KEY SYSTEMS must be properly designed and maintained in order to provide any significant level of facility security. Over time, key systems tend to become compromised as lax levels of key issuance and tracking erode security. Although the most secure key system is to use electronic credentials exclusively and keep conventional keys out of everyone’s hands, the higher costs of electronics will guarantee that keys will still be prevalent for years to come. Even the most sophisticated systems generally have key override capabilities. If you feel you have lost control of your present key system and are considering upgrading to a new system, there are several major areas you where you need to focus. Cost is not significantly higher and the benefits can actually be a huge cost savings by preventing future problems.
- Best CORMAX
- Corbin Access 3
- Medeco X4
- Sargent Degree
- Schlage Everest
ALWAYS USE A PATENTED KEY SYSTEM. Patented keys are not easily duplicated. Various levels of security are available where purchase of key blanks is controlled by you, the end user. You always want to know who is carrying a key to your facility, and if a key can be duplicated at the local hardware store, there is no way to know which or how many keys are in circulation. Also note the date the key patent will expire. Utility patented keys are protected for 20 years so your facility will be better protected with a patent the still has 15 years rather than 5 years before it expires. The expiration of a patent does not mean that your facility is no longer secure, only that the possibility exists for key blanks to be obtained from a third party without your authorization.
HIGH SECURITY KEYS AND CYLINDERS. In addition to patented keys, high security systems typically add an additional row of pins or a sidebar to make the cylinder “dual locking” which provides a very high level of pick resistance. UL437 Listed cylinders are available which provide resistance to drilling and other physical attack. Most major lock manufacturers have high security systems including ASSA, Best CORMAX, Corbin Pyramid, Medeco3, Sargent Keso, and Schlage Everest Primus.
KEY CONTROL is critical with any new or upgraded key system in order to maintain its integrity. Key cabinets from Lund and Telkee keep original keys secured and include detailed indexing forms and key issue records and receipts. Computer software is available to make it easier to maintain large more complex systems. Digital data records are available from the cylinder manufacturers which can be uploaded to the system database saving hours of data entry. Allegion’s Sitemaster, Best’s Keystone®, and ASSA ABLOY’s Key Wizard will make your system maintenance easier yet more secure. Electronic key boxes are the ultimate solution to managing and monitoring keys and can provide the ability to keep your top level master and grandmaster keys from being outside your facility in off hours set by you.