A commercial keypad door lock

 

When it comes to controlling access within your building, choose a solution that’s easy to use without compromising security. One popular option is installing commercial keypad door locks.

With that said, every building has unique needs when it comes to access control. This guide covers what a commercial keypad door lock is, and how they work. We also cover what types are currently available. Then, we recommend the best alternative to commercial keypad door locks.

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What is a commercial keypad door lock?

A commercial keypad door lock is a type of keyless lock that lets you control which tenants and staff can enter a building or room. These locks have a numerical keypad (or touchscreen interface with numbers) in place of traditional keyholes.

In commercial properties, keypad door locks are installed at:

  • Individual office suites
  • Custodial closets
  • Supply rooms
  • Office amenity spaces
  • Restrooms

You can assign authorized users PIN codes that they use to gain access to specific areas within a commercial property. Commercial door locks with keypads empower you to keep certain rooms locked while ensuring convenient access for authorized tenants and visitors. Some commercial keypad door locks come with panic bars for emergency exits or entries.

Additionally, some commercial door lock keypads can only be programmed to accept one PIN code credential, while others allow each tenant to set their own personal codes.

 

Components of commercial keypad door locks include:

  • Keypad. The keypad replaces the traditional key-and-lock system. Instead, tenants enter a PIN code to gain access.
  • Deadbolt unlocking mechanism. When someone enters an authorized PIN code, the unlocking mechanism physically moves or releases the lock. This enables the user to open the door.
  • Control panel. Known as the brain of the system, the control panel stores all its data. This includes tenant information and authorized PIN codes. The panel either lives on-site or on a cloud-based server.

 

commercial keypad lock installed on door in brick building

 

Do keypad locks have batteries?

Yes, keypad door locks often operate independently of power sources in your building, so they’re battery-powered. Most of them operate on standard batteries found at any hardware store. Since commercial keypad door locks use very little energy, their batteries typically last a long time.

Replacing commercial keypad door lock batteries is easy and can be done by your or your property staff. All you’ll need is a screwdriver to open the battery compartment.

 

Commercial keypad door locks on inidividual doors in a building

 

How do commercial keypad door locks work?

For commercial tenants, using a keypad to access rooms is simple and convenient. Commercial keypad door locks allow tenants to gain access without the easily and frequently lost credential: the brass key.

Here’s how a tenant uses a keypad lock for commercial doors:

  • Enter a PIN code on the touchscreen or with mechanical buttons on the keypad.
  • The keypad then unlocks the door. When the keypad receives the correct PIN, it unlocks the door by sending an electric current to the lock.
  • After the lock is disengaged, the tenant can enter.

For emergency situations, a key can be inserted into the lock, which opens the door traditionally. Lastly, commercial exterior keypad door locks with IP65 ratings can withstand rain and dust. This means they can be installed anywhere outside a property, like at a gate or parking lot entrance.

 

Watch how ButterflyMX works:

 

Commercial keypad door lock installation

Commercial keypad door locks are relatively easy to install. Installation involves replacing your doorknob and possibly the lock. Factoring in the lock’s price, the installation will cost between $600 and $1,200 per door.

 

Are locks with keypads safe?

Keypad locks are just as safe as key locks.

When it comes to the functionality of a keypad lock, tenants are less likely to be locked out due to a lost or forgotten key. Also, they’re less likely to have their keys stolen by criminals. This is because physical keys tend to be hidden in not-so-secret spots, like under the doormat. All tenants need is their smartphones or PIN codes to enter — which are much less likely to be stolen.

 

Can keypad door locks be hacked?

If not properly set up, keypad door locks can be hacked. Commercial-grade keypad door locks are stronger, made from better materials, and are more secure than regular keypad door locks that are commonly hacked. However, this doesn’t mean they’re immune to hacking.

A few precautions you can take to prevent your keypad from being hacked include:

  • Make sure your WiFi network is secure. If using a smart commercial keypad, they can be hacked through the internet. As such, equip your building with a robust, firewalled WiFi network.
  • Keep the area well-lit. Someone is less likely to physically tamper with your lock if they think they can be easily identified by others.

