Managing the consequences of a natural disaster or other emergency is easier with preparedness activities in place. Planning for these activities includes knowing the facilities’ vulnerabilities, identifying resources, developing policies and procedures and so on, all of which can help lessen the impact of an occurrence.
In identifying resources, key control systems are a valuable tool because they enable facility/security management to keep an accurate accounting of every key. When time is critical, up-to-date and reliable information can be accessed quickly, allowing personnel to carry on with established procedures regarding secure areas or valuable assets. For example, if company vehicles must be moved out of a basement parking garage because of potential flooding, doing so quickly and efficiently can depend on how quickly each of the vehicle keys can be located. Immediate confirmation of where the keys are or identifying who has possession of them can make the difference in saving or losing company assets.
Computerized key control systems securely and safely store keys in access controlled key cabinets. Users must enter their pre-programmed PIN code on the cabinet’s built-in keypad or scan their access card or biometric identification to access a key. To ensure the security of the system, each key is locked into place inside the key cabinet using a locking device with an integrated chip. This unique feature also ensures that each time a key is taken from or returned to the key cabinet, the activity is recorded – who took the key, when they took it and where they returned the key.
Networked systems transmit activity information to a central location and for added convenience, key control systems can be monitored and administered remotely from PDAs or smart phones as well as from the desktop.
Key security and key management are integral to a proactive emergency plan. The use of key control systems in environments such as universities, medical facilities, corporate/commercial buildings and hospitality/gaming operations provides an effective solution for both key control and emergency preparedness.