How to Keep Your Keycafe System Running During a Power Outage

Power outages often happen when you least expect them. Fortunately, Keycafe has you covered for these rare events and can help walk you through best practices.

Imagine a worst-case scenario in which there is a large-scale internet access outage that takes down the Keycafe website, and at the same time there is a local power outage that temporarily shuts down your internet service provider’s network.

It would seem like this means your keys are now inaccessible, because your Keycafe SmartBox is an IoT device that must always be connected and powered. However, you can rest easy knowing there is offline code access and battery backup. Our engineers have worked hard to ensure that you can always access your keys no matter how extreme the circumstances.

To prepare for an emergency, you need to first do a few things just like having a disaster preparedness kit at home. See the Emergency Outage Plan in our Help Centre.

Preparing For an Emergency

With a battery backup and offline codes, you can access all your keys in nearly every scenario. The only scenario you need to prepare for ahead of time is for the very rare event that the Keycafe website and app are offline due to some form of server outage.

With a little prep you can ensure a seamless experience with your key management system. To prepare, you need to download your SmartBox offline codes ahead of time and store them somewhere you can access in an emergency - the best will likely be to print them out or save them on a local hard drive. You may never need these, but once every few years it might really save the day. Lets review a few scenarios.

Scenario 1: Power Outage But You Still Have Internet Access

There has been a local power outage, but your SmartBox is still able to access the internet via either WiFi or cellular. Two minutes after the power goes out, your SmartBox will detect there is no power and automatically go into sleep mode. Once in sleep mode the screen will go dark to conserve the backup battery.

To wake up the system, simply press the small black reset button under the screen and the SmartBox will connect to the internet. You can then proceed to use the SmartBox as normal. Depending on how many key pickups and dropoffs you perform during the power outage, the battery will last up to 6 months giving you plenty of time to get power back to the SmartBox.

Scenario 2: Power Outage and No Internet Access

If you find yourself waking up the SmartBox from scenario 1 and it cannot find an internet signal, we recommend you try one last effort: connect the SmartBox to a smartphone hotspot. If that works, then you can use the SmartBox as normal.

If there is no hotspot available, we still have you covered with offline codes. With these codes you can open all bins or open an individual bin when there is no internet connectivity. If you are confident the power outage is only going to be for a short period of time, then you can access only the keys that are urgently needed. If you anticipate the internet will be out for an extended period of time, you can open all bins and take out all keys for manual distribution until the internet can be restored.

Scenario 3: The Keycafe Website is Down

Sometimes a third-party outage, like Amazon Web Services (AWS), can take out hundreds of websites at once. These outages are rare, but when they happen it can be stressful because the Keycafe app will be offline, meaning you can no longer access any of your codes (including offline codes).

This is the scenario you will now be prepared for. Using your previously saved offline codes, you can now access a single key or all keys using the open all bins offline code. Keycafe fobs are anonymous, so to ensure you know what each key actually unlocks, you will have downloaded your key data showing the name of each key and the corresponding fob serial number. With this data sheet and offline codes, you can now identify all your keys and continue with business while you wait for the outage to be resolved.

Let Us Help

We understand how much you rely on 24/7 access to your keys, and outages can represent a serious issue for your organization. This is why Keycafe has built in multiple redundancies to ensure that you are always in control of your most valuable assets.

Make sure you are prepared for any outage by following our Emergency Outage Plan, and don’t hesitate to contact our support team if you have any questions or concerns.

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