Remember when security just meant a good set of keys?

By Ryan Kaullen, Field Services Manager at Kenton Brothers

Kenton Brothers opened its commercial locksmith doors in Kansas City in 1897 by two brothers William and Leon Kenton, and is still located in the heart of Kansas City to this day.  From the beginning, the mission has been to protect people, property, and possessions but locksmithing has changed over the past 120+ years! Today, keys look very different than the skeleton keys of the past. We now have electronic machines that cut keys, and we even have software programs that will keep your master key system organized and in check.

Keying Through Time Keying Through Time

But what else has changed?

Keying Through TimeAs most people remember when growing up, it was not uncommon to see school janitors, maintenance employees, or even property managers walking around with huge rings that looked like they had 250 keys on them and weighed 50lbs. The days of someone carrying around that many keys are coming to a close as keying systems have advanced, access control is becoming ever more prevalent, and keying software has allowed keying systems to be more easily managed. Things change (and a lot of times for the better.) Leon and William Kenton even knew that back in the early 1900’s. They knew that they had to take care of the customer, innovate, offer more than their competitor, and provide remarkable service to continue to grow.

So how does this information benefit you or the company you work for?

With more advanced methods of key control, by knowing who has what keys, by knowing how to properly protect your people, property, and possessions, and by granting access to certain areas, you can cut down costs, reduce the number of keys people have and benefit from a mechanical security system that compliments your access control system. And an advanced method of key control can be its own mechanical access control system.

Even a century ago, William and Leon knew that a good master key system could be designed to incorporate security and convenience for the users. How? By gathering important information at the preliminary ‘keying meeting’ where the details to design the master key system are discussed. One tip for a successful design is to incorporate the company’s organizational layout (users of the keys) with the building layout of where the doors are located. It’s also important to gather information about future changes or potential growth anticipated. A good master key system makes it easy for those that need access to multiple rooms. It also increases security by only granting access to needed areas and not the entire floor.

We’re here to educate.

Keying Through TimeFrom the beginning, Kenton Brothers has worked to educate our customers, help understand their needs, and promote all the offerings in the market place that will properly secure their facilities.  Kenton Brothers may have started as a locksmith who also fixed umbrellas and sharpened mower blades to make ends meet. But as the decades have passed, we’ve developed into more than just a large and growing commercial locksmith in Kansas City. Our other offerings include Access Control, IP Video, Intrusion Detection, and more. These systems all work together to provide a layered approach for securing facilities.

Let the Kenton Brothers team of dedicated employees show you how we can protect your people, property, and possessions and keep you All Secure!

All chips great and small. How microchips are holding the security industry hostage.

By David Strickland, Vice President of Kenton Brothers

Microchip ShortageYou  may have heard… There is a chip shortage. Current projections by industry insiders say that things will return to normal in early 2023.  Last month, STMicro CEO Jean-Marc Chery said that while “things will improve in 2022 gradually, normal product availability won’t return “before the first half of 2023”.

Many factors have caused the shortage including the Pandemic, a fire and a drought. There are only a few microchip manufacturers across the globe. With the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) marginalizing Chinese chips in the American marketplace, it comes down to three plants available to the security industry. One plant had a major fire last year that impacted its ability to produce chips as late as August 2021. The largest facility, located in Taiwan, has been affected by a severe drought over the last 18 months. The factory requires 63 tons of fresh clean water a day in production. These factors as well as an all time high in demand have led to a crushing shortage.

Microchip ShortageMajor car companies are projecting 110 Billion in losses in 2021 by not having enough chips to meet demand. If you have recently tried to rent a car, you’ve seen it firsthand. Car rental companies all over the globe have sold off their stock because they’re getting premium prices with the new car shortage. Simply stated, there are fewer cars to rent, so the price has inflated with demand.

How is this affecting the security industry?

Some manufacturers have recently issued warnings that some product lines won’t be available for 18 weeks, or until February 2022. A security manufacturing insider recently shared, “Make no mistake, if a component has a chip in it, it will be delayed. This problem effects everyone involved, from the manufacturer all the way to the end user.”

