25 Nov TME® RFID Key Management: 6 Things Correctional Facilities Should Know
A growing number of correctional facilities are using RFID technology to modernize and streamline key management. In this post, we break down everything you need to know about RFID before getting started.
Key management is one of the most important functions at a correctional facility. An effective system for identifying and locating a missing key is the only thing preventing liability and millions of dollars in lock replacements.
Unfortunately, most correctional facilities still rely on pen and paper or spreadsheets to track their keys. And the problem with both methods is that you won’t notice a key is missing until it’s too late.
For correctional facilities looking to tighten the security of their facility, TME® RFID tracking offers a better way to manage liability and automate manual processes. Here’s how TME® RFID lets you track your keys in real-time – with less paperwork and manual effort.
TME® RFID Tracking Basics
RFID (radio frequency identification) technology uses radio waves to automate the tracking of assets.
The TME® RFID system consists of three components:
- RFID tags that get mounted on sets of keys.
- RFID Readers that ping the tag and relays information.
- Specialized software that receives data from the readers.
This system lets you rapidly collect data about a given key set and track its location. For correctional facilities, this provides an automated and reliable way to know exactly where your key sets are.
Better Manages Liability
A lost key exposes a correctional facility to significant risk.
If you can’t find the keys in a reasonable amount of time, you must replace every key and lock. For large facilities, this could easily cost a million dollars.
There are also situations where a facility could face steep fines and legal repercussions if they don’t have things in place to protect keys.
Most of all, a lost key poses a safety risk. If a key makes it into the hands of someone with bad intent, lives could be lost.
Despite these high stakes, many correctional facilities manage this seven-figure liability on a piece of paper or a spreadsheet.
TME® RFID offers a better, more secure way to manage this risk. By tracking every key set with RFID tags and dedicated software, you can identify an exposure as soon as it occurs.
Instant Notification of Lost Keys
When it comes to keeping a facility secure, the time between losing a key and knowing a key is lost is significant. It’s the difference between a quick resolution and a prolonged crisis.
With a well-deployed TME® RFID system, you can reduce this number to zero.
Placing RFID portal readers at check points and exits allows you to track any tag – and the key set it’s mounted on – as it passes through. The system uses this information to notify key personnel the moment a key set leaves the facility. You can then reconcile the lost key set immediately.
Locating Lost Keys
In addition to providing a notification, TME® RFID allows you to locate a missing key in your facility.
Because TME® RFID software maintains extensive records of tags passing through checkpoints, you can pinpoint the area where the key went missing. With a narrowed search area, you can then use RFID readers to ping the tag on the key and find it.
This allows you to find a key with a press of a button, instead of two hours searching your entire facility.
This process requires more RFID readers and infrastructure, but provides unmatched, real-time location data for every key in a facility.
Maintaining accurate records is important to staying on top of moving key sets. But creating reports from paper or spreadsheet records is time-consuming and requires significant manual effort.
TME® RFID tracking software provides robust reporting capabilities, allowing correctional officers to transform RFID data into a useful report with the click of a button.
Implementing TME® RFID KeyTracking
TME® RFID key tracking is an easy project to implement.
The only requirement for getting started is an up-to-date server to host the software. In some cases a cloud-based solution is possible and will speed up the process. But many correctional facilities don’t want their systems on the internet.
From there, you just have to share a list of key sets to MASS Group who will then import the dataset and install the software.
Next, your personnel will mount the RFID tags to the keys you want to track. MASS Group will provide directions to the facilities personnel oninstalling the RFID reader portals, either at choke and exit points or throughout the facility. The density of hardware will depend on the goals you’re trying to achieve.
Once the hardware is deployed, your TME® RFID system is ready to go. The process is fast, usually taking only about 30 to 40 days.
Key Management is a mission-critical yet resource-intensive process. TME® RFID can make it so much easier and less painful. With the right RFID system in place, correctional facilities can track their keys with precision and minimal manual effort.