Most businesses give out keys to their building(s) to provide employee’s access. However, when providing key access to a number of different employees or even a single employee, you should ask yourself, how successful is your key control policy? Without a proper key policy your business is vulnerable. When considering how many doors are accessed with a mechanical key you will never know when a door is accessed and by the owner of which key. If supplies, money or theft occurs you may never know who entered the building with a poor key control policy. First Lock & Security Technologies would like to share how you can develop a good key control policy to ensure the safety of your business.
Key Handling & Control
When developing a key control policy there are a few questions you should be asking yourself.
• Do I know how many keys my company has issued?
• Do I know who holds keys to my business?
• Can I prevent or control the duplication of the keys?
These are some serious questions you must answer to ensure a strict key control policy and the safety of your business. Following are some of the solutions to these important questions.
Patented Key Platform
Most keys to typical locks can easily be copied or duplicated at any hardware store. Many key copy machines can be self-manned and do not require any assistance. This means at any time an employee can duplicate a key, even those that say do not duplicate right on the front of the key. Essentially, the business has no control over their keys and who they are giving easy access to the building. To prevent the duplication of company keys, the business will want to invest in “Utility Patent” blank keys. A utility patent is the way the invention (or in this case) the way the key and lock work together. This is different from a designed patent which allows a key to be duplicated. Once a key has been utility patented, no third party member can produce copies of that key. A business will need to seek out a reputable locksmith, or the specific locksmith in the case of a system under contract with the factory, that provides patented utility keys. Only the registered party can duplicate utility patented keys.
Master Key System
You may also want to work with your locksmith to develop a master key system. A “Master key system” is when you have a key that works all of the locks in a building and some of those locks also have a different key or keys that works in specific locks only. As a note: when one key works all of the locks in a building but there are no separate keys for specific locks, that is known as “keyed alike” locks. When developing a master key system, you will determine which keys will work on what doors. This will help to only provide access to essential areas and not the entire building. For example, you may only want an employee to have access to an office wing or the front door to allow guests into the lobby only. While the Owner or manager can provide access to other parts of the building. Lastly, create a key sign out document that can help you, as the owner, keep track of who has the keys.