individual keys for each door and a master key to open all doors. This relies on mechanical locks and physical keys and may sometimes be compromised with one missing key. Therefore, may necessitate a locksmith changing the locks.

However, recent advances to the older “key” systems have given birth to the computerized master key system. Computer software keeps track of all keys used in the system. Individual keys are code stamped with an ID label. This makes it possible to keep track of the keys.

Obviously, in big malls with numerous tenants with their own sets of employees, this system might be impractical due to the effort required for complete tracking, and reissuing of new keys.

A Better Solution – Electronic Access Control Systems (Keyless Access Control)

An integrated electronic access control system greatly simplifies the management of access control in shopping malls. Access controlled doors can be managed from a single interface. It makes it easy to assign doors to tenants and to create doors that can be shared by tenants.

Reatil Center Access Control

Advantages of an Electronic Access Control System

Easy Set Up. With an integrated electronic access control system, it becomes easy to assign doors to tenants. This also allows for easy transition in the event of an expansion or relocation of tenants within the mall. Tenants can be allowed access to their own doors and their storage own areas, as well as, manage access permissions for their personnel.

Flexibility. With this system, it is possible to issue a credential (key card, fob or PIN) with permissions specific for whoever is going to be using it. It becomes possible to assign access to tenants to their store and their storage areas. Or it allows mall management to restrict access for employees to just the operating hours or makes it possible for cleaning crews to enter common areas after hours. Or allow temporary access for contractors to specific areas and within a specified time only.

Full Audit Trail.  With an electronic access control system, a master system controls all doors and closely monitors all entries and exits for each credential issued. It makes it not only possible, but easy to quickly generate reports on demand that show Who entered Where and When.

Types of Electronic Access Control Systems

  1. Access Control Keypad. PINS are used and are entered on a keypad. By issuing unique codes for each person, it becomes possible to trace it to an individual should a problem or security breach occur.
  2. Access Control Card Reader. Individuals are issued key cards or fobs and are used on a card reader to gain entry.  It becomes possible to issue different cards depending on who, where and how they are going to be used.  In case of loss, it is easy to deactivate thus reducing risk of unauthorized use
  3. Biometric Access Control. There has been increasing use of biometrics to control access. Because personal physical characteristics are used as credentials, the need for cards or fobs with a unique code is eliminated. And because these are unique to each person, they are almost impossible to duplicate readily. Retina scanners, fingerprint scanners and hand geometry readers are the most popular ones in use.

Action 1st Offers the Best Commercial Access Control Solutions for Shopping Complexes and Malls

Action 1st Loss Prevention specializes in providing access control solutions that work well within the requirements of malls and shopping complexes.  We offer exceptional customer service that you can trust.

Call us today at 800-675-3015 for a free onsite review and estimate.

Tags: access control for shopping malls, retail store security, shopping center access control