Helping emergency services respond quicker

Remote access delegation to buildings could transform the way emergency services operate around the world. Recently, ASSA ABLOY ran a pilot project together with ‘SOS Alarm’, who runs Sweden’s public emergency phone number 112. Together they looked at how fire departments manage access to buildings today and how this could be improved.

The possibility to digitally delegate access rights will be important to ASSA ABLOY going forward. As well as transforming the business operating models for organizations like ASSA ABLOY, access delegation could also transform society by making it run more efficiently.

The video below is only available in Swedish but still gives an idea about how digital access delegation allow emergency services to respond quicker

An example of this can be seen in a recent pilot project run by ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions Sweden, one of ASSA ABLOY’s Swedish business units. The project shows how remote access delegation could improve the way emergency services are run, and which could ultimately therefore help save lives.

Access is delegated via software to ‘key updaters’ in which the key holder places the key to receive new access codes

Digital access pilot

The ‘SOS Alarm Digital Access’ pilot involved a collaboration between ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions Sweden and SOS Alarm, who runs the Swedish emergency phone number. SOS Alarm also provides a service to commercial and public property owners whereby fire departments are called out when alarms in buildings are triggered.

“They were interested in the remote access solution as they have realized that they need to try new things to stay relevant,” says Thomas Hellman, project manager at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions Sweden. “They need to add value, particularly to their private customers. Remote access provides a chance for them to increase customer benefits and ultimately save money and lives.”

The pilot involved a test case with one of SOS Alarm’s customers that own properties in Stockholm. “We installed the CLIQ remote system at a property and we supplied the local fire department with CLIQ keys and key updaters,” says Thomas. “When the fire alarm was triggered, the emergency service sent out a message to the fire department along with delegated access to the building.”

Once used at one location, the same key can be programmed to access different locks at different locations.

ASSA ABLOY’s CLIQ Remote system consists of physical keys with advanced electronic functions. Remote access is delegated via software to key updaters in which the key holder places the key to receive new access codes. After it has been used for one location, the same key can be programmed to access different locks at different locations. Access can be granted for specific temporary time periods only.

Far quicker response times

The test case worked well and resulted in the fire service achieving a far quicker response time. “Instead of wasting time by trying to find the right key, the firefighters jump straight into their vehicles and receive access on their CLIQ key via the key updaters located in the vehicle, while driving straight to the relevant building,” says Thomas.

The delegated access concept should also prevent firefighters from having to cause lots of damage by forcing their way into buildings, using axes or other tools. This can be particularly costly for property owners in false alarm situations, of which there are many.

Allowing a trusted service to distribute the access is an innovation. This is a new way of working for ASSA ABLOY.

A new way of working

While the CLIQ technology used in the pilot case is not new, it needed to be integrated with a software platform run by the company that handles the access distribution for the emergency service.

Commonly, emergency services in Sweden have to keep mechanical keys for commercial and public buildings in key cabinets. This local fire department keep roughly 500 keys which are used when fire alarms go off.

Instead of trying to find the right key, firefighters in this pilot jump straight into their vehicles and receive building access on their CLIQ key while on the move.

“From an ASSA ABLOY point of view, the unique thing about this is that someone else distributes the access,” says Thomas. “Normally a system owner would do that, but they don’t get the alarms, the alarm company does. So it makes sense for them to distribute the access via their systems to the fire departments at the same time as they are alerting them to the fire. Allowing a trusted service to distribute the access is an innovation. This is a new way of working for ASSA ABLOY.”

This new type of administrative model, along with making access delegation commercially viable, presents the biggest challenges to taking the concept forward. “We are an innovative company that tries new things with important stakeholders,” says Thomas. “We have not realized this into a commercial solution yet. But we are exploring it.”

With the technology successfully trialed however, it is surely only a matter of time before organizations learn how to work together to apply the technology for the greater good, be that monetary or societal benefits. And eventually ASSA ABLOY might be able to apply remote access delegation to fire or police or ambulance services and actually help save lives.


By Danny Chapman

This is CLIQ Remote

ASSA ABLOY’s award winning CLIQ® Remote is a security locking system, combining the latest mechanical platform with an advanced electronic function.

It provides all of the benefits of access control, combined with all of the benefits and security of a physical key system – offering a flexible modern way of managing access to a door.The CLIQ key

The system allows organisations to grant key holders, regardless of location, remote access to properties or facilities, which saves time and money administering key control.


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