31 Oct 2012

Self-Expiring Visitor Badges – Are They Worth the Cost and Full Proof?

Comments Off on Self-Expiring Visitor Badges – Are They Worth the Cost and Full Proof? ID Cards

With fraud and crime an ever present threat it’s important that your business remains as secure as it can be at all times. One of the best ways of doing this is by knowing exactly who is on your premises at any given time. ID cards are regularly given to visitors, staff and clients in order to control access to buildings, but it’s also normal practice to issue self-expiring visitor badges for people who are only going to be in a place temporarily. But what are the risks involved? Do you have a full proof system to ensure people can’t gain re-entry? And are they worth the cost in the first place? Let’s consider these points in turn.

Are these Visitor Badges Worth the Cost?

The great thing about self-expiring visitor badges is that they have been designed to manage and identify the traffic of all visitors who enter or leave a particular facility so that nobody entering a building will go undetected. Case studies over the last decade have shown that visitor badges are an effective way to prevent or deter intruders or potential criminals.

Places like schools, hospitals universities, government and military organizations all use self-expiring visitor ID cards and in the majority of cases they have proven to be a good way to solve any security management issues. Visitor badges tend to be awarded to people such as volunteers, contract workers, representatives and temps. Once activated, a self-expiring visitors badge can last for a set number of hours, depending on how long the visitor is expected to be in the building.

A badge can usually be set for 4, 8, 12 or 18 hours, or can be extended to last for a week or a month. Once the badge expires it will become void and ineffective. At this time, the visitor’s badge will generally display a bright color, word or symbol which will alert the appropriate authorities that this visitor’s time is up. This system allows expired badges to be easily identified by up to around 50 feet due to the visible changes to the badge.

Are they Full Proof?

Unfortunately, it’s not easy to categorize a self-expiring visitors badge as full proof. Despite the innovative way that they have been designed, it’s still possible for fake cards to slip through the net occasionally, However, a genuine visitor’s badge which has been given to an individual will not scan once void, so when attempting to leave the building via the correct channels, the front desk will automatically be alerted to the fact that the person has been trespassing.

If a fake visitors badge is used, it is possible that this person could gain access to facilities, sensitive information and resources. The only way to avoid this kind of intrusion is to keep an up to date copy of any visitors who are expected that day and if any person tries to gain access and their name is not on the list then they should be denied entry. This method would depend on a machine and a person to control who gets into a building so would not necessarily be a convenient system.

Based on case studies though, it is advisable to have a self-expiring visitor badge plan in place in the majority of cases because it does make the day to day management of security easier. Businesses should spend the money on the very best security ID card system that their budget will stretch to because employees have the right to know who they are working alongside. If a person is visiting in order to try and sell office supplies then employees need to know that that particular visitor is a representative from a company. Similarly with contract workers who may be doing electrical or building work for a business. It’s essential that every single person is wearing an ID badge to identify themselves to others.

Do you employ self-expiring visitor badges at your facility? Have you ever experienced a breach? Please share your stories so others can learn from your experience.

Comments are closed.