What is an Access Control Door System

Photo of author

Nick Dardalis

Updated on

access control on commercial aluminium doors

What is access control on commercial aluminium doors?

Access control is the simple requirement of many shops, offices and other public building to control who can get in and out.  A regular shop wants to welcome all its customers with a door that is permanently unlocked and allows any potential customer to enter the shop.  Access control works in the opposite way in allowing only those that have permission to enter a building or to control before entry, who can enter.

Access control can be as simple as ensuring a door remains locked until the right person can unlock, it either assisted or unassisted. Therefore access control is something we activate every day when we lock our front doors.  We are also faced with access control in buildings we may encounter on a daily basis. Another way of explaining access control is locking and unlocking a door without a traditional key from both sides of the door.

Why is access control beneficial?

For doors, being able to control who enters or leaves a building can be very important.  For example, we have all seen the commercial doors that lead into petrol station shops.  These are all fitted with a simple access control system that can control the flow of people for example during night time hours when generally you cannot enter the shop to pay.

It is a simple electric strike or magnetic lock that provides control of the door to restrict authorised exit.  Access control is far more valuable than simply locking a door as this can be controlled from elsewhere in the building and not at the door itself.

What types of buildings have access control?

There is all manner of residential and commercial buildings that rely on access control every single day.

Blocks of flats and apartments.

If you live in a block of apartments, you will be familiar with the main door into your block that is always locked shut.  You can enter your building with your key.  If anyone comes to visit you, they will buzz your property and you will let them in.  this is access control.

Offices and commercial premises.

When you visit your bank, you cannot have failed to notice the doors in the bank that staff use works with a card or a keypad. Sometimes they are let in by another member of staff.  These doors remain permanently locked, operated by access control.

High-Value Retail Stores.

High-end jewellery and watch stores or other shops selling expensive products often have a security guard at the door. These high-end, or designer stores like to check (and with CCTV) check who is about to enter their store.  It is normal for customers to press a buzzer first.  This again is access control.

Petrol Station Forecourts.

Late night filling stations lock the door to the kiosk at night when it is open during the day. This again is access control.  Filling stations will frequently activate their electric door lock to ‘fail-secure’.  This means when there is no power going to the lock, the door stays locked.


If your place of work has server rooms, stock rooms, money on the premises or needs security in some areas of the building, authorised members of staff use them. These too, are access control doors.

comar 7p.i cde stratford

Types of locks offering access control.

The following are just some of the locks that offer good access control on commercial aluminium doors:

  • Latch locks with electric strikes.
  • Solenoid bolts
  • Magnetic Locks or “maglocks”.
  • Monitored Door Locks
  • Keypad locks whether mechanical or electric.

Most types of access control locks rely on an electric operation.  On commercial doors, there is the option of the standard narrow door stile or the wider section.  Access control locks come in types to suit both narrow and wide hollow stiles of commercial doors.  We recommend a qualified electrician connects the door to the building power supply.  You will find most doors come with the draw wires ready to connect.

 DORMA UK is one company that can provide access control for any type of building.

DORMA UK is already a trusted company in the field of door controls, automatic doors and door hardware.  We work with them on this website to highlight issues such as accessibility, compliance and providing the right door products for the applications.

In the field of access control, security is very important and needs to be considered at the design stage of any new building.  For existing buildings that either come under new ownership or are undergoing a change of use or refurbishment, there is a lot of door hardware designed to be retro fitted to existing doors to quickly and easily change their use, function and enhance their security.

In access control, there is a range of product ranging from a simple electric lock to full electronic fob, ID card systems and readers that offer far more than simple mechanical locks or other products.

The capabilities of access control systems are endless.

there are many sophisticated ways of accessing and controlling doors with modern technology
There are many sophisticated ways of accessing and controlling doors with modern technology

From a small shop looking for something more than a simple door lock to a complete hospital, school or other office building, access control systems can now offer many features and functions.

Typical innovations using modern technology include linking to fire or intruder alarms, connection with CCTV systems, ultimate control and immediate changes as needed.  Access control systems such as those by can also be used across more than one site or set of buildings too.

All types of doors can be adapted with access control such as wood, metal, composite materials and even doors made entirely of glass.

