Which Security Access Door is right for you?

Which Security Access Door is right for you?

Access Doors and Panels on 9th Jan 2018

Which Security Access Door is right for you?

We often take our security for granted. Take utilities such as plumbing, electrical, communications, and other similar systems for example. Let’s say these systems are shuttered behind a convenient access panel or door. 

Aesthetically, it’s nice to see how valves and switches are neatly tucked away and easily accessed when needed. However, have you given any real thought as to who can access these systems? Sure, it’s safe to assume that no one will tamper with these pipes and cables for absolutely any reason.

But what if someone does? If you’re in a hospital, is it safe to have an access panel leading to a floor electrical system easily opened by a flathead screwdriver? Even in a residential setting, if children are present – with their infinite curiosity – you really can’t tell what will happen once they discover and try to open the “secret” and “magical” door in the basement.

In these cases, it is necessary to have a security access door to provide that extra layer of safety and tamper-resistance needed for these important systems.

Keep important systems tamper-free

What are these extra layers of access panel and door security? It can be as simple as having a lock which can be sealed or opened by any variety of keys, to detention-type locks, heavy-duty hinges, or using thicker metal material for the door panel.

Not only does a security access door or panel lock out unauthorized access, they are available in levels that are appropriate for your specific scenario. Do you need the same security access panel used in jails and hospitals for the home? Doubtful. So, here’s a look at the types of security access doors and panels out there.

Medium Security Doors

When you consider getting a security access door just think that there is no such thing as a “low” category. It all starts at the medium level. With these kinds of panels, you get a low gauge metal door and frame, heavy-duty hinge (or sometimes concealed hinge), and heavy-duty detention-type lock with key. A few security access doors feature a hinge which is welded onto the door and frame.

You may even encounter locks which are designed with allen head or spanner head cam latches. These, too, require the specially-shaped allen or spanner head to open. It is also possible to switch these out with a normal key lock if desired.

Medium security access doors and panels are mainly used at low-security facilities such as schools, hospitals, hotels, and jails. These panels can be easily accessed by authorized maintenance personnel who have access to the keys or tools to open them.

For homeowners, these security panels may house special systems that only authorized repair and maintenance personnel may access such as gas line valves, telecommunication cables, home heating and centralized air systems, and the like.

High Security Doors

When the primary danger is tampering or damage from vandals or other criminal elements, high security access doors and panels are worth the investment just for added safety to any utility or system.

Think of high security access doors and panels as a simple upgrade from your medium variant, with a key difference: most feature a heavy-duty hinge which is welded onto the door and frame. Other than that, high security access doors and panels have an even lower metal gauge door and frame, and heavy-duty detention-type lock with an option to use normal or special paracentric keys.

The thicker metal, welded hinge, and special key make high security doors perfect for facilities that put a premium on preventing unauthorized access and maintaining maximum safety. This type of access door or panel is appropriate for prison or correctional facilities, mental institutions, corporate and IT companies, high-value government offices, security firms, and the like.

Fire Rated Security Doors

Taking safety and security further, fire rated security doors are high security doors with the added benefit of heat and fire insulation. Aside from the features of high security doors, fire rated security doors have a thicker door, often filled with insulation such as mineral wool which offers some of the best fire insulation of any material.

Good fire rated security doors must have at least a 3-hour fire rating, and are perfect for vital systems that need to be protected from heat. These can be determined if the door bears the Intertek-Warnock Hersey certification, North America’s authority on product safety and performance for construction materials.

Suffice to say, any utilities or systems that need to be protected from vandalism, unauthorized tampering, and heat or open flames need to be behind these fire rated security doors. These may include kitchen or cooking areas, industrial and manufacturing spaces, and other places where high heat and open flames are present.

Get the right door for the right situation

Security access doors provide the right kind of safety, security, and peace of mind needed for any application. But that does not automatically mean you should decide on having these installed on your wall every time as a default option.

These are specialty doors for special cases, and simply using one to cover the water main shutoff valve in your home would seem a little overkill. Also, consider the aesthetics when combining with a wall or ceiling design. Because of its mostly industrial look (and often, bulk), a security access door will not look out of place along a hospital, government, correctional, or maintenance hallway but it would most certainly destroy a residential building wall or ceiling aesthetic. Determine the level of security and access necessary and scale appropriately when needed.

If you’re looking for the perfect security access door, look at Access Doors and Panels’ wide array of security doors from a myriad of suppliers. Here, you will find exact measurements and specifications and even get a chance to customize a security access panel or door based on your preferences.

To view our inventory of security access doors or speak to a customer service representative, visit us at www.accessdoorsandpanels.com!

9th Jan 2018 Access Doors and Panels