Hotel Card Lock Systems
A few decades ago, one was handed a plastic key fob attached to a metal key when checking into a hotel. But recent technology has greatly changed the way hotels manage and utilize their door entry and locking systems. These days a hotel guest is given a slender, plastic key card to obtain entry to his or her room.
Hotel key cards use electromagnetic strips to activate the lock and allow entry. Door lock systems are usually wired to a separate electric system with a backup generator, ensuring that guests will still be able to enter and exit their rooms even if the hotel experiences a loss of power. Hotel key cards are usually the size of a credit card or driver’s license and, unlike traditional mental keys, can easily be slipped into a wallet, clutch, or pocket. Hotel key cards are programmed from a remote location usually located at the hotel’s front desk or security office. Because of their many security and economic advantages over basic metal key and lock systems, hotel card lock systems have become the general hotel industry standard.
Hotel card lock systems have very many security advantages over traditional metal key door entry systems of times past. Unlike the standard metal key locks, key card lock cannot be picked due to the fact that there are no accessible openings and no moving parts which can be manipulated to allow unauthorized entry. Lost hotel key cards can be immediately deactivated at the front desk upon notification by the room guest, and customer can rest easy knowing that anyone who finds their lost card will not be able to enter their room and cause theft or harm. Key cards do not have room numbers stamped on the surface, so anyone finding a hotel key card will not know to which room the card belongs, making much harder for a found key to be used on a guest’s room without their authorization.
Some of the more elaborate hotel card lock systems feature a complex monitoring system with the ability to provide computer-generated reports detailing the use of a door lock during any requested time period. These reports allow hotels to monitor not only their guests, but also their staff members. If a question of theft, assault or any other type of crime should occur, the use of these reports will allow authorized personnel to view the person or persons having access to the room by use of the associated key card.
In addition to benefitting from the above mentioned security advantages, hotels that utilize a key card lock system also benefit from many economical advantages. The system of instant key replacement greatly reduces incidents of theft and vandalism, thus reducing the cost of property and liability insurance premiums paid by a hotel establishment. Lost key cards are less expensive to replace than standard metal keys and hotel guests get their replacement cards immediately. And hotels find it far less expensive to reprogram a key card using a computer than it is to manually replace a metal key and/or door lock using a locksmith.
Those hotels utilizing the advanced monitoring systems with report-generating capabilities spend less resources tracking and managing hotel employees. Hotel-provided services such as housekeeping and room delivery provide staff workers with identification cards that allow entry into a guest room, hotel storage areas, or office. Storage areas containing high-value items may require additional security. By issuing specific key cards to staff workers with high-level clearance, a hotel can more closely monitor their cash and items of high value belonging to guests or workers.
Utilizing a hotel key card entry system can be quite profitable for hotels. In addition to containing the logo and address of the hotel in question, many key cards also contain colorful advertising for local businesses that are in the vicinity of the hotel for which local business or services pay premium prices. This type of advertising provides multiple benefits for local business as well as the hotel providing the promotional advertisement. These advertisements can contain offers that are beneficial to hotel guests such as a percentage off a purchase, or a buy-one-get-one free deal.
Hotel guests do not have to bother with clipping coupons or advertising fliers to take advantage of these offers. Instead, they simply have to present their room key to benefit from a discount or offer. Key card advertising introduces business and services of a nature of which a tourist or hotel guest may not have been previously aware. For example, a seaside hotel may offer guests a percentage off the costs of parasailing or snorkeling lessons. Or a hotel at a ski resort may offer a discount on purchases made at a local sporting goods store that sells ski or snowboarding equipment.
Hotels can also use key card advertisement to cross-market the hotel, itself. For example, guests staying at a hotel can present their room key and enjoy the benefit of receiving a free drink with their meal, or receiving a percentage discount on their overall tab. Hotel key card advertisement can also include brand name product placement. While the product placement itself may not offer any type of deal or discount to the hotel guest, the placement of a nationally known brand of automobile, bank, or other large corporation will provide credential for the hotel, letting the guest know that they are staying at a well-endorsed establishment.