Current estimates for many components : (09/21)

  • Commercial IP Video Surveillance : 8-18 weeks
  • Access Control Components : 6-18 Weeks
  • Doors Frames and Hardware : 8-12 weeks
  • Hardwood Doors : 12-18 weeks
  • Servers and Switches : 8-12 Weeks

So if this is the obstacle, how do we solve it?

Kenton brothers Systems for Security has been around a long time and has some experience with dealing with obstacles. We’ve been through two world wars, the Great Depression, the Great Recession and 5 pandemics. 123 years has taught us something. There’s always a way to get it done.

Top 5 Tips for overcoming the great Chip Crisis of 2021 – Security edition

1. Communication

(The number one way to over come the chip crisis.)

Have regular meetings with your customers and help them understand their choices. No one likes to be confronted with a no option crisis. At Kenton Brothers, we like to come with solutions. You won’t be defined by having a global chip crisis. You will be defined by how you respond to it. Options, planning, and communication all work together to overcome any obstacle.

The reality of the chip crisis is that it will effect your business. The response to the crisis is what counts.

2. Substitute

Have a list of resources available to use for substitutions. If one manufacturer is out of a component, understand what you can replace well before you start the project. Managing this is key. Many integrators are surprised daily with bad news of delivery.

3. Go Old School

Temporarily using mechanical solutions will still work for access control. Prep the doors for electronic locking devices, but use mechanical locks until the electronic components arrive.

4. Monitor specific serve times for the manufacturers you use most.

Many manufacturers have portals you can utilize to track current part serve times. Call your manufacturers rep to get the inside story.

5. Plan Ahead.

Understand the serve times and roll that into your Gant charts for your project. Understand that you will need to order al lot earlier than you normally would to meet the construction deadlines.

Technology Update from ISC West 2021

By David Strickland, Vice President of Kenton Brothers

ISC West 2021The 2021 International Security Conference West Coast (ISC West) was much smaller this year, but still packed a punch for technology announcements. The smaller crowd still showed a lot of enthusiasm for the latest and greatest innovations in Commercial Video Surveillance, Access Control, Visitor Management, Intrusion detection, Public Safety and Emergency management.

Cyber and Physical Security Convergence

The overwhelming conversation this year was around the convergence of cyber and physical security. The physical security of cyber networks and the management of commercial and industrial IOT (Internet of Things) devices. High profile hacks have made the world pause and analyze how to better protect their networks and data from outside intrusion.

Currently Worldwide – 65 billion IOT devices

  • 127 IOT devices being connected every second.
  • Each device allows for the possibility of a vulnerability onto your network.
  • More to come on this from Kenton Brothers in the future.

Artificial Intelligence

ISC West 2021 - Artificial IntelligenceArtificial intelligence and Robotics continued it’s flag waving this year. There are always large crowds around booths and displays for this type of technology. The use of artificial intelligence to analyze commercial video surveillance and create a proactive approach to stopping intrusion or crime continues to be a very strong driver for many companies.

Davantis, BriefCam and Avigilon continue to lead the way and evolve the technology to more use cases. The video analytics, AI learning and user input continue to make huge gains in deep learning and proactive measures.

With diminishing law enforcement personnel levels all across the country AI can help bridge the gap. There is no doubt that it is a force multiplier and will change the law enforcement and security industries forever.


ISC West 2021 - RoboticsThe robotics offerings showed very well this year at ISC West. Cobalt robotics continued to show the strength of AI, Deep Learning and Human Intelligence all working together to create secure spaces. Their announcement of the open IP addresses check was a topic that many responded to. Robots can also help with wireless signal intelligence: WiFi and cellular signal strength heatmaps, locations of rogue wireless access points, and the presence and identity of nearby electronic devices through techniques such as MAC address fingerprinting.”

Cobalt continues to wow customers with it’s ability to adapt to the workspace and create endless services.

