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A brick fire station with open overhead doors and fire trucks sitting inside.

Benefits of Access Control Lock Systems in the Firehouse

There isn’t a second spare. Firefighters work long shifts, have high levels of stress on the job and busy lives, even when they’re not on call. In recent years, many local fire stations are considering the use of access control systems because they offer a range of advantages of this type of building.

Learn about the benefits of access control for first responder dispatch facilities and how it has helped a group of local firefighters increase efficiency when carrying out day-to-day duties.

Advantages of Access Control Systems for Firehouses

Here’s a closer look at the many benefits of an access control system.


Access control systems help secure the facility, vital equipment and hard-working crew. They can grant entry for volunteer firefighters, or career fighters, day or night, and even during periods of high turnover. By programming the system, access can be more restricted to some areas for a higher level of security. Advanced encryption guards against hacking and digital security breaches. Plus, most access system can be integrated with new or existing security systems.


An access system also streamlines routine duties like tracking entry traffic. This is important for departments that need to operate efficiently, 24 hours a day, and manage shift changes.

Centralized Management

System data is stored on a central database. Any changes and modifications can be made regarding a specific entry point or user from any computer and the network of devices will be synced automatically. There’s no need to install any type of special computer software to make changes to the system.

Remote & Mobile Management

The access system can be managed remotely from a special mobile app. With the required credentials, fire chiefs or captains can view entry data, change access permissions and more, from anywhere on a smartphone or computer.

Control for All Types of Access

Advanced systems also work for separate interior spaces, turnstiles, gates, overhead doors and garage-type doors.

Keyless Entry

Rather than worry about replacing lost keys, recollecting traditional keys or rekeying the facility to restore security, fire departments can go keyless. Key cards, fobs or individual access codes can be activated and deactivated easily. There is no need to change the hardware or other users’ access devices if one goes missing or has lost entry permissions.

Case Study

How One Local Firehouse Benefited from Access Control

A few years ago, the East Whiteland Fire Association in Pennsylvania built a new firehouse for their department consisting of both volunteers and career firefighters. Organizers raised $5 million for a new facility that would better serve the unit and the local community.

Leveraging Strauss’ expertise as a locksmith and as part of a firefighting department, it was decided that the firehouse would select the Vanderbilt Bright Blue® access control system and that GV Lock would integrate the technology for the new building.

This system was a good fit for the firehouse, as it’s able to control over 30 access points. Like with most firehouses, the new East Whiteland Township facility operates round the clock. Usually, there are three to four people on the premises at all times. The access program was configured to give all firefighters access to the common rooms, but other areas are restricted.

Installing an access system provided an effective and easy way to manage access at this busy fire station. The 19,000-square-foot facility has 26 different entry points and 150 different users with individual proximity reader access cards. One of the key features of the new access system is a lockdown setting. This is critical for a facility such as a firehouse. When an emergency call comes in, the only thing firefighters should be concerned with is assembling and getting out the door as fast as possible. The lockdown feature works to close and lock the main bay door following fire truck exit.

A matter of seconds can make the difference between life and death, between a total structural loss or one that can be restored. When it comes to emergency public service, anything that can be done to save time and streamline operations should be considered.

Effective Access Control for Commercial Applications

For more information on how an access control system can make your facility’s operations more efficient, contact Great Valley Lockshop today at 610-644-5334 or request a free estimate using our easy online form.

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