Providing expert help to homeowners and trade professionals since 2010




Get Free help finding the right products from the best suppliers

16:42 30 Oct 23
Nick responded incredibly quickly to my enquiry (on a Saturday too!), and was able to offer invaluable advice on both aluminum systems and manufacturer / suppliers. Thanks Nick!
chris steerchris steer
16:18 09 Oct 23
Had a meeting with Nick during the grand designs show. Was extremely helpful and professional would highly recommend
Chris WesthorpChris Westhorp
19:55 13 Sep 23
Extremely helpful with pointing us in the right direction to find the products we required and suggesting firms that could reliably fit them.Nick was quick to reply and very detailed in his advice.Highly recommend reaching out to them.
Cathy GreenwoodCathy Greenwood
07:03 11 Sep 23
Update - A second email to nick for help on bifolds resulted in a detailed informative reply even on a Sunday ! This guy is so knowledgable and helpful .I approached Nick for an independent view on sliding doors v bifold and the different brand options . His reply was extremely detailed and prompt and allowed me to navigate this often confusing world in a much more informed way . Thanks so much Nick
Anthony CraigAnthony Craig
12:45 05 Sep 23
This is a must site for anyone looking for advice. Great service and very quick answers to questions. Nick has been of great help quiding us through the maze of aluminium products. Thank you
Philip DuffieldPhilip Duffield
20:24 26 Jul 23
I contacted Nick @ ATS for guidance on what aluminium sliding door systems would be suitable for an opening in an extension that is going to be both wide and tall. He came back really quickly with very detailed and incredibly helpful advice. He is clearly extremely knowledgeable about the systems on the market and their respective features and capabilities. If you’re feeling a bit lost by the overwhelming range of choices out there, I’d definitely recommend contacting him.
Dariush HekmatDariush Hekmat
17:25 19 Jul 23
Nick's advice is great. He is always quick to respond and spends time on responses, which really help to make an informed decision.
Alan FosterAlan Foster
07:51 12 Jul 23
Absolutely fantastic. Asked for advice about replacing Crittall (?) windows late last night and early this morning received 3 great suggestions and contact information for suppliers
Rachel LauRachel Lau
09:24 16 Jun 23
Fantastic website full of valuable and pragmatic advice about product selection and comparison: no other website gives information like this. Truly written for public interest. Don't hesistate to reach out to Nick via the mailing system. He responds very quickly, is friendly, and has very sound and high knowledgable advice. I have already shared this with my friend planning her own grand design.
guard Charlieguard Charlie
12:28 14 May 23
I emailed this company just on the off chance they could help me with new magnetic sliders for my patio door. They were not able to supply those but were so very helpful providing me with the name of a company who could. I am so very grateful at the great service. Dare say customers must be very happy. thank you so much.
Benjamin LewisBenjamin Lewis
10:06 04 May 23
Nick is very helpful indeed. Extremely knowledgeable on bifolds which was in relation to my query. Great website as well, some very useful articles. Particularly appreciated the article that lists all the major bifold options in order of their sightlines! Thank you!
P JonesP Jones
08:07 15 Apr 23
I asked Nick some questions about an installation we were considering and he replied within hours with some very useful suggestions that will probably lead us to using a different make and supplier. Thanks, Nick. Great work.
Nicholas WallNicholas Wall
13:18 02 Apr 23
Looking for fair and honest expert advice on all aspect of aluminium windows and doors? These guys will arm you with all the information you need to make the RIGHT choice in a highly complex, crowded marketplace. post a question and you will get a very quick professional answer you can rely on being based on fact. Thanks guys!
Giorgia SiriacoGiorgia Siriaco
16:25 21 Mar 23
After a lot of research to find doors that would meet our unusual size requirements and feeling increasingly uncertain about the best way to spend our small budget, I stumbled on the ATS website, and I'm so glad I did! I contacted ATS to request advice and Nick promptly replied with a wealth of information, providing us with options and relevant contact details. I only wish I'd found them sooner!
Carol NortonCarol Norton
10:01 17 Mar 23
