4 Tips for Preventing Key Loss

key lossIn any large property, whether it be a factory, military base, school or multifamily community, the danger of lost keys is an ongoing concern. Unfortunately, key loss happens all the time, usually due to poor organization, human error or both. Every time it happens, your building becomes more vulnerable. When high security is required, locks must be changed whenever a key turns up missing — a costly prospect. Electronic card keys can mitigate this risk because they can be programmed to expire, but few management companies have the money to transition all doors and locks to card keys. So how can you prevent key loss, or at least make the risk more manageable? Here are four tips to help out:

1. Set up an established protocol

One of the best ways to keep keys from wandering off is to have an established system in place for managing them. If you and your staff always know where the keys are kept and how to check them in and out, the rate of key loss is reduced significantly, simply because you always know where the keys are supposed to be.

2. Implement a tracking system

Of course, having a key check-in/check-out system is only part of the solution here. The other piece is to have a tracking system in place — an auditing system by which you document who has which keys, for what purpose, when they checked them out, when the keys are due back, and when they actually get checked in. This way, you can quickly identify anomalies in the patterns, and if a key does go missing, you’ll always know who had it last and can trace it back to the point at which it was dropped.

3. Store keys securely

When keys are not in use, they should themselves be kept locked in a safe place. The worst type of key loss is the one in which keys are left out and “lifted” by someone who has no business with them. Keep keys safe, and restrict access so only authorized people can get to them.

4. Train your staff

Whatever protocol you set in place for key management, make sure your entire team is trained in how to access keys, how to check them out and in, and how to carry the keys when they have them. The more consistently the protocol is practiced, the easier it is to detect unusual behaviors — and of course, the fewer keys are lost due to oversight or negligence.

There’s only so much you can do to offset human error, and even with the best systems in place, you might still lose a key from time to time. However, these tips can go a long way toward preventing key loss or reducing the occurrences of it. For more information on effective key control, contact HandyTrac today.

6 Facts You Need to Know About Key Loss

key lossHere are 6 facts about the reality of key loss and why you should take preventive measures to avoid the risk and cost associated with losing keys.

1 – Re-keying a multi-tenant high-rise can cost upwards of $80,000 and take several weeks to finish. Even with insurance, an average deductible would run $25,000.

2 – Key loss is not only a security and cost issue – it’s also a credibility and integrity issue for security firms and property management companies.

3 – The majority of keys today are simply protected by the traditional key ring attached to a belt loop. This method of key control has remained unchanged for well over 100 years.

4 – During the London 2012 Olympics, a set of keys was lost for Wembley Stadium, a major sporting venue. Replacing keys and locks costs tens of thousands of dollars. Reference

5 – Re-keying the buildings on a typical college campus can cost up to $100,000. Last January, USA Today reported that the loss of keys costed College of William and Mary close to $500,000. Reference

6 – G4S was forced to spend £500,000 changing ALL the locks at prison after guards lost the keys. Reference

About HandyTrac

For over 30 years, HandyTrac has been the low-cost leader in multifamily, student and military housing key control; managing keys for more than 3,000,000 apartment homes nationwide. Our cloud based systems offer instant access to archived reporting and provide the ability to manage your communities with a single login through your computer or smartphone.

Written by Shannon Arnold. Originally posted here.