Leave Your Key Ring at Home Access Control Cards and Key Fobs Are the Latest Devices for Door Access

Cards to gain door access are making keys a thing of the past. (iStock)

It used to be that when you wanted to get into your building or apartment, you would have to pull out your ring of numerous keys and flip through them until you find the one that opens the door. Fumbling through the ring for the right key may seem an endless process and can be made more difficult under inclement weather or in the dark when the light is broken.

Luckily, keyless entry has become a more convenient option. It isn’t just something you hear about in a car commercial anymore, as the idea has been adapted by buildings. At their most basic function, keyless entry merely requires an electronic card with a magnetic strip, or a key fob that is not entirely different from what you would get with a new car--both of which would be easier to pull out of your pocket rather than a key that looks like every other key.

How It Works

“Keyless entry is usually a term for access control,” says Mike Brenner, director of business development at Advance Security & Intercoms in Yonkers, New York. “If you have an intercom system, you can have a separate card reader with access control to get into the building, or you can have it integrated into your intercom.”

Brenner says that you basically carry a key fob, walk up to the intercom, and then you go in as you would with any access control system. These systems can also be used for security purposes by tying it to your elevator system, for example. “You can also limit who has access to the elevator; you can’t use it without a key fob unless someone from an apartment activates it for you from their end.”

In addition, the days of residents making a copy of their key for every random friend are gone, since it’s much harder and more expensive to reproduce a key fob.

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