 

commercial keypad door locks can be used on commercial properties such as hotels

 

3 benefits of commercial keypad door locks

There are tons of commercial locks to choose from, but keypad locks are a solid option. Read on to learn why.

Here are three benefits of keypad door locks for commercial properties:

  1. They’re electronic
  2. They enable keyless entry
  3. Some enable smartphone-based entry

 

1. They’re electronic

Commercial electronic door lock systems are a big step up from traditional mechanical locks, like mortise and cylindrical locks. They’re generally easier and more convenient to use.

Also, electronic locks have built-in fail-safe or fail-secure technology so that they work even in the event of a power outage.

In more depth, here are the differences between fail-safe and fail-secure electronic locks:

  • Fail-safe: These locks require continuous power to stay activated. In the event of an emergency or building-wide power outage, they deactivate. This allows tenants to quickly pass through without using their credentials.
  • Fail-secure: These locks don’t require continuous electricity to stay activated. Instead, they respond to a single burst of electricity from a tenant’s credentials (such as a key fob). These locks stay engaged if the power goes out. As such, this adds more security to the building in the event of an outage.

 

2. They enable keyless entry

Commercial keyless door locks are the pinnacle of convenience because they eliminate the need for physical keys. In fact, keypad locks even eliminate the need for physical credentials altogether!

Since keypad door locks are a type of keyless entry solution, tenants can unlock the door without keys, fobs, or cards. All they need is a PIN code, so there’s nothing they need to worry about carrying in their pockets.

This enhances the tenant experience and it also saves time for property managers and staff. They won’t have to spend time cutting keys and programming fobs.

 

3. Some enable smartphone-based entry

If you want to make door access throughout your building truly smart, you’ll want locks that can be controlled with a smartphone. And the good news: Some keypad door locks enable that!

Smart keypad door locks pair with a mobile app to allow users to lock and unlock doors from their smartphones. This adds another layer of convenience by empowering tenants to control door access from anywhere — even off-site.

Important: Keep in mind that not all commercial keypad door locks offer smartphone-based entry. Some models only accept PIN code entry.

 

open gate with cell phone

 

Should you get commercial keypad door locks?

Overall, commercial keypad door locks are a good solution for anyone who wants to upgrade the locks throughout their building. Keypad door locks are certainly more convenient than traditional mechanical locks that require a key to enter.

If you want to purchase keypad locks, look for smart locks that pair with a mobile app. Smart keypad locks offer the two most convenient entry methods: PIN code and smartphone-based entry.

Keypad door locks are suitable for private offices and custodial closets. With that said, you should consider another access control solution for shared spaces and rooms. For instance, the ButterflyMX keypad is your best alternative for those needs.

The benefits of the ButterflyMX keypad include:

  • Keep your existing locks. By choosing ButterflyMX, you can keep your existing door strike and simply connect the keypad.
  • Smartphone compatibility. Tenants can open doors by just swiping their phones. This saves time typing in a code or searching for their keys or keycards. The numeric keypad can be used as an alternative if they don’t have their phones on them.
  • Easy guest access. Tenants can remotely allow access to their guests by sending them temporary PIN codes.
  • Cloud-based technology. The ButterflyMX keypad keeps track of everyone who enters the building and stores this information on the cloud.
  • Camera-equipped. The keypad takes a photo of everyone who uses it. In addition to deterring crime, this can help identify culprits.
  • Easy to update and install. The keypad is quick and easy to install at virtually any access point. Plus, software updates are automatically installed over the internet, reducing the need for maintenance.

 

Takeaways

  • Commercial keypad door locks are locksets commonly used in commercial properties like office buildings. They’re commercially graded for strength, durability, quality materials, and functionality.
  • The best benefits of keypad door locks are that they’re electronic, keyless, and may enable smartphone-based entry.
  • If you’re still considering a commercial keypad door lock for a shared space, like an amenity room, you should instead consider the ButterflyMX keypad.

 

ButterflyMX can help simplify access at your commercial building

Author

Nick Manzolillo

I’m a Rhode Island-based writer fascinated with how proptech influences the real estate industry and positively impacts the lives of building owners, managers, and residents alike.

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