Rolling blackouts or brownouts, nearby thunderstorms, transformer failures — there are a number of things that can cause power outages, and most of them are unpredictable. That's why it's important to always be prepared for an interruption of power when it comes to your electronic key control system.
Here are some tips that can help you continue business operations even when you're suddenly in the dark:
Use a Manual Override Key
If your machine has a manual override key, it's important to know exactly who has it and where it's kept. In the event of a power outage, the override key is the only way to access the drawers, preventing bad actors from trying to take advantage of your bad situation. Store the override key should securely away from the machine but somewhere that allows an administrator or a manager to access it quickly during an outage. If the administrator leaves the company, make sure you know where the key is and assign it to a new administrator or manager.
Run Inventory Reports
The physical key tags in your electronic key control system shouldn't be labeled. This keeps keys anonymous, so if they're ever lost or misplaced, they can't easily be linked to a specific vehicle, apartment, or asset. However this also makes it more challenging to determine which keys are in the drawer during an outage, which is why it's important to run regular inventory reports.
Inventory reports should provide a list of the keys that are in the drawer along with the keytag ID associated with each one. Having a recent report available is crucial to your ability to manually track keys during an outage. For security, any printed copies of the inventory report should be kept with the administrator or manager at all times.
Use an Uninterruptible Power Supply
A backup of the system should be done at least once a day. That's why it's important to connect your system to an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), which will provide emergency power for a short duration in the event of a primary power source failure.
A UPS should provide power to the system long enough that you can run a manual backup and get an updated inventory report immediately after an outage. Running the backup after an outage should be the system administrator's responsibility, and a line of succession should be designated in the event that the administrator isn't available.
Preparing for power outages is an important part of ensuring your key control system can withstand a disaster. Establishing a responsible administrator with access to a manual override key, maintaining up-to-date inventory reports, and investing in a UPS are essential strategies to operational continuity.