ISJ Exclusive: Maintaining higher security and lower expenses


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Regular service and maintenance ensures security entrances operate consistently with minimal disruption, writes Al Vandine, Service Sales Manager, Boon Edam Inc.

Proactive maintenance is a must when it comes to ensuring the longevity of a car or house. Security entrances are no different; the old idiom, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” does not apply here.

Security entrances are premium products that require proactive maintenance in order to guarantee optimal uptime and extend the entrances’ inherent benefits over time. Regular service and maintenance are some of the only ways to prevent entrance breakdowns that can cost organisations in more ways than one.

Consequences of downtime

Security entrances, such as revolving doors, mantrap portals and turnstiles, are integral pieces of equipment within an organisation. They not only help prevent unauthorised access, but also serve a number of additional access control, workforce management and health safety functions that play an essential role in an organisation’s day-to-day operations. A security entrance in downtime threatens organisations with lower levels of security and higher costs.

When any entrance is out of order, it can affect the access of hundreds to thousands of people a day. Not only is this inconvenient, but also has the potential to damage an organisation’s brand.

Entrances are the very first opportunity organizations have to initiate a first impression. For guests and potential clients, approaching a non-functional security entrance is not only unsightly but is a cause for security concern. The security functionality of an entrance investment is immediately negated if the entrance itself is not working at 100%, leaving organisations vulnerable to infiltration.

Potential security risks include theft, vandalism and violence, the very risks the security entrance was designed to deter or prevent in the first place. Guard services can be hired in order to offset a temporary reduction in security, however these services are expensive. Furthermore, an organisation could be found liable if a security incident were to occur as a result of a poorly maintained security entrance.

If a failed security entrance did not receive any tune-ups or preventive maintenance, it can also be expensive. Security entrances are built to last many years, even decades, with regular maintenance. They also represent a significant financial investment for deploying organisations. With a moderate expense over time, an organisation can keep their entrances in top condition, preventing breakdowns that cost exponentially more than regular proactive maintenance.

What proactive maintenance entails

Proactive maintenance is the act of regularly inspecting equipment and performing preventative repairs while the equipment is currently working as expected in order to prevent future, unforeseen downtime. This includes the physical inspection of mechanical parts (gears, chains, sliding tracks) and electrical parts (sensors, circuit board, voltmeter) as well as diagnostics. Diagnostic testing requires running the entrance through all its functions and modes, testing fire alarm and power loss scenarios for safety and more. Basic parts cleaning and software updates are also necessary.

If this sounds like a lot of work, it is. Rather than undertaking proactive maintenance yourself or burdening staff with such tasks, consider enrolling in a security entrance service agreement. Service agreements are traditionally provided by the entrance manufacturer or installer and include provisioning for proactive maintenance.

Under a service agreement, trained professionals will take care of the regular inspection, diagnostic and service tasks outlined above, ultimately reducing headaches for facility management and alleviating staff, allowing them to continue work in other critical areas.

Benefits of a service Agreement

Not all security entrance service agreements are built the same. Some will be offered directly from the entrance manufacturers and others may be provided by a third party installer. Those offered by the manufacturer tend to be more comprehensive, as they are more product specific, however it is important to review the terms and conditions being offered prior to purchasing both the service agreement and product itself.

That being said, a good service agreement will include proactive maintenance provisions and other benefits that ultimately help organisations save time and money down the road.


The best providers make service agreements customisable to meet the unique needs of each organisation. Regular inspections and proactive maintenance should come as a standard, but more specific recommendations can be made based on the type and location of the security entrance. For example, those servicing or performing maintenance on a security entrance should be able to make suggestions based on changing local or national safety codes.

Additional offerings may include deliverables such as proactive maintenance reports, repair recommendations and even onsite facility trainings. Look for a service provider who is willing to work with you to create a tailored service agreement based on your specific facilities, entrances and throughput.

Skilled labour

When you sign a service agreement with the entrance manufacturer, there are certain guarantees afforded to you; many of them are outlined above. One of those guarantees is the work of reliable professionals who eat, sleep and breathe security entrances. It is these highly trained personnel who are on-site to perform new installs, proactive maintenance, scheduled repairs and more.

They are extensively trained and are working on security entrances every day. There is no one more intimately familiar with the latest software updates, parts and mechanical updates required for the job at hand. All of this translates to a level of expertise so they’re able to quickly troubleshoot and service an entrance with minimal disruption and downtime.

Peace of mind

Since the pandemic, facilities managers have certainly had their hands full. An unforeseen breakdown in a security entrance can immediately enhance risks and workloads. A service agreement with proactive maintenance offers peace of mind for facility managers and their organisations, ensuring they are never caught off guard by an unexpected entrance failure.

Part of this peace of mind is wrapped up in predictable budgeting considerations. Knowing how much to budget a year in entrance maintenance is easier to manage, plan for and pitch to C-suite executives than last-minute, costly repairs. Predictable budgeting reduces financial headaches and protects an organisation’s bottom line from surprise repairs.

In addition to proactive maintenance, many service agreements will include emergency service provisions in the event of an unforeseen breakdown. These provisions can include the wide availability of quality replacement parts and fast shipping that reduces downtime. Other assurances may include guaranteed response times and even discounts on parts and labour. Access to cost-effective and reliable service when needed provides incalculable added benefits and can reduce headaches at a time when tensions are already high.

Additional considerations

Beyond service agreements and proactive maintenance, there are many other service offerings that organisations can take advantage of. For example, retrofits and product upgrades are often available for those who wish to deploy the latest technological advancements. Upgrades are available to enhance a variety of functionalities from safety and security to environmental impact and sustainability. Technical training is also available, which is proven to reduce service times and increase satisfaction.

Long-term care of security entrances does not stop at proactive maintenance or scheduled service. While these service add-ons can reduce costs and risks over time, it is not enough to rely on the work of others to protect a security entrance investment. This responsibility is shared by the organisation and facility owners/managers, as it takes a combination of daily, monthly and annual servicing to operate a security entrance consistently with minimal disruption.

Routine maintenance checks should be conducted on a daily or weekly basis to ensure entrances are operating correctly between service visits. These procedures are relatively easy with online guides and videos available to assist. Appearance and hygiene are also important to prolonging the life of a security entrance. The appropriate cleaning method and frequency of cleanings will depend on the type of finish present on your entrances, but cleanings and disinfecting should occur weekly, if not daily. Though small, completing these little tasks regularly are what helps keep a security entrance functioning optimally for years to come.

Service(ing) to last a lifetime

Without proactive maintenance, there is no telling when, not if, a security entrance will fail. Therefore, the right time to consider a service contract with included proactive maintenance is now. Security entrances are playing an increasingly prevalent role for workforce management and health safety applications, all of which help maintain business operations and maintain new and emerging compliance mandates. Unexpectedly losing just one of these functionalities can irreparably harm an organisation beyond repair. Preventative maintenance helps to protect your entrance investment and your organisation from surprise costs.

This article was originally published in the December 2022 Influencers Edition of International Security Journal. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.

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