How secure are your keys? What is stopping your employees from getting copies of your facility’s keys freely made? Ever take your car in for service with your facility keys still attached to your key ring?
These are questions you should ask yourself if you are worried about key control and security for your facility.
Do Not Duplicate
What if my key says “Do Not Duplicate”, “Unlawful to Duplicate This Key”, or even “Duplication Prohibited”? This form of protection is a minor deterrent at best. Many manufacturers make most of their key blanks with this wording already at the factory and most “big box” retailers will also duplicate these without asking any questions.
Being a lock dealer, we have no way of knowing what facility’s doors these keys access. We may ask for a signed letter on company letterhead giving us permission to copy the key, but again since there is no way of knowing what this key accesses, there is no real security. So what are the ways that we combat this?
With a patented keyway, third party manufacturers cannot make a duplicate blank for that keyway. This helps as it keeps the key blanks in the hands of manufacturer authorized dealers of that product as well as keeping someone from getting copies made at the local “big box” retailer.
Most local locksmiths or hardware dealers will have these key blanks on their shelf and these are the people that will usually ask a few questions. Which means someone will have to work a little harder to get a duplicate key made.
Many manufacturers offer a restricted keyway program that adds a layer of protection. These keyways can also be patented, although often they are not and non-patented restricted keyways are sometimes available though third party manufacturers of key blanks, but again oftentimes not.
Being a hardware dealer, we are usually restricted by the manufacturers from carrying a shelf stock of these restricted keyway blanks. Most manufacturers will require a letter of authorization for us to even order these blanks for your facility, and often maintain a registry of buildings in which these blanks are used.
Local Proprietary Keyways
These are patented keyways that are exclusive to a locksmith or dealer in a geographical area. Most of these keyways are a high security type incorporating side bar or cross cuts. While secure, they offer no choice on where to get keys made, as they have to be made at the same dealer or locksmith in which they were initially purchased. This allows for possible poor service or high costs in which there is no escape short of replacing a whole key system.
Factory Level Proprietary Keyways
A factory level proprietary keyway will offer your best option for high security solution. In this type of system, the keyway and blanks are secured entirely at the factory level. Even though you are locked into a single manufacturer, your keys and cylinders can be ordered by most factory authorized dealers and these types of systems are usually available with some sort of geographical exclusivity.
This keyway is secured with a registry of authorized purchasers and signatures to order keys and most times, only cut keys can be ordered and must be shipped directly to your site. Which means the major downside to this type of system is the amount of time it takes to get keys, usually a minimum of two weeks.
Kleine and Sons, Inc., is committed to helping you pick the right security levels for your facility. Let us know how we can be of service to you.