In April of 2019, a set of master keys that provides almost total access to O’Hare Airport were lost and never recovered. The keys granted access to roughly 100 perimeter gates, 150 other gates on the grounds and an “unkown amount” of doors, elevators and washrooms at O’Hare. There are only a handful of these clusters of master keys. They’re kept by Chicago Department of Aviation security officers who patrol the grounds, a line of defense against terrorists and trespassers. So they’re supposed to be closely guarded.
To learn more about this breach in security at one of the major U.S. airports read the full article by the Chicago Sun Times here.
TRUE KEY LOSS CATASTROPHES AVERTED with the GRAVITY
Let me clear up the confusion on key loss, key finder, anti-lost, key tracker devices: all of these devises are designed to provide help AFTER you have lost your keys except for the only pre-emptive key loss device designed for commercial use – the Gravity.
While it may be tempting to think a device like the Tile or Tile Pro costing $50 or less will provide adequate protection and will help find missing keys, this type of AFTER the fact key loss device is completely the wrong solution in a commercial setting.
For one the thing the Tile and devices like it require that it be used with a smart phone. Facility Managers and janitorial and security companies do not want to incur the expense of buying and maintaining smart phones for janitorial and security staff and prefer to use radios which are far more effective in buildings as cell signals are not always strong in basements and mechanical rooms. Furthermore, the radios are kept on site and there are no excuses about leaving smart phones at home, having low charge, or using smart phones for personal use.
Waiting till AFTER an employee realizes their master keys are missing, is problematic as keys can be lost in a significantly larger area (ie 1,000,000 sf building, large shopping center, hospital, etc.) and can cost hours of lost productivity and much more stress than simply misplacing keys in one’s home. Also , while it is inconvenient to lose one’s personal keys, it can be a career-ender to lose master keys at work as your reputation is at stake as well as causing a huge liability.
Let me give you a true key loss story from a real event that could have been disastrous for the janitor, janitorial company and the property manager if the janitor had not been wearing the Gravity, the only pre-emptive key loss device on the market.
A distracted janitor for a large office building is holding her master keys in her hand along with a garbage bag and unknowingly throws her keys along with the garbage bag into an outside dumpster and walks away. Thankfully, after only walking a few steps away from the dumpster, the belt unit of the Gravity device she was wearing starts vibrating and audibly alarming and she is notified immediately that she has been separated from her keys. She retraces her steps and can hear the key unit alarm and looks into the dumpster and because the key unit LED light is also flashing she easily spots her keys in the dumpster and retrieves them. Key loss catastrophe averted!
Let’s play out this same event as if she had the tile on her set of master keys. It would only have been when she needed to use her keys again that she would have noticed her keys missing and she could have been anywhere in the large office building. How long would it take her to retrace her steps? Would her cell phone work adequately in the building and would she have enough charge to walk around searching for her keys? Would she be able to hear the ping of the device over the sound of vacuum cleaners? Would she have found the keys before the outside dumpster had even more trash put into it? Would she have been able to hear the ping if the dumpster was full of garbage bags? What if she continued her shift, afraid to let anyone know she lost her keys and the outside dumpster had already been picked up and contents were on their way to the dump? AFTER the fact key devices are completing inadequate in a commercial setting.
This type of key loss/misplacement happens quite often as janitors are being asked to clean more square footage and to clean faster to keep their companies fees competitive.
The Gravity electronic key tether can save jobs, contracts and reputations and is the optimal commercial-grade key preventions solution that is used by prestigious universities, hospitals, national security and janitorial companies that don’t want to risk master key loss.
What do key cabinets, electronic key tethers and IOT (Internet of Things) have to do with key loss prevention? Check out the February edition of Locksmith Ledger International’s article on Institutional Application of Key Cabinets. The article details a variety of institutions from colleges and universities to health care facilities to government agencies and their unique requirement for key control. A variety from simple to complex key cabinets are also featured with cost per key ranges and features to aid in selecting the best key cabinet to provide security to valuable master keys. The article also features the Gravity electronic key tether which is a beneficial supplement to key cabinets. While the key cabinets secure master and critical keys while not in use, the Gravity secures the master and critical keys to the user and prevents key loss while in the field. The combination of a key cabinet that fits the needs of the institution plus the utilization of the Gravity by personnel in the field provides the ultimate in key control protocols.
The Tile Mate a small plastic square you hook to things likes your keys (among anything else you want to attached it to) and supposedly is designed to prevent key loss . However, you must have a cellphone with you and have the smartphone app. It is only AFTER you mark your keys as lost on your cell phone app, that the chip in the tile will ping (audible alarm only) your phone when you’re within 150 feet of the lost keys.
So in order for the Tile Mate to work, (1) you have to have a cell phone and (2) use the app AFTER you notice your keys are missing. Also, you can’t change the batteries and once they are dead, you must get a new Tile Mate. Perhaps a decent solution for your personal keys but if you are responsible for master or critical keys at work, the Tile Mate is inadequate.
With the Gravity, you don’t need a cell phone, and you are notified via THREE alarms (vibration, audible and strobe light) BEFORE you are separated more than 10-15 feet from you keys.
In summary the Gravity is the ONLY preemptive electronic key tether device on the market. It alarms three ways BEFORE you lose your keys. Batteries last 6-9 months and the Gravity comes with a one year warranty. The Gravity is an industrial grade product for janitors, security officers and building engineers – anyone that is responsible for master or critical keys.