Thursday, July 16, 2009

Are Electronic Locks Right for Your Property?

This is a guest post written by Yvette Felix from Saflok. For more information, please visit their website or contact her at

Why Choose Electronic Locks?
Choosing an electronic lock system for your property does more than secure access control and enhance safety and life security. Selecting the right system for your building’s unique needs could mean increased operational efficiency and a significant return on investment, not to mention serve as a unique selling point for potential residents. Here are some critical considerations to keep in mind.

Choose a stand-alone lock. Installing a hard-wired system is a significant investment. Battery life in a typical stand-alone lock is approximately two to three years under normal use — a long time to be sure, but it's best to incorporate a battery change into your maintenance schedule at turnover to alleviate any confusion and to ease record keeping.

Streamline Operations
If electronic locks are deployed site-wide (both in the common spaces and at the apartments), the residents only require one key to get anywhere on the property, whether it's the parking garage, the fitness center or there apartment.

Electronic locks for multifamilyElectronic locks also help eliminate lost-key related issues and streamline the move-out process in all types of multihousing properties. A new key should automatically re-key a lost or stolen key by canceling the old key. You shouldn’t have to hassle with the use of a re-keying device on the locks. Especially in situations where the master key is lost, there is no need to re-pin all the locks on your property.

Protect Yourself
Electronic lock audit trails are an important feature to consider. This use-history report details exactly who has been in and out of an apartment or restricted areas throughout your community — this becomes an especially useful report in the event of theft, giving you better control over your liability.

With an electronic system, you also can program various access levels on a key. For example, a visiting contractor could be given a key that gives him access to only one room on the property and the key could be programmed to work only during a specified time.

One Size Does Not Fit All
Don’t forget, one lock sometimes doesn’t fit every door requirement. So choose a provider with a complete lock line-up with unique products for different applications such as common access locks, and locks with unit and suite configurations.

Also, make sure that the locks are ANSI/BHMA-certified. Certification speaks to the fact that the lock has withstood appropriate testing, and adheres to usage parameters and safety criteria as defined by nationally accepted standards.

Do you use electronic locks at your property? What has been your experience? If not, what is preventing you from trying them? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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