I've been so confused about how to achieve the look I'm after, and going round in circles with various window/door companies, trying to get away from the huge chunks of plastic currently around my windows. I didn't expect an email to a company found through a Google search to really help - but I was desperate, so I tried. I'm SO glad I did. Finally I have clear explanations from ATS of where I've been going wrong, exactly what I'm looking for, and a list of local companies that might be able to provide it! The response has excelled my expectations and I feel as if I'm finally inching closer to a home with which I'll be happy and comfortable: thank you.
David NunnDavid Nunn
20:54 14 Mar 23
It is rare that I write reviews, however after my very positive communication with Nick - enquiring about suitable slim sash aluminium windows for my project, I felt that a review was definitely warranted. I can reinforce the many positive reviews posted so far, Nick was very quick to respond, providing comprehensive detail, with excellent independent advice.In summary, great service, thank you Nick.
Chantal AuerbachChantal Auerbach
13:04 09 Mar 23
Nick from Aluminium Trade Supply was incredibly helpful informative and pleasant to deal with. He responded quickly to emails and was very knowledgeable. Highly recommend being in touch with Nick if you are considering new aluminium windows or doors.
Lee JonesLee Jones
20:21 22 Feb 23
I dropped Nick at Aluminium Trade Supply an email re high security slim sightline bi-folds and their alternatives and he responded that quickly (and so comprehensively) that I felt bad I’d not paid him for his time!Nick Sir your product knowledge is outstanding and you are providing a level of service that goes wayyyy above and beyond expectations. I’ll definitely make sure I mention Aluminium Trade Supply to anyone I encounter looking for a fenestration solution 🙏🏼
15:13 13 Feb 23
We are looking to replace some old UPVC patios doors with aluminium ones. The ATS website is a great source of advice in an area where clear information is sorely lacking. Having used the website, I then followed this up with a number of specific questions relating to our search, and Nick came back very quickly with clear, detailed and very useful advice.I have been very impressed with both the website and with Nick's advice. My only regret is that I didn't come across ATS before replacing various windows in 2021 - I'm sure it would have saved me a lot of grief and money! Thanks again Nick.
Azza McCabeAzza McCabe
17:47 01 Feb 23
So impressed with this company.Responded to my query quickly andgave valuable advice. Nick was extremely helpful and we were able to move forward with our project.
Adri LoloçiAdri Loloçi
11:21 08 Jan 23
Nick was super fast to respond and provided some great recommendations. I would recommend this website to anyone looking to find bifold or sliding aluminium doors.
Stephen HoustonStephen Houston
16:16 03 Jan 23
Looking for aluminium crittall style internal door and external patio French doors. Noted good reviews and thought would ask for advice. Comprehensive reply with excellent independent advice and lists of fitters who could provide products and installation. Great service.
Inga GeachInga Geach
08:25 21 Dec 22
Nick from Aluminium Trade Supply has been extremely helpful with navigating the jungle that is aluminium glazing for our upcoming extension project. His advice was prompt, detailed and always impartial. Very grateful for your input, thanks Nick!
Amanda BurtonAmanda Burton
10:54 16 Dec 22
Brilliant website and an excellent service. Nick provided not only detailed advice and supplier contacts, but highlighted the considerations of various products so I could make an informed choice. Our Sunvista minimal sliders were fitted this week and I couldn't be happier, stunning. Thanks once again for your advice and recommendations, invaluable!
Keith BarnesKeith Barnes
17:18 10 Dec 22
Very helpful advice given to my question, including the name of 3 different companies that i could try for the product being enquired about. Many thanks
Munim ChowdhuryMunim Chowdhury
11:45 13 Sep 22
Nick has been very helpful on signposting me to a number of partner organisations for steel/aluminium doors.
SUSAN wallaceSUSAN wallace
17:26 31 Aug 22
My experience with this firm was exceptionally good and this is notalways the case as a female, dipping a toe into technical waters.I was spoken too with courtesy and at a level that helped me consolidate what was needed .On top of that I was given a list of companies and places where I could obtain the type of product I needed.I could not thank them enough and would certainly go there again and reccommend others do too.
Paul SalterPaul Salter
22:39 22 Aug 22
Contacting Aluminium Trade Supply is like contacting the Oracle direct. Advice is always comprehensive and balanced. On multiple occasions they have provided me with options that fully meet our objectives. Many thanks.
Nick McCormackNick McCormack
20:25 14 Aug 22
Really helpful and useful came back to me on a Sunday with some invaluable information. Highly recommended.
ray addisonray addison
13:14 14 Aug 22
received a prompt reply to my query,and helpful information from ATS