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Residential key fob entry system

Technology has now enabled people to unlock doors without ever having to stick a key into a lock. While that must have sounded far-fetched a couple of decades ago, it is now common practice.

Modern access control systems have eliminated the need for physical keys and have replaced them with keyless systems that unlock doors with a simple swipe or touch.

One incredible way to gain access through your home’s main door is by using access control systems that work with proximity readers. These systems use something known as key fobs to unlock doors, where all you have to do is be near the system to unlock it.

Many homeowners are switching from the conventional lock and key method to more secure proximity-based key fob systems for a greater level of security and convenience.

Read on to find out what residential key fob entry systems are, how they work, how they are better than conventional keys, and other forms of keyless entry systems that you can use:


Key fobs have been around for quite some time and have been popular ever since their inception in the early ’80s.

Initially used for cars, key fobs used line of sight infrared technology and weren’t the most secure to use. The early versions were fairly flawed and considerably easy to copy.

However, with advancements in technology, key fob entry systems used these days are highly secure and use different technologies such as passive radio frequency identification (RFID), Near Field Communication (NFC), or Bluetooth.

Most residential key fobs use RFID technology with a unique ID to allow users keyless entry through a door. They contain a unique serial number as well as some of the user’s personal information to verify them.

They can be used for the front entrance and the garage door, and in residential flats, they can also be used for shared and individual unit entrances.


Key fobs are simple devices that use short-range communication between two devices to unlock door locks, vehicles, and more.

They basically allow a fob, which is a small transmitter, to communicate with the receiver, which is the lock on a door, to unlock it and allow access to authorised individuals.

They can also be described as short-range electronic keys that send signals using RFID to unlock something within a short proximity.

Unlocking a door using a key fob is as simple as holding it in front of the reader, which will read the credentials saved in the microchip and grant or deny access based on the access permissions.


Key fobs eliminate the need for using a metal key to unlock a door and have become very popular for their ease of use and management.

All you have to do is hold or wave the key fob in front of the reader and it will authenticate your identity and let you in the house.

With proximity key fobs, you don’t even have to take them out of your pocket or bag to detect the lock. When you are near the system, it will automatically detect the key fob in your possession and unlock the door for you.

Key fobs provide the same functionality as traditional keys but with added security and convenience. If you lose a key fob, you can simply cancel access permissions on that particular fob and issue a new one for your use.

In contrast, if you lose a key, you will have to not only make a new set but also replace or rekey the locks as a precautionary measure.

One of the best things about key fob entry systems is that they are incredibly cost-efficient since you don’t have to worry about changing the locks or getting new keys if they are compromised.

Unlike other types of security systems, there is no serious mechanical wear-and-tear since key fobs use radio frequency, Bluetooth, or NFC, all of which are contactless.

Other than that, key fob entry systems can easily be integrated with other types of security systems, such as burglar alarms and CCTV cameras, to add another layer of protection and maximise your security.

Key fobs offer a wide range of benefits to all kinds of residential properties, such as houses and flats. They include:


All those who have used metal keys know how easy they are to lose, as well as copy. This not only adds inconvenience but can also put your entire property at risk. Fobs, on the other hand, can simply be deactivated if they are lost or stolen.

Limited access

You can tighten the security of your residential property by reducing and limiting the number of individuals who have access to certain areas. This is especially useful for flats and multiple dwellings.

Trackable entry

Key fobs allow you to control and manage exactly who has access to which areas of the property, and they keep a complete record of who has gone in, and when, which not only increases security but also increases transparency.

Audit trails

Having a traceable trail that shows you where someone has gone to and used which door to gain access into the property allows you to securely manage your access points and is extremely beneficial if a crime has been committed or a house has been broken into.


Keyless entry systems, also known as access control systems, control and manage access into a property using a variety of authentication methods.

They control, manage, and establish access permissions for users, granting access only to authorised individuals.

When used in homes, they offer control over who enters your home without you having to physically open the door, giving added security and accessibility to those with limited mobility, such as the disabled and elderly.

In addition to key fobs, there are several other types of keyless entry systems and authentication methods that you can use to control and monitor access to your property, such as:

Proximity key cards

Similar to key fobs, proximity key cards are a common type of keyless door entry system used in place of a traditional key.

They are credit-card sized, very easy to use, and fairly inexpensive. Their only drawback is that they are not the most secure and can be lost and shared, just like metal keys.

Mobile access control

Mobile-based entry systems turn your smartphone into your key and use an app to control and manage access within your residential property.

They are far more convenient than key cards since you always have your mobile phone with you and the chances of it getting lost are minimal.

Also, even it gets stolen, security locks on your phone make it impossible to bypass the system and use it to gain unauthorised access through the door.


Biometrics are one of the most advanced types of keyless entry systems you can use in your residential property. They use unique features of the users such as fingerprint scans, facial recognition, and retina scans to grant or deny them access based on their access permissions.

