At Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, computer-managed (CM) locks, which can be programmed using PDAs, have been used to create a security network, eliminating the need for expensive hard wiring of existing buildings. The locks provide flexible, yet secure access control, and retain audit-trail information for use in security management and investigation.
Before the locks were put in place, the university had problems with people losing keys and with controlling after-hour building access. Its solution was to install a standalone, battery-operated electronic lock on at least one exterior door per building. The university chose the Schlage CM computer-managed electronic locking system. The standalone microprocessor-based, electromechanical system makes it easy to add or delete cardholder privileges. Each door lock features a micro-motor, powered by four common AA batteries that provide a two- to three-year life, or more than 80,000 activations. The standalone design makes installation or retrofit easy for existing cylindrical, mortise or unit lock preps, with only minor modifications and no external wiring.
LockLink Express software is used to manage the data and program the locks. Information from a specific track on the university-issued magnetic stripe card is read into the software. Card information for authorized users then is programmed into the locks for authorized access. The software allows the use of PIN numbers, which can be used individually or in combination with ID cards for higher security.
The campus now has about 30 locks in place in 13 buildings, representing about half of the total. The university eventually will have a lock in every academic building and hopes to complete the upgrade in the next two years.