Streamlining Residence Hall Life with Smart Access Control

November 21, 2019

dorm building front

Doors are at the front of our minds and buildings when it comes to thinking about security. But there are many more doors in one of the most special types of campus buildings — residence halls. Residence halls can contain hundreds of doors that are accessed several times a day. Security of these doors is critical to protect the property and privacy of on-campus students and residents’ security.

Many residence halls are still secured with antiquated technology like traditional locks and keys. A single lost key has safety, time, and cost repercussions. Students, residence managers and facility managers all benefit from employing an access control solution with smart locks.

Hardware for Campus Residents

The typical residence hall is arranged with at least one main entrance. Within the hall, students live in dorm rooms, with typically two to a room. The average student will have a key that grants them access to their hall and room. 

It’s easy to imagine the risk of losing a single key. Losing the hall key makes it possible to for anyone to access what is essentially the “house” of hundreds of students. Losing a room key leaves the property of two students vulnerable. 

In addition to safety issues, losing a key is an inconvenience. If a student loses a key at the wrong time, such as late at night on a weekend, it can be difficult for him or her to get into the room or residence hall. In the case of losing a dorm entrance key, the burden is often left on their classmates to verify that their request for entry is valid. 

Smart locks can provide a solution to all of the problems that residents experience. Smart locks can be accessed without keys, and allow for a variety of access methods. Students can use codes, key cards, key fobs or a combination of those to enter their building and room. With the right integration, students could even use an app to request access as needed.

Software for Housing Facilities Managers, Hall Directors and RAs

Lost keys also carry a hefty cost — both in time and resources. When students report lost keys, residence directors have to move quickly to replace them. This process often involves rekeying locks, administering new keys to students, and documenting that the process occurred. Facilities workers need to be deployed to carry out the work, and additional staff have to ensure that students pay for losing their keys. 

Key loss, then, is costly in a number of ways. There are the direct costs of key and lock replacement, but also the external costs of having housing staff break from their normal work flows to attend to the replacement process. Facilities and housing departments stand to save greatly from employing a system for security that eliminates the need for traditional keys. 

Smart locks provide the technology to physically secure rooms and buildings, but software can be used to streamline the execution of securing and allowing access to residence halls. Residence directors or facilities managers can easily manage who has access to any lock, and when they can access it. This eliminates the cost and time of key replacement.

Combining Hardware and Software for a Complete Solution

Campus Life facility managers looking to make security easier for themselves and their residents can find an answer in a combination of smart lock technology and the access control software that can manage it. Smart locks that don’t rely on handling keys makes it easier for students to take control of their own security, and access control software gives residence hall staff the ability to preserve resources and reduce costs. 

The RemoteLock team has provided smart locks and access control software to companies and institutions across the country. Speak with one of our access control consultants to explore ways to modernize your campus’ security.