Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Electronic Key Control’s Role in School Security

Key drawn on chalkboard
Electronic key control is an essential component of a school district’s security program. When keys fall into the wrong hands, schools risk not only loss of assets but lives as well. This is clear from several missing-key incidents reported this year.

In Massachusetts, police were investigating a bomb threat at Newburyport High School when they discovered a 16-year-old (who was not connected to the threat) was carrying a school master key and butterfly knife. During a separate incident, a missing set of master keys forced an entire school district in Oregon to re-key 16 schools, costing approximately $50,000.

School key control mishaps are not always confined to campus premises, however. When a school bus driver in Maryland left her position, she left the key to a year-old $106,000 bus inside the glove box — a decision that enabled a man and woman, both intoxicated, to take the vehicle on a dangerous excursion. Thankfully, no one was harmed, but the bus struck an electrical tower and eventually crashed into the woods, causing extensive body and engine damage to the vehicle.

When it comes to school security, electronic key control provides two key benefits: restricting access to keys and automatically documenting an audit trail of key usage.

By keeping keys in an electronic key control system that controls user access, schools can cut down on incidents in which keys are either lost or end up in the hands of unauthorized people. If an incident does occur, the audit trail created by an electronic key control system can help police and school officials quickly identify who last checked out a specific key or set of keys.

For more information on using electronic key control to cut down on missing keys, read our post “Do You Know Where Your Keys Are?

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