In order to stay in business, shopping malls across the country must remain easily accessible to the public but still maintain a level of security that is in harmony with its purpose and operational requirements. Considering how many people visit shopping malls – over 190 million a month according to the International Council of Shopping Centers – maintaining a safe yet open environment requires a delicate balancing act by mall security.
One means to boost security for shopping centers is key control and management systems, to provide improved control of keys and other small items. Key storage cabinets with automated tracking capabilities are available in a variety of sizes and are ideal for installation in the mall security or management offices. For dual functionality, the same key cabinets may also be configured with lockers to allow for safe storage of items such as PCs, notepad computers, cash drawers and other valuable devices.
In addition to the mall’s security and management staff who may be authorized to access items in the key cabinet, specific keys or lockers can also be accessed by other authorized users such as cleaning staff or maintenance crew, using the built-in keypad and a pre-assigned PIN code. Illuminated key slots to locate the keys, random return capability and messages/user prompt screens are added features that help make systems easier and more efficient for everyone to use.
Individual keys are attached to a key fob containing an identification chip which automatically records the transaction activity for that key – who removed/returned the key and when. Even unusually-shaped or larger size keys that are used to lock outdoor enclosures surrounding the facilities’ heating and air conditioning units can be stored in the computerized key cabinets. For multiple key storage, tamper-proof key ring systems can accommodate several keys on a single key ring and keys can be added or removed without destroying the ring.
The role of security is a critical function within a mall environment and key control and management technology can help improve the overall safety and security by minimizing basic security vulnerabilities.