Due to their peculiarities, access control in student residences can be a challenge. There are numerous common areas, in addition to the residents' own rooms. Fortunately, the evolution in access control technology has provided a solution that is as simple as it is secure: the digital key for residences.
How does access control work in residences?
The most common access credentials for student residences are:
- Mifare Proximity Cards: Just swipe the card through the reader to gain access, replacing the traditional mechanical key. If a card is lost, it can be cancelled immediately; which of course is impossible with a physical key.
- Smartphone: This acts as a digital key using Bluetooth technology. Just place the mobile next to the reader at the gate or the room door with an electronic lock. Even if students lose their smartphone (much harder than losing a key), again their credentials can be cancelled easily enough.
At Omnitec we offer different types of solutions for university residences, depending on the degree of control to be implemented:
Access control using gates and digital keys
At the reception, residents must use their credentials to pass through a pedestrian access control, usually turnstiles. This means any unauthorised person has to go to the reception or porter’s desk to request access. Also, the digital key can be used to access certain common areas and, of course, the room itself.
Access control using digital keys
If the number of residents is not very high and there is no reception or porter’s desk at the entrance, a digital key is the simple option. Residents can then enter their rooms or closed common areas with their card or mobile phone.
When considering shared spaces for groups of residents, such as a kitchen, a laundry, gym or library, one of the interesting benefits for student residences is that access can be programmed by time. For example, residents' access to common areas can be restricted at night. Thus, only people with permission to access during particular times, such as employees, can enter.
Advantages of digital keys in residences
Easy credential management
In just a few seconds, reception staff can authorise or cancel a student's card at the start or end of their stay. The same card (or mobile) can be used to access both the main area and individual rooms. Similarly, employees can access different areas with a single card, with different permissions according to their duties.
Quick response if keys are lost
Losing keys in student residences is very common, and represents a security problem, as both the main door key and room key are usually together. However, if the student loses a card, its access can be cancelled immediately and a new one issued.
In addition to the rapid management after a key is lost, having an electronic lock system improves security by being fully configurable. For example, an extra level of security can be added by installing gates of the type mentioned above.
Control of the use of amenities
Cards can be programmed to prevent intrusions in certain common areas by providing access for residents only. Also, the whereabouts of residents can be traced by an access log.
Greater convenience for employees and residents
Having a single key is highly convenient for both employees (who now no longer need to have a large number of keys) and students (who can comfortably carry the card in their wallet or purse or have access directly from their smartphone). This is highly valued by both employees and students.
If you are considering installing an access control system in a student residence, why not contact the Omnitec team to find out all the available options.