Guest Room Keys and it's control in Hospitality Operations

Guest Room Keys and it's control in Hospitality Operations


A key consists of a blade and a bow . The lowest part of key is bow. The upper part of key is blade. Key opens lock. Individual head of department are responsible for all the keys in their areas. The house keeping department is mainly concerned with following categories of key :-

1. Emergency key :- 

This key opens all the doors in  the property, even those that the guest have double -locked . In addition, it also double locks the room against all keys . Emergency keys should be well protected and only general manager or security officer should have its access. It should be used in emergency situation such as fire or when guest or employee is locked in room and Need assistance.

2. Master keys :-

These keys open all guestroom doors that are not double locked . They are separated into four level of access :-

  • Grandmaster key :- This key opens all hotel guestroom and often often all Housekeeping storage as well . It can also double lock room. This keys can be used in Emergency situation and is placed  in front office  by keeping itself lock.

  • Master key :- This key is kept by the deputy Housekeeper and will open any internal door that has not been double locked.

  • Section master keys :- These keys open all room in one work section . A supervisor is issued such key as he have to inspect a lot of room. It opens all door of particular section.

  • Floor master key :- A guestroom attendant is given this key to open the rooms he is assigned to clean on floor. floor keys open all rooms in particular floor which are not double locked.

3. Guestroom keys :-

These keys are less powerful as they can open only one assigned room . They are given to guests upon their registration. It only opens one door. Many properties do not list hotel name , address , room number in guestroom keys to prevent its misuse when lost. Guest are asked to hand their keys when they go out and checked out of property

4. Supply key :-

These key are used by the supervisor level staff to ensure that stocks and Equipments are safely stored when not in use . Store keys, office keys and linen room keys are example of such keys 

5. Card keys :-

Many hotel use card key system .special plastic card acts as keys to unlock the doors. The plastic card look like credit cards with magnetic strip. It has got advantage because master key can be easily created and destroyed through computerized card system. Also , if key is lost computer is used to create new room lock code. 




Key control

Key control is the process of reducing guest property theft and other security related incidents by carefully Monitoring and tracking the use of key in hospitality operations. The following policies can be applied for key Control :-

Room keys must not have any form of tag that identifies the hotel

  • Keys should not have room number on them

  • Guestroom number should not be spoken loud . Room number should be shown to guest in writing

  • Guests should be asked by the guest service agents for their keys on checkout.

  • Masters key should be signed each time they are taken out 

  • All keys should be stamped ' do not duplicate'

  • Employee should not be allowed to loan the keys assigned them to each other

  • Employees should handover keys when ever they left the property

  • A record must be kept , how many keys are created

  • If section master key is lost , entire section should be re- keyed

  • If a master or Emergency key is lost ,it must be reported to owner of corporate office immediately by the general manager

  • Magnetic strip card should be used 

  • All master keys should be keep well protected.





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