Hotel Security: Key Control Helps to Prevent Liability

Hoteliers strive to provide a memorable guest experience. While this means clean rooms, aesthetically pleasing surroundings, great amenities and courteous staff, hoteliers must go much deeper to create and maintain a safe and secure environment. The control of room keys is one of the cornerstones of hotel security, and guests are entitled to it in addition […]

Hoteliers strive to provide a memorable guest experience. While this means clean rooms, aesthetically pleasing surroundings, great amenities and courteous staff, hoteliers must go much deeper to create and maintain a safe and secure environment. The control of room keys is one of the cornerstones of hotel security, and guests are entitled to it in addition to common law. Key control is the process of reducing guest property theft and other security-related incidents by carefully monitoring and tracking the use of keys in hotel operations.

If you own or manage a hotel, then you should know everything there is to know about e-commerce key control systems and the unique advantages they offer hotel owners, managers and employees. These systems make it easier and more efficient to monitor employee key use than using other means of tracking employees, such as traditional paper-and-pencil key checkout systems.

Read on to learn how electronic hotel key control systems work and the many benefits of installing one of these devices.

How does the electronic key control system work

Electronic key control is a cost-effective security technology solution that has been used in hospitality properties for decades. The key control system informs security administrators where all facility keys are located, who retrieved them and when they were returned.

A hotel key control system usually consists of a metal tamper-resistant safe where all business keys are locked to special key modules. It is available 7/24 to all hotel staff. Key-controlled lock boxes can only be opened when authorized employees provide their unique PIN code, employee card, fingerprint or other form of biometric authentication to unlock the box at a user terminal.

Once an employee enters the lock box, a built-in electronic key tracking system monitors which keys the employee removes from the box and exactly when they are removed. Then, when employees are done using the keys they removed from the box, they use their unique credentials again to unlock the box and replace the key. The tracking system then records who returned the key and when.

The key control system is also equipped with additional advanced features, including the ability to allow only selected, pre-designated employees to use certain keys in the box; the ability to require employees to enter the reason for removing certain keys when they are removed; and other features that help hotel owners and managers customize key access and tracking.

Hotel key control system brings many benefits to hotel owners

Increase employee responsibility

The key control system can limit the user’s access rights and time, give you a 100% key overview, and provide real-time key audit and tracking. Only authorized individuals have access to their assigned pre-programmed keys, which must be returned at the end of their shift. Alarms and email alerts will alert hotel administrators when keys have expired or an invalid user code has been used. When keys are secured and managed and employees are held accountable for their actions, the risk of liability is reduced because key control systems are able to restrict access to areas of hotel property such as mechanical rooms, guest rooms, storage areas and computer server rooms where crime and injury can occur.

When employees know that hotel managers and owners are tracking their removal and return of keys to the master key control system box, they may be more likely to follow workplace protocols accurately and manage their time effectively.

For example, when the exact time an employee removes a key from a break room and returns it is recorded by a key control system, an employee may be less likely to take an extended break without prior approval from a supervisor or other business superior.

Reduce lost key incidents and minimize the chance of commercial theft

Minimizing and eliminating the risk of internal and external threats is a constant consideration for hotel security managers. Threats, both internal and external, are part of the challenges security teams face, including data breaches, vandalism, room intrusion, arson and theft. For sensitive items such as cash trays, computer hardware or safes, security managers can require employees to provide multi-factor authentication or to be authenticated by two people, or the key control system will not release certain keys or sets of keys. Potential liability is also reduced when assets such as personal data and people are protected from harm by limiting access to sensitive and private areas of the hotel.

When a business key is lost, it is sometimes only possible to regain access to certain business rooms and areas by contacting a locksmith. Additionally, losing keys can jeopardize business security.

While a hotel key control system may not eliminate the possibility of employees accidentally losing their keys, when employees know their business executives know who is responsible for the keys, they may be more likely to handle keys with care and take extra steps to prevent loss of keys when lost.

When items are lost in the workplace, not only is it frustrating to suspect that an employee may have stolen them, but it can also be difficult or impossible to determine who took them if you don’t have a critical control system in place.However, if your hotel is equipped with a key control system, you can determine who was in the room where the item was stolen before and after it was lost by checking the key lock box log. When the employee holding the key to the missing item’s room is not responsible for the theft, they may have witnessed someone else take it, or have other evidence that could be used to find the guilty party.

Data sharing among multi-system real-time

Critical control systems, when integrated with access control and other security systems, provide a real-time data dashboard of important real-time information on what is happening in the field. As such, it instantly provides, communicates and connects information across departments. At all times, the integrated security system guarantees the flow of people and activities within buildings and grounds. Unified key control and access control security systems collect critical data and information that provide safety and security benefits by preventing or mitigating incidents of security breaches that could be potentially dangerous or life-threatening to hotel guests and employees. For example, if the key is not returned, the interoperable systems will communicate with each other and deny the individual from leaving the building until the key is returned.

Key control systems are a preferred security solution that maximizes accountability, safety, security and compliance for hotels and hospitality organizations worldwide.

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