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ADVICE: Hotel facilities need to be kept under lock and key

How many keys or sets of keys do you have for your hotel facilities? Do you have a plan for when they are lost or stolen, or is it something you will simply figure out if the situation arises?

Replacing keys to your spa, gym, function rooms and storage rooms not only cost you unnecessary money, but the inconvenience caused by areas of your hotel not being available to guests can damage your reputation and risk their security.

Tanveer Choudhry, commercial development director for Traka, explains why it’s important for hotel owners to know where their keys are and control who has access to them to protect a hotel’s reputation.

Key management should be an extension of an access control policy but in most businesses, it consists of out-dated manual sign-in/sign-out procedures where there is no efficient way to account for keys.

The problems caused by missing keys is not always eliminated if keys are issued from reception to staff, while keys kept on hooks in open view or in a drawer compromises staff and guest safety. No matter how secure the manual systems may seem, they are susceptible to human error, which can cause temporary disruption in the best case, or lead to permanent reputational damage in the worst cases.

Regardless of the size of the hotel, being able to authorise, secure and monitor the accountability of keys and keysets is something that should not be undervalued when considering the potential security, safety and financial implications of an unsecure business.

Sophisticated key management systems are becoming a popular choice and, while complex and solutions used in larger hotels may seem out of reach for smaller hotels or holiday properties, but this isn’t the case. There are affordable systems on the market that use the same intelligence software and engineering of larger units in easy-to-use, plug-and-play designs.

A business owner may ask themselves a number of questions when comparing key management systems, including how much time is spent locating keys, and how much money is wasted replacing lost, stolen or damaged keys.

Loss of keys can be a regular and somewhat costly occurrence to a business, and if the keys fall into the wrong hands or their location is not known, the keys need to be replaced and locks changed.

When various permanent and temporary users, such as seasonal staff or cleaning services, have access to numerous sets of keys, the location of the keys can easily be unknown, so tracking the obtainability of keysets – and the loss of them – can prove difficult.

Being able allow temporary access to chosen keys is an important feature for any key management system. Making the process of granting and removing access quick and easy for the hotel owner to do is even more important, as access rights can be clearly found and altered if needed, causing minimum disruption to staff and guests.

It is also important to track the whereabouts of keys and control the authorisiation of them to ensure the right people have access to certain areas, which can also help to prevent theft and vandalism of hotel property.

Traka21 is an easy-to-install key management solution holds up to 21 keys or keysets, individually locking keys into place, meaning that only assigned users have access via a PIN, ensuring control and traceability.

Traka21 is available for £1,299, including VAT and delivery (excluding VAT: £1,082.50), here: traka21forhotels.co.uk.

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