Keeping your doors and windows firmly locked is probably the most obvious and important aspect of securing your business premises, and the wise business operator spares no expense when it comes to choosing suitable locking mechanisms. To that end, many businesses are moving away from traditional lock-and-key mechanisms to secure their doors and windows, and instead turning to more modern, keycard-operated systems.
These simple locking systems use nothing more complicated than a card fitted with a magnetic strip, which is recognised when inserted into the appropriate lock and causes the lock to open. This high-tech solution to an age old problem can have a number of benefits over traditional lock-and-key security systems; however, there are also a few drawbacks associated with keycard locks, so you should make sure these unique locking systems are truly right for your business needs before you invest in them.
What are the advantages of choosing keycard locks?
Easy to use
A keycard does not have to be twisted, or even inserted the right way up, for the appropriate lock to recognise it and grant entry. This makes them very easy to use, especially for people with reduced fine manipulation skills or joint problems -- one of the reasons that keycard locks are so popular in hospitals and elderly care homes.
Cannot be picked
Keycard locks cannot be 'picked' with any conventional lock-breaking methods and are too robustly built to be smashed easily, so they pose a significant obstacle for burglars and other ne'er-do-wells seeking entry to your premises. When properly installed and configured, keycard locks are even capable of distinguishing genuine key cards from counterfeit 'dummy' cards, which are often manufactured by more sophisticated criminal outfits.
If you find that the security of your premises has been compromised and your building needs to be secured as soon as possible, a central cut-off switch can be activated to immediately deprive all locks in your building of power and functionality. This makes keycard locks particularly suitable for businesses that handle sensitive and valuable information or objects, such as art galleries and financial service companies.
Can be reconfigured
Changing the key that opens a conventional keyed lock usually entails completely replacing the lock, a time-consuming and expensive endeavour. By contrast, keycards can be programmed relatively easily, either to open different locks or to function as a 'master' keycard capable of unlocking some or all of your locks. This allows you to switch up your security routines frequently to confound intruders.
If you wish, you can also install keycard locks that keep a log of when they were used and which cards were used to activate them. These records are sent to a centralised server for storage, and can be very useful for helping you find gaps in your security. These records will also be very valuable to the police if the worst should occur and a criminal investigation ensures.
What about the disadvantages of choosing keycard locks?
While keycards are made from tough, flexible plastics, they do not have the durability of a simple metal key and must be treated more carefully to remain functional. The magnetic strip on the back of the keycard is especially vulnerable, and should be kept free of dust and scratches as much as possible.
Easier to lose
With no key fob attached, a keycard can be fairly difficult to keep track of, and may slip out of your wallet or be stolen if left unattended. Lanyards can be used to get around this problem.
For more information, contact a locksmith.