Schedule a demo today


ISC West 2021 - AsylonThe show saw some exciting new technology surface this year. Asylon showed off the its offering of Robotic perimeter security. This includes their offerings of both drones and “Guard Dogs or cats”. The combination of these two platforms gives you complete coverage and the ability to gain proactive intelligence quickly. The space is innovating quickly!

Commercial IP Video Surveillance

Axis Communications

Axis Communications enables a smarter and safer world by creating network solutions that provide insights for improving security and new ways of doing business. As the industry leader in network video, Axis offers products and services for video surveillance and analytics, access control, and audio systems. This year, Axis spotlighted their ability to converge their platforms to one united system. Axis produced a great video that showcases the new convergence of their offerings.


Avigilon was busy fielding questions around the H5A system cameras.  This FIPS compliant line of video surveillance has produced some excellent cameras for a wide range of needs.  This line has truly raised the bar for cyber and physical security compliance. The addition of convolutional neural networks as the edge greatly increases the ability to have better, faster analytics driving commercial video surveillance.  All while encrypting the footage.   Check out their video explaining the line in more detail.

One new product that deserves a mention is the G.L.O.V.E.  system.

The GLOVE, which stands for Generated Low Output Voltage Emitter, is a conducted electrical weapon (CEW) from Compliant Technologies. It is designed to be used in conjunction with an officer’s defensive tactics training and other use of force tools to more effectively de-escalate use of force incidents and bring non-compliant subjects under control in a safe and timely manner. Another force multiplier that is more reliable than a Taser.

In conclusion, the show was smaller this year but still packed the same punch! We look forward to next year and getting back to normal soon.

Here’s Why The Children’s Place Wants Us to “Get More Garretts”

By David Strickland, Vice President of Kenton Brothers

How do we react when a customer surprises us with a request?

The Children's PlaceKenton Brothers recently finished a large commercial access control and commercial IP video surveillance integration for The Children’s Place. They’re a nonprofit organization that has been committed to meeting the developmental and mental health needs of the very youngest survivors of abuse, neglect and other trauma since 1978. Within the Kansas City community and beyond, the agency’s specialized expertise in working with traumatized young children has made The Children’s Place a recognized leader in the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect.

This story is about one of our best security consultants and his adoption of the KB Core Value of Customer Focus and how he took service to a whole new level.

One day recently, The Children’s Place called and asked for someone to come take a look at adding a video intercom entrance. They had an issue with one of the doors not opening. As a new system, Garrett recognized immediately that it could be a software or scheduling issue. Instead of scheduling a technician, he went on site himself to see if he could help immediately. He was able to get to the site quickly to take a look, hoping it was programming related.

When Garrett arrived at the site, he did some quick troubleshooting.

GarrettThe reader was functioning, it would read badges, but the lock wouldn’t unlock. He located the panel and determined the fuse on the power supply for that door had blown and tried replacing it with a spare from the panel. After attempting to use the lock again, the fuse popped, indicating a short in the wire or the lock, which provided more information for the customer and for our service department for when they arrived on site.

Leon Fisher, the new VP of Operations and Security, has been with Children’s Place for about a week or so at this point. Leon was interested in learning how the systems work. After a quick discussion with him about the location of his panels and their function, it was clear he was interested in learning much.

Garret said, “I explained Gallagher Access Control and the panel parts and functions, where his backup power was for the system, the cameras and their locations, Milestone video software, etc. Then I asked if he had access to the software yet. He said no. “

Garrett was faced with the real time decision to schedule time with our training team or make the right call and do the training right there, right then. As part of our Customer Focus core value Every KB team member has the right to make the right call for the customer. Even if it costs us time and money – do the right thing!

Garrett made the right call.

“We went to Leon’s office and I was able to remote into his server from my laptop. I helped him download and install the Milestone Video client and the Gallagher Command Centre client. From the server, I was able to create login credentials for him and help him log in and begin using the systems.

While I was there, I asked him about how they use the system currently. He mentioned when they prop the doors open for the bus loading/unloading with children, the doors will beep. I mentioned this is an alert to let someone know a door is open when it shouldn’t be. I mentioned we could turn that sound off per door and implemented it on the spot with help from our remote services group.”

