In today’s competitive physical security environment, nothing can torpedo a product faster than poor quality workmanship and spotty performance. Because security is such a critical function in the organization, product solutions such as key control and asset management systems must be designed and manufactured to withstand rigorous use and abuse. Features must be easy to use and provide tangible benefits. Product spec sheets tell some of the story but there are three easy to spot visual clues that can help identify a well-made, effective key control system.
Secure – Sturdy, tamper-resistant key cabinets are usually constructed of 18 gauge steel to maximize the security potential. The doors and hinges are designed to prevent tampering and prying and the locking mechanism is of industrial grade. It is wired to alarm against tampering. Audible alarms should also be triggered if the door is not fully closed within 20 seconds; a user attempts to remove a key they are not authorized to take; or if a key is not returned within the preset time period. Key storage systems should be powered by AC electricity and supported by a 48-hour backup power supply.
Interfaces – In today’s connected world, security products must be capable of system integration. Key control systems designed with network connectivity via Ethernet and with built-in RS-232 for direct connectivity to printers or other devices meet this requirement. With this capability, the system can send alerts to specific computers or to one or more email addresses.
Convenience – Thoughtful design features can make the key control system easier to use. A built-in keypad and an easy-to-use interface with step-by-step instructions allow access by pre-authorized individuals to stored keys. Other convenient design/user features might include the ability to integrate multiple locations, with common usage of databases and programming for a true enterprise-wide solution; the return of any key to any cabinet in the system; queries to quickly locate a specific key; and illuminated key return.
A key control system is a valuable element in an overall physical security plan and its quality should be evident in its makeup and design. We offer spec sheets for all our key control products so you can see how we incorporate these key control characteristics.