Card Access instead of Physical Keys for Building Entry

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Card Access instead of Physical Keys for Building Entry

Postby JeffTurgeon » Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:07 pm

I'm in charge of all of the keys (physical) for our meetinghouse. Prior to me having this assignment it appears as if there was no record as to who had been given a key. This has caused a substantial problem as we have a ton of keys floating.

I'd love to just rekey the outside entry doors and switch over to something like a proximity card (meaning you would bring it in close proximity to a wall-mounted reader so it could stay in your wallet/purse to gain access) for the main entrance. Bishopric members would have a card and key in the event of system failure.

  1. When someone gets a calling/release/or moves (happens frequently) I could just go into the computer and give them access or delete their access without having to chase after a physical key
  2. I would also have a record of who came in and at what time
  3. I could put restrictions on individual cards (like no entry after 10PM or on Monday nights)
  4. I could grant full access to certain cards (Bishopric/Maintenance = Full Access)
  5. A lost prox card could easily be deleted from the computer

Once someone reads-in they could always dog the door open so it would be unlocked so others arriving after them could simply pull it open like normal.

A minimum system with only 1 reader and one electric door strike can't cost too much and it would surely help control access.

If funds allowed we could add a 2nd reader/strike on the clerk's office door as this is used by many callings to access MLS. The Bishopric and Librarian could still have a key for their rooms or if not too costly we could put readers there too. Closet keys would be the only key needed for typical members.

Does anyone know the church's stand or thoughts on such a device?

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Postby russellhltn » Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:12 pm

You'd need to work through the FM group. To get their cooperation, I'd suggest working though the stake presidency.

I've heard of some units having electronic keys. I'm not sure what the criteria is.
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Postby aebrown » Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:07 pm

This kind of system is already implemented in many meetinghouses. Our FM group installed such a system throughout our stake (and I assume all the other stakes they are responsible for) a while back. They control the access (not the ward or stake), but they respond quickly to our requests.
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Postby marianomarini » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:57 am

In our stake we use electronic hierarchic keys. A key with a trasponder that open the appropriate door according the calling you have.
(Sunday school President doesn't need boiler room access). This is done via mechanical and electronical system.
This way the stake President have just one key for all Meeting houses of the stake.
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Postby gregwanderson » Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:47 pm

We've been using electronic locks on exterior doors for at least 15 years already. The exact type of key changed once. Now we use a "key" that you hold up to a sensor rather than actually inserting it into a lock. They're all numbered so that if someone loses their key it can be deactivated remotely without affecting the other keys. Also, the lock is programmed to prevent overnight access (and access after about 6 PM on Mondays). Only the Bishopric, Ward Clerk and Executive Secretary have 24/7 access.

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Re: Card Access instead of Physical Keys for Building Entry

Postby ricnel » Fri May 17, 2013 3:53 pm

Our Stake has key card locks on all exterior doors, stake offices, bishop and clerk's offices, libraries, baptismal fonts, and mechanical closets. The locks are like the ones at most hotel and motels where you insert the card key in a lock and pull it out. The light flashes green and you can open the door. A number of stakes in our area had them installed about 8 or 9 years ago.

When the locks were installed, our stake asked for permission to purchase the hardware so we could issue the keys and control them. This would be done at the Stake's expense. We were advised that this was not allowed and the FM Group was required to control, maintain and oversee the hardware. Our FM Group is very good at issuing the keys we request.

Pros -
It is great for managing keys. You can program keys for a few days, months or years. Our FM Manager codes the keys to expire every 2 years. We then re-issue new ones. If a member is released from a calling and won't return their key, or has conveniently lost it, a new key can be issued to deactivate the old key.

They can be programmed allow access to different levels -- common level for all common doors such as the front door, baptismal font, kitchen, etc. A higher level which includes a ward's bishop and clerk's offices or even on the stake presidency's level which opens all key card doors in all 5 buildings in the stake.

The great part is our Stake President only needs to carry one card key around with him which gets him into all of the buildings and any other door with a key card lock.

Cons -
Magnetics and cell phones can deactivate the key cards. It is amazing how many people don't realize they have a magnet near their key card. One bishop was asking for a replacement key every few days. I told him he needed to be careful and keep his card away from magnets. He said he did and showed me he kept his card in his side coat pocket. Right under his coat pocket was his cell phone. His cell phone clipped to his belt and there was a magnetic closure to keep his phone in place. When I pointed this out to him, he had a Homer Simpson moment - "Doh!"

This system is only made for a limited application and can be very expensive. Our FM Group used this system for 5 or 6 stakes which included some 30 or more buildings. It wasn't designed for this many buildings with all of the potential levels of access in 5 stakes. As a result, we overburdened the system and after so many problems, most of the building are having the locks removed and regular metal key locks installed. If there was one system per stake, it would work fine, but it can be expensive if you run into problems with the locks. Only a factory representative can work on the locks.

If a battery goes dead, then everyone is locked out. They are supposed to flash amber when the battery is getting low, and then the battery can be replaced. However, we have had many instances where the battery just goes dead, and you can't get in. If the lock is completely dead, the memory is lost and the lock has to be reprogrammed.

All of the interior key card locks have a high security metal key lock in them as a back up. We were only issued one of these metal keys for our stake. If a lock was dead, I often got calls to come open a door. The exterior door locks did not have a back-up metal key lock in them. We never had an instance where anyone was locked out of a building because the battery died. This was because we had more than one exterior door with a key card lock.

As a number of stakes in our area are converting back to metal key locks, our stake is hopeful that we will be the only stake using these locks. When this occurs, then it shouldn't be a problem. Our Stake President want to keep the system in place. He like only caring one key with him.

Our area was experimenting with these types of locks. It was deemed a failure because the system was overburdened, any repairs from the factory were expensive, and it consumed too much of the FM mechanic's time to reprogram or replace batteries. Maybe there are other systems that could work, but the system we used was not recommended for use in other areas.

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