Mobile Features

Then I mentioned that every license of Gallagher comes with some mobile features as well. He asked what they were and I mentioned Mobile Command Centre and 5 built in Bluetooth Credentials. I explained that with Bluetooth credentials, you can use your phone as a badge in addition to the badge they wear. He asked how difficult it was to use, and I explained it would only take me a few minutes to set up and issue the credential for him. I set up the Command Cloud on the server and enabled the Bluetooth reading feature on all readers and then issued him a credential. He called the President in so I could give one to her as well and one other employee. They were very excited about that feature!”

Gallagher Mobile Command Centre

“While the President was in the office, he asked about the Mobile Command Centre and what it can do. I had him download that app and set him up with the authentication code on the spot and explained how to unlock doors and change schedules using the mobile app. I also mentioned using this app you can scan the Gallagher MiFARE DESFire EV2 badges on an android or iOS device.   

I showed Leon how it worked and he asked why they would need that functionality. I mentioned that every Gallagher license comes with one mobile command centre license, but they also come with a mobile evacuation license. I explained you can use the mobile device as a mustering emergency reader to “check employees out of the building” at an emergency muster location. This creates an accurate list of all employees who may still be in the building. For this to work, they would need to add a badge out reader and have employees badge out as they leave the building so that an accurate list of who is in the building and who isn’t can be maintained. At a previous location, Leon mentioned they did this with a white board, but that this method was much more useful and the President agreed.”

Gallagher Mass Communication

“This led me to talking about mass communication which is also built into Gallagher. I mentioned this could be used for emergency messaging and can be initiated from any reader via a mobile device or badge action by anyone they give the ability to in the system. These messages can be pre-written for specific scenarios and sent to specific groups of employees by email, text, or push notification. This was discussed as something they would very much like to implement for employee safety and communication.”

A routine visit?

The Children's PlaceWhat was thought to be a routine visit to look at one problem turned into a four hour impromptu training and education session on the abilities available in the tools they already had. Garrett and the Remote Services Group were able to not only help Leon start using his systems in their most basic functions, but also enhance his experience and comfort by creating specific and tailored solutions within his existing environment. The time spent with The Children’s Place solidified our stance as their building safety partners and removed many potential pain points before they became a problem.

This proactive approach is what Customer Focus means.

When I read Garrett’s breakdown, I reached out to Leon at The Children’s Place to ask him his perspective.

Leon said, “Garrett and the Kenton Brothers Remote Services Group did an amazing job explaining and teaching us about our enterprise level system so that we could use it to its full potential.” He also shared, “It’s overwhelming to start a new position in an organization and at the same time try to learn this advanced system and it’s capabilities. Garrett was incredibly knowledgeable and he was willing to take his time and answer all of our questions. He gave us tips along the way.” Leon mentioned, “It was a shock that a salesperson would be that knowledgeable! We’re even implementing the mobile evacuation system and employee mustering process for emergencies!”

Garrett went further.

Cloning GarrettGarrett called our manufacturing partner Gallagher Access Control and told them The Children’s Place story. Gallagher wanted to help support them also and donated all the licensing needed to implement the mobile evacuation system and the emergency employee mustering process. This was a gift of almost $8,000 in software. Great job Gallagher!

Finally, Leon shared what impressed him most about Garrett and his Customer Focus. One Saturday, Leon was trying to let the cleaning crew in remotely from his mobile phone. He wasn’t sure what he was doing wrong and reached out to Garrett to see if he would answer. Of course, he did – even though it was a Saturday and Garrett was on vacation. He worked with Leon and got the cleaning crew into the building remotely. Garrett even checked in the next morning to be sure all was well.

Leon shared one final work of advice for Kenton Brothers… Get more Garretts! We start the cloning process tomorrow.

Glazer’s Beer & Beverage Invests in Protecting Their People, Property and Possessions

We recently completed our fifth commercial security system installation for Glazer’s Beer & Beverage, this time in Waco, Texas.