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About locks and keying systems - part 2 - Advice-02

Locks & Keying Systems (contd)

Keying Options

Suite Keying, Master Keying, Keyed-Alike.

Locks are normally sold as randomly keyed. This means that if you buy two items incorporating a particular lock which is manufactured with 10,000 key differs, there is a 1 : 10,000 chance of the key of one item fitting the other.

Quality suppliers will be able offer a range of lock / keying options to suit the specific needs of any customer, although a supplementary charge may apply for special requirements. Where multiple locks are required, key management can be simplified for the customer by supplying locks in "Keyed Alike" or "Master Keyed" suites.

"Master Keyed" - each lock within a master keyed suite operates from its own unique key differ (which will not open any other lock in the suite). A special "Master Key" will open all locks in the suite.

"Keyed Alike" (keyed to pass) - all locks within the suite operate from a single key differ (key pattern) - i.e. the key from any of the locks within the suite will operate all of the locks in the suite.

"Guaranteed Keyed to Differ" - where it is critical that all locks within a suite operate from a unique key differ this will need to be specified at time of order (a supplementary charge will normally apply).

Note; the use of Master Keyed or Keyed Alike locks could impact on security if not properly manage

Restricted & Registered Keys

High specification locks are often available with a "Restricted Key" option whereby duplicate keys can only be requested by an authorised signatory within the customer organisation. Normally restricted keys can only be cut by the manufacturer. Some manufacturers also offer a Registered key facility which alows them to ensure that a lock supplied to a user is unique to that user and will never be issued to any other user (duplicate locks & keys can of course be provided to the lock`s owner/user).

Key Types

Keys come in a variety of shapes & sizes. Locks employing pin mechanisms are normally available with a choice of Flat or Tube (Radial Pin) type keys, while those employing lever mechanisms will normally be supplied with the castellated type key typical of a back door mortice lock.

Key Control

Key security (i.e. controlling access to and the use of keys) is fundamental to overall security. It does not matter how sophisticated a lock is, it will provide minimal security if no one ever locks it or if it is locked and the keys are left permanently in it or are hung next to it !

Key Storage

Off-site storage of keys may be preferable in certain circumstances however a Key Cabinet or Safe can provide suitable on-site security for spare keys. Authorised key-holders should be responsible for keys issued to them and should be made aware of corporate security policy and procedures.

A secure internal record should be made of key numbers, suppliers, etc. in case duplicate or replacement keys are ever required.

Replacing Lost Keys & Obtaining Duplicate Keys

Each organisation must formulate its own policies and procedures to cover access to and control of keys. Guarding against the cutting of unauthorised duplicate keys is increasingly difficult with many high street outlets offering increasingly sophisticated on the spot key cutting facilities, although obviously on the plus side such establishments make cutting of authorised duplicates a simple, quick and inexpensive process. Where a key has been lost or is a Restricted or Registered key, the high street key cutter will be unable to help, however provided the key number has been recorded and can be quoted to the supplier, the lock manufacturer should be able to cut a replacement key

The friendly Insight-Security Help Desk team will be pleased to discuss your security issues & requirements and offer advice and information on the many security options available - we look forward to being of assistance.

Help Desk tel:   01273 475500

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