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March 14, 2022


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Physical Security

How can service and maintenance maximise the effectiveness of physical security systems?

The service and maintenance of physical security systems is an often-neglected process, with many users being reluctant to spend money on security systems after the costly implementation stage. However, if physical security systems are to maximise on their potential lifecycle and work to their best ability, service and maintenance are vital.

In this article, Ian Brooks, Service and Sales Manager at ATG Access, discusses how service and maintenance can maximise the effectiveness of physical security systems.

Often, users have pre-conceived barriers in place when it comes to considering product servicing beyond the initial sale. The first one being the budget.

Getting a budget approved to be able to implement security measures can often be a long process. Budgets are commonly agreed on an annual basis, so servicing budgets are not contemplated at the time of initial investment.


Furthermore, if a site already has a facility management company in contract, it is often the case that the customer decides to include the new security system with the remit of the facility management contract, rather than choosing to take out a separate contract with the equipment manufacturer.

This can work if the right process is set up initially.

Where this does not work is when the facility management company charges the customer for the additional equipment within the existing contract and does not engage with the manufacturer to ensure proactive maintenance of the system or training of staff.

So, why is it important to ensure that the correct maintenance and servicing procedures are put in place?

Reduced downtime

Proactive servicing ensures that product downtime is kept to a minimum.

Unnecessary downtime can be dangerous from a security standpoint as it leaves the surrounding environment vulnerable to risk. If a service contract is not in place, the system may be forced into downtime if a fault occurs.

Having a service contract in place allows security managers to plan necessary downtime while the system is being serviced.

It could be completed out of hours or servicing could be staggered to ensure that one entrance and exit is open at all times to an area or infrastructure to eliminate disruption.

Maximised life span

The ability to realise the full lifecycle of a security system is beneficial both in relation to cost and to security.

Automatic systems, if maintained correctly, can last up to 20 years, evidently making the investment worthwhile.

If users are to maximise the lifespan of their system alongside avoiding costly one-off payments on repair faults, having a service contract is vital.

Increased cost-effectiveness

If a proactive approach is taken to servicing and maintenance, the maintenance bill, in the long run, will be lower.

Having a service plan in place with the manufacturer means all costs are rolled into one annual bill rather than receiving unexpected requirements for expenditure.

The service contract for the lifespan of a typical automatic system is £7,600 (£507 per year), which quickly becomes worth it when unexpected fault occur within a security system.

Examining the example of needing to swap hydraulic rams due to a lack of maintenance, a build-up of dirt, lack of grease or oil depletion, this equates to £2,800.

The replacement of hydraulic rams is likely to happen more than once over the course of 15 years, making a service contract more than worthwhile if it can prevent these issues from occurring.

Peace of mind

Knowing that a supplier relationship is in place to cover any eventuality should a fault occur, or a security breach happen, is a huge benefit of a proactive service contract.

Continuing the provision of peace of mind, in the unlikely event of an incident such as a security breach, an accidental vehicle collision, or criminal activity, as part of a service contract, technical support on all insurance claims is provided.

But, above all, having assurance that a physical security system is working to its best ability is the main concern of buyers and having a proactive service contract confirms this.

Taking out a service maintenance plan at purchase can significantly improve the effectiveness of physical security systems. Although it may appear costly, having minimal unwanted downtime periods, assured peace of mind and a maximised lifespan, makes physical systems not only function to their maximum potential, but also more cost-effective in the long-term.

Register today for IFSEC 2023

16-18 May 2023, ExCeL London | IFSEC 2023: Recognising the past, embracing the future

Join thousands of likeminded security and risk professionals at IFSEC 2023 in May, as the UK's largest and longest running security event looks ahead to what's next in the sector as it celebrates its 50th birthday. This year will see the launch of the IFSEC distributor network, while London's new Elizabeth Line makes travel to the venue easier than ever!

You’ll find hundreds of leading exhibitors from the physical and integrated security sector, showcasing all the latest in video surveillance, access control, intruder detection, perimeter protection and software solutions. Join the community and secure your ticket today!


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