Posted on: 30 April 2015
New business owners -- busy with setting up shop, hiring employees and building inventory – rarely stop to think about key control and how it will affect their business. It's only after the business is more established that a break-in, an angry employee who quits without returning his keys, or even an innocent employee who loses a key forces the company to take a close look at key control practices. While effective key control is easy to establish early on, it can be trickier to teach employees to keep the facility safe and secure once bad habits have set in.
While you might not be ready to focus on key control early on, knowing just these basic tips can help set your business up for long-term success.
1. You don't need a separate key for every door. If you work with a locksmith to key your new locks, you can create a master key that opens every door in the building, eliminating the need for a heavy, complex key ring. Under this type of system, which is simple to set up, you can give low-level employees a key that only opens one specific door while keeping the master key strictly for your own use.
2. Interchangeable cores save money and hassle. When one of your employees quits without returning his keys, you may feel that you're forced to change all the locks in the building. If you choose
3. "Do Not Duplicate" is meaningless. A "Do Not Duplicate" stamp on a key does nothing to prevent someone from copying the key. If you want to make sure employees don't copy the keys to your business. Invest in a patented keying system, which includes keys that can only be copied by contacting the manufacturer.
4. Key control requires good records. The best keying system in the world won't keep your business secure if you don't track the keys you hand out. Keep written or computer logs of keys as they are assigned and returned, and include penalties for employees who fail to return keys.
5. Safety trumps all. Sometimes, what's best for the security of your business may conflict with local or state fire and life safety codes. Always consult all applicable codes in your municipality or consult with a local code expert to determine if the locks you plan to use meet code.
6. Locks do nothing if used improperly. Employees who fail to lock doors behind them, or prop open a door when taking out the trash leave your business vulnerable to theft and damage. Make locks and key control part of training for every new employee to instill good habits from the start.