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Office of Finance & Administrative Services

Everything About Keys, Key Cards and FOBs at Foothill

Keys, Key Cards, and FOBs: What's the difference?

  • Keys reference traditional metal keys
  • The terms fob and keycard are often used interchangeably, and though they function the same, they are physically different. Fobs are the small gray devices, and keycards are the white cards, the same size as your staff ID. The lockshop only issues keycards now for new requests, but a lot of people still have gray fobs


When do I make the request?

  • ASAP: You can submit your request as soon as the person is hired, even if they don’t have a CWID yet
  • Please keep this on yours and your manager’s radar as the sooner the lockshop ticket is entered, the sooner an employee gets their keys/keycard

Who should make the request?

  • Please work with your Manager/Supervisor and/or Division/Area Administrative Assistant who will submit a key/keycard request on your behalf

How to I make a request?

Who has to approve and how?

  •  SmartSheet will automatically request an approval from your manager/supervisor
  • Some requests may need an additional approval, including:
      • TEA key/keycard requests
      • Division/area/campus master key/keycard requests
      • Replacement key/keycard requests
      • Student keycard requests (These are extremely rare)
      • Something that may be considered an unusual request. We'll let you know if your request falls into this category
  • Requests for access outside your general area, will often need to be approved by the person responsible for the other area. For example:
      • Athletics area: Community Education instructors should obtain approval from the Athletic Director/Dean prior to submitting requests
      • KCI: Should obtain approval from Gay Krause prior to submitting requests
      • Any other, non-general classroom or area that’s not part of your area. Please ask if you’re unsure

What do I include in the request?

  • First and last name
  • CWID (If they have one)
  • Building and Door number (More on that later) OR Key number if known, but use caution when requesting by key number
  • If requesting an update to someone’s keycard/fob, please include the 6-digit numeric serial number on it if possible
  • Please try to separate requests for doors with electronic locks from traditionally keyed doors because they are sometimes made by different locksmiths at different times. We generally separate these into different lockshop tickets so an employee can at least get part of their order when it’s completed

What are door numbers and how do I find them?

  • Door numbers are different from room/office numbers
      • One room/office may have multiple doors
      • Door numbers should be requested instead of room/office numbers so the lockshop is clear exactly what door in a particular room someone needs access to. For example, if a room has 4 different ways to get in, and has a closet in it, and you just ask for access to the room, the locksmith doesn’t know which door(s) you need access to, or if you need access to all doors, including the closet. Being specific helps expedite requests
  • Door numbers can be found written in the door jamb or on the lock cylinder, OR found on the floor plan/layout which can be found here:

    • Some areas don’t have updated floor plans, including
      • PSEC
      • Buildings 3500 and 3600
      • Building 4900
      • Buildings 5100, 5400, and 5600
    • Please contact us for information about these areas, and consider creating your own cross-reference sheet by physically going around and documenting the door numbers written in the door jambs in your area

More About Key Numbers

  • With the exception of the general F40 key and campus master  key for Foothill, and S1 and campus master  key for Sunnyvale, all keys begin with 2 letters.
  • The first two letters indicate the division/area master the key falls under. Division/area master keys have only two letters and no numbers after, FH, FB, FR, etc. They do still have a serial number on the other side though
  • A metal key will have the key number on one side, and the serial number on the other side. The serial number is assigned/linked to the individual issued the key
  • Keycards/fobs also have serial numbers, usually containing 6 digits (no letters). There is no keycard number, like a key number.  A keycard is like a blank slate and can be programmed for any number of electronic locks.  The serial number on the keycard/fob is linked to the individual issued it

How long does it take?

  • Quick answer, best case scenario is ~2-3 weeks, but it depends on:
      • Staffing and if a locksmith is on vacation, out sick, etc.
      • Other workload issues and if it’s a busy time for requests such as the beginning of the quarter, or if there’s a project the locksmiths are working on at one of the campuses or District Office

How is someone notified when their keys are ready?

  • Campus police will send an email to the recipient letting them know their order is ready to pick up from campus police.
  • For keycard/fob update requests, there is nothing to pick up.  The keycard/fob is updated remotely and should have the requested access when the lockshop ticket is closed.
  • There is a delay from the time the lockshop ticket is closed, to the time the keys/keycards are ready to be picked up from Campus Police. The keys/keycards need to travel from the lockshop to Campus Police and then need to be filed

How do I return keys and key card?

  • When keys/keycards/fobs are no longer needed due to resignation, retirement, or changing positions or campuses, they should be returned to Campus Police
  • Under no circumstances should keys/keycards/fobs be passed on to the next person doing the job, or even your manager/supervisor. A receipt will be issued by Campus Police when keys/keycards are returned
  • It creates significant problems down the road when keycards/fobs are passed from one person to another and the individual in possession of the keycard/fob needs ‘their’ access updated at a later date, so please, never pass your keycard/fob on to the next person if you leave your current position for any reason 

What if I lose a key, key card or fob? (Please don't)

  • In the unlikely event you, or someone in your area, loses their key(s) or keycard/fob, please let us know ASAP so we can have your keycard/fob deactivated.
  • Before replacements can be ordered, a Lost Property Report must be completed with Campus Police either in-person, or online:
  • Please send us a copy of the completed report, signed, and accepted by Campus Police

Other Door Access Requests

  • Door programming requests for electronic doors on an unlock/lock schedule are handled by
      • Try to get these in at least a week before any requested change
          • Break between quarters
          • Prior to the start of a new quarter or summer session
          • Any other time a schedule change is needed 
    • Low/dead battery
        • There are usually signs a battery is dying such as the lock taking longer to respond.
        • If a battery is completely dead, the lock won’t illuminate, red or green.
        • If a lock lights up red, and stays red, it might be an access issue, as opposed to a battery issue. Ordinarily the lock lights up red, and then turns green prior to unlocking
        • If possible, prior to submitting a low/dead battery issue, pay attention to how the lock is, or isn’t lighting up (red-red, red-green, or nothing)
        • Please be patient when presenting your keycard/fob to the lock. Some locks are more responsive or sensitive than others and sometimes the keycard/fob needs to be presented for a longer period of time, or in just the right spot
    • Broken lock or cylinder
    • Request for an electronic lock
        • Please provide a FOAP
        • May take 4+ weeks for the lockshop to order one and install it
        • Provide a list of individuals who will need access to the new lock



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I'm Here to Help!

Asha Jossis,
Supervisor, Administrative Services


Building 1900, Room 1909