A Safer Bet: The Advantages of Advanced Access Control

While staff need to be trained on emergency procedures in case there is an on-property assault or theft, preventing these incidents with strategic access control is the first line of defense. Fortunately, technology in this area continues to develop, even when it comes to the most basic access-control device, the lock. “When equipped with an access management system enabled with online door locks, staff can receive a real-time alert to suspicious activity such as a side building entrance door being left open or a key being used on multiple locks in order to identify the correct door,” explained George Winker, vice president sales, North America, ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions. “More advanced systems able to integrate with elevator and public room access controllers can further provide staff with more complete situational awareness over what is occurring across the property, while also restricting intruder movement without affecting guest convenience.”

The quick identification of a potential threat that these systems allow can make all the difference in preventing a crime. “With the need for haste often vital to the commission of many crimes, modern access management and lock technology ultimately provides hoteliers with a chance to stay a step ahead of industry security risks as they continue to evolve,” said Winker. A corollary advantage of a modern access management system is a savings in staff time. Staff can perform an activity audit on online locks or check their battery life via a secure dashboard without having to physically inspect each one. “Especially when servicing a property consisting of hundreds of guestrooms on multiple floors, such abilities can represent drastic time-savings and a more efficient streamlining of employee resources,” Winker noted.

Hoteliers who invest in advanced access control should still consider future-proofing that system to account for developments ranging from new technology to new security threats to new trends in guest expectations. For that purpose, Winker recommended “door lock solutions that utilize a modular approach to design and components. This importantly allows hoteliers to only upgrade and/or replace components as needed and as business goals change without having to purchase and install entirely new lock units. The enhanced flexibility also facilitates performing any desired integrations with third-party platforms such as energy-management systems.”

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George Seli is the editor of LODGING.