Security technology for school campuses comes in a variety of solutions. Video surveillance cameras capture images of people and activities while guard patrols and alarm systems help maintain building security. Access control is another popular security solution and many schools have gone to an automated system using cards which may be scanned or swiped to gain access to a building or room.
Still, on every campus there will be a large number of physical keys in use, both from legacy systems and in new construction that is not a part of the electronic access control system. There is still a tremendous range of conventional applications for key/lock systems and these devices are exceptionally cost-effective. It therefore makes sense from a cost as well as a time standpoint to maintain these key/lock systems while increasing the level of security they offer – and key management systems are the perfect solution to this need. They provide an immediate improvement to campus safety and security, are much more accessible in terms of managing costs, and are extremely easy to implement.
Key control systems are designed to store and record the access history of each key, including user, date and time of checkout/return. They eliminate outdated lock boxes, unreliable manual logs and messy key identification tags, all of which have the potential to lessen the level of campus security. With an automated key control system, when an authorised user needs to access a key, they simply input their pre-registered PIN code or scan their card or fingerprint to unlock the tamper-proof cabinet. Stored keys are attached to a locking mechanism with a microchip containing a unique serial number that is read by the system to identify which key is being removed or returned.
In addition to guarding and tracking the actual physical keys, the key management system of today can be integrated into the overall security solution on campus. Administrators can access, program and monitor the system over a network from anywhere. This convenience allows facility managers to access reports, change users, establish permission levels for each user code, monitor data or configure the systems from virtually any location. It’s a tremendous time saver as well as adding to safety and security measures because individuals can be removed from the system quickly and easily.
In all, control of building keys is a very strategic and integral element within the school’s security platform and automated key control systems offer the perfect technology solution to ensure their management.
Fernando Pires is VP, Sales and Marketing at Morse Watchmans