Friday, April 23, 2010

KEYS AND KEY CONTROL

GUESTROOM KEY- Is issued to the guest .As per the new system it has a key card for identification. As per the old system it has a heavy tag which discourages the guest to take it out. The key has a tag which has only the name of the hotel and does not have the room number so that it is not misused when found.
GRAND MASTER KEY-It opens all the guest rooms in the hotel even if they are double locked. One set is kept with the duty manager, the second set is with the executive housekeeper and third set could be with the security. It is used in the following circumstances:
1. In the case of a fire for the purpose of guest evacuation
2. To open double lock rooms if there is no response from the guest for entire day.
3. To double lock a door from outside:
a. If the guest has requested for the room to be locked in this way.
b. The guest has not paid the bill and is suspected of being skipper
c. To prevent entry into the room in case of unusual incidents like thefts, deaths or murders.

ELECTRONIC KEY CARD- Instead of the old keys (keys with a heavy tag) computerised encoded plastic keys are being increasingly introduced to increase more security. When the guest checks in the receptionist prints out plastic key card at the computer console so that all those using the room will have their own card (the guest has to remember his room number for the security reasons as this is not displayed/printed on the card
The computer is programmed to print out different number each time the number is selected. The selected number could be any number between one of the several millions. The door lock is linked to the computer and will only open when the card with the new number is inserted in the slot.The new key card cancels all the previous information in the card.
No one can operate the console without the authorised code (receptionist has the required password to operate the machine).This is done as an additional precaution. The console has a security printer which prints out the security code the room number on the keys issued so that a record is kept of all the transactions. Room attendants and housekeeping staff are issued with sub master key, section key, floor master key, master key which are programmed for the number of rooms in each section (works the same way as the guest key card).For a system such as this it is essential that there is a link with an emergency power supply in case of electricity failure

ADVANTAGES
1. It ensures complete security as no room number is printed on card
2. At the time of issue more than one keycard can be given to the guest if there is a double occupancy in the room
3. It is possible to trace the receptionist who issues the keys from the print out at the end of the day (to avoid unnecessary or extra duplication which may call for security problems)
4. An alarm is set on when a wrong key card is used thereby alerting security.
5. It helps the guest to avail other credit facilities form the various outlets of the hotel. It also helps in conserving electricity in the guest room

KEY CONTROL PROCEDURES
Proper key control procedures are important for the guest security and privacy. Key control also protects the hotel property and the guest property being robbed or stolen. A key control register can be used to monitor the distribution of sub-section master keys and floor master keys. This register should include the date, time and the name of the person who has signed for a particular key. Every time an employee recieves or returns a key he or she is required to sign the register. The person issuing the keys should use his or her initials or sign the lock for each key transaction. In large properties the desk supervisors distributes and recieves the keys from/to the room attendant. At smaller properties the executive housekeeper or the front deck may assume this function. Key belts, wrist band or neck chains are recommended devices for keeping track of the keys. Floor keys or sub section master keys should never be kept on top of a room attendant’s trolley or in guest rooms or in an insecure area. An employee should never open any guest room door except cleaning purpose. Room attendants are also responsible for returning guest room keys if guest leaves the keys in the room. Many hotels provide key lock boxes on the room attendant’s trolley to store guestroom keys. If this box is not available room keys must be kept in a secure area and not on the top of the cart until returned to the front desk. If the room attendant finds the room keys in the corridor or public area the front desk should be notified immediately.

LOST AND FOUND
Lost and found property can be divided into
1.PERISHABLE -Kept in housekeeping department for 24hrs and then either disposed or given to the finder. A gate pass is issued to the finder in case he is willing to take it out of the premises.
The alcoholic beverages like an open bottle of wine or the sealed bottle of any other alcoholic beverages are passed on to food and beverage controller for safe keeping after they are sealed which are kept for 3 to 6 months. The open ones are kept for 3 months and could be drained off after this period. The sealed bottles could be disposed off as per the policy of the hotel after 3-6 months if they are unclaimed.
2.VALUABLES - These are kept in safe deposit box under lock and key for a period of one year. These include electronic items, cash and jewelry. The keys to this safe deposit box are with executive housekeeper. In case of her absence the duty manager has a right to access this deposit box and hand over the article to the claimant.
3.INVALUABLE - They are kept in the cupboard / compartments for a period of 3 months. These include toys, clothes etc. These items are stored in lost and found cupboard which have shelves. The top shelf has the oldest articles which are to be disposed of as per the policy of the hotel if they are unclaimed. The cupboard keys are with the desk housekeeper. There are normally 4 cupboards or compartments, all marked month wise (3 months). For e.g. JAN-FEB-MAR in one cupboard or compartment. This is done for the ease of segregation and for the ease of disposing off the articles.

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