They are incredibly secure and are often used as a form of two-factor authentication, in addition to a more traditional keyless entry system method such as an access card or key fob.

It can also be used in combination with mobile access control where the biometrics built into the smartphone can be used to scan the user’s face or fingerprint before unlocking the door using an app.

Video-enabled keyless entry

Video-enabled keyless entry systems combine proximity credentials with video surveillance by adding a visual form of verification at the door before granting access.

The best video-enabled systems for residential properties support keyless entry with RFID access cards and key fobs, as well as with mobile devices.

Remotely accessing the security footage from the surveillance cameras allows you to see who is trying to gain access, making it easier to mitigate security risks such as unauthorised entry, tailgaters, and misused credentials.


Depending on your system and the level of security you require, residential key fob entry systems can be paired with several other security systems to make them even more secure. Some of the best security systems for residential properties include:

Burglar alarm systems

Paired with a state-of-the-art key fob door entry system, a home security system such as a visible burglar alarm may not only deter criminals from targeting your property but may also scare away those that attempt to do so.

They work using a series of sensors to pick up on intrusions and sound a loud alarm, sometimes also accompanied by flashing lights, to bring attention to those trying to gain unauthorised entry into your property.

The system can be set up in a way to sound an alarm when an individual tries to force themselves in through the door or attempt to gain access using the wrong credentials several times in a row.

You may opt for: simple bells-only burglar alarms that make a loud noise when an intrusion is detected; dialler alarms that contact the homeowners and other nominated individuals in the event of an alarm trigger; or monitored burglar alarms that are professionally monitored by trained individuals at an Alarm Receiving Centre.

You may also invest in smart burglar alarms that integrate with other smart home devices and send push notifications to your phone whenever an intrusion is detected.

CCTV cameras

CCTV (Closed-Circuit Television) cameras are one of the most effective security systems available in the market today that not only deter criminals but also help gather evidence in the event of a crime being committed.

They can be used in combination with any of the above-mentioned keyless door entry systems to provide visual proof of who enters and leaves your residential property.

They must be placed on all the at-risk locations and careful thought must be given to where and how they must be placed, and what exactly they must record.

There are many types of CCTV cameras to choose from, all with their own set of features and functionality.

There are, however, certain features that you must look for such as motion detection, mobile notifications, remote monitoring, night vision, wi-fi capabilities, two-way communication, local or cloud storage, and weather resistance for outdoor use.

There are certain CCTV laws and legal requirements that you must comply with to ensure that the systems are used properly and do not infringe on anyone’s privacy.

If the CCTV cameras are recording footage within the boundary of your residential property, the data protection laws do not apply to you.

However, if you wish to record areas outside of your private property, you will have to comply with the laws and guidelines laid out by the GDPR and DPA, since the inability to do so may subject you to appropriate legal action by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Other very important security measures that you must take in addition to the ones mentioned above include being vigilant and lighting up your residential property.

You must be vigilant of certain suspicious activities and keep an eye out for signs that might indicate your home is being cased and potentially targeted for a crime.

If there is an unknown vehicle parked on the street, and you know that it doesn’t belong to any residents or visitors, it could indicate someone watching your property, especially if you see someone sitting inside it.

Strangers walking around the neighbourhood and fake salespeople knocking on doors pretending to offer services are two other signs to look out for.

Check out our detailed guide on how to know if a burglar is watching your house and what makes certain houses easier targets.

Other than that, make sure to properly light up the front and back of your home since it will not only make burglars wary about targeting your property but also eliminate any hiding places and blind spots that could potentially be used by them.

You may use motion-activated lights that turn on as soon as someone steps foot under them and put outdoor lights on a timer that can also be controlled remotely via a mobile phone.


Calder Security provides a complete solution for home access control systems that includes professional installation, maintenance, and repair services for key fob entry systems.

We’ve been working in the security industry since 1976 and partner with only the best brands. Our MLA approved locksmiths can advise you on the best type of key fob entry system for your home by helping you assess your security needs and requirements.

Because an access control system operates the locking and unlocking mechanism of your door, installation must be completed properly by someone with detailed knowledge of how these systems work.

We are SSAIB approved installers and offer all types of access control systems including intercom, proximity fob, card swipe, and keypad. We also offer biometric systems that work with fingerprints or retina scans.

Access control systems are very reliable and will last a long time. But like any technology, they require periodic maintenance to continue working as they should.

We conduct annual servicing to keep your system working well and give it a full check including checking the battery strength, power supply, and connections. That way you won’t get any nasty surprises further down the line.

While generally very reliable, sometimes problems may occur with access control systems that can affect the locking mechanism, potentially compromising the security of your property.

Common issues include simple wear and tear or faults with the power supply or batteries that you need to get fixed ASAP.

We operate a 24-hour emergency service run by qualified security specialist engineers who understand access systems and can resolve issues efficiently and effectively.

Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 9799 for a quick consultation and quote for our state-of-the-art residential key fob entry systems!

Photo by Dylan McLeod on Unsplash