SEATTLE, Dec. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A security officer at a class-A high-rise building sets down master keys during his break. Hours later, security and building management staff are scouring the building for the missing keys to no avail. Locksmiths spend two weeks re-keying the entire high-rise. The property owner is faced with an $80,000 bill for re-keying the entire building and the security company who hired the officer sees its integrity compromised and reputation tarnished. Months later, the lost keys are found on top of a vending machine in the break room.
Fortunately, these costly and very common key loss incidents can now be completely avoided with the new ekt (Electronic Key Tether) from Tether Technologies, Inc. ekt is the industry's first and only preemptive key loss solution designed to prevent the loss of keys, especially valuable master keys.
All current offerings in this market are reactive – or "after the fact" – solutions. Biometric access control, electronic key boxes, and behavioral policies all aim to control key check-in and check-out and can alert managers after keys become lost or are not returned on time. The problem: none of those options prevent the loss of valuable keys in the first place.
"I have seen first-hand the enormous monetary and integrity impacts that key loss situations cause," said Randy Neely, founder of Tether Technologies. "I set out to solve the crux of the key loss problem that others seem to ignore – to never lose the keys in the first place. Our mission is simple – eliminate the pain from master key loss."
ekt is a two-unit system that uses an electronic tether to keep the keys within a 10 to 15 step radius of the user, who wears the belt unit. If the keys separate from the user by more than 10 to 15 steps, both the belt unit and the key unit immediately respond with unique alarms. The user's belt unit vibrates and emits a chirp alert while the key unit sounds a loud 85dB alarm and emits a bright LED warning strobe. ekt is designed for industrial environments with usability in mind. The vibration feature can be felt through heavy utility belts, the bright LED strobe is easily seen and the high decibel audio alarm can be heard from long distances.
"ekt is the first product I've seen that gives management true peace of mind," said John Benny, former Chapter President of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA).
High-rises, hospitals, universities, hotels and corrections facilities all utilize master and sub master keys. When a building maintenance or security worker loses or misplaces a master key, often the entire building – or series of floors – must be re-keyed at costs upwards of $80,000. Add in the labor costs of searching for keys, distribution of new keys to employees, potential insurance costs and organizations are facing overwhelming financial repercussions. Other non-financial results can be just as painful, including embarrassment for owners and security vendors responsible for the safety of these buildings. Furthermore, without changing to a preemptive key control solution, this entire process is repeated over and over again in the future.
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