Keying Systems Part 1: Importance of Master Key Systems and Restricted Keyways

By Ryan Kaullen, Field Services Manager at Kenton Brothers

Keying Systems Series
Part 1: Importance of Master Key Systems and Restricted Keyways (this story)
Part 2: Restricted vs. Standard Keyways
Part 3: Peace of Mind with Keying Systems

Master Key Systems

In the world of access control, intrusion, and networked video surveillance, physical keying systems are still important for your facilities. At Kenton Brothers, we get questions all the time about reducing the number of keys for a building, establishing better physical key security, and managing authorized employees who can get keys made. That’s when we explain the importance of a Master Key System.

Master Key SystemsA Master Key System is a physical security system that uses a framework of keys to access a facility externally and internally. This system allows authorized people to have access to certain areas of the building while keeping unauthorized people out. All of this is determined by the facility manager or business owner.

Advantages of a Master Key System include but are not limited to:

  • Improved Security of the Facility – You design the system to give employees access to the doors they should be allowed to pass through. You can also set up lists of people who are allowed to get more keys made to stop unnecessary duplication.
  • Fewer Keys Needed – You can drastically reduce the number of keys your facility has by smartly keying doors to fit your security needs.
  • Customizable – Doors will be keyed to access levels, who needs access, and so forth.
  • Standardization of Facility Keying – Standardization is important because it allows you to set standards within your business for employees and managing their access.
  • Cost Effectiveness – There is an upfront cost determined by many factors including level of restriction, number of doors, number of keys, etc. But the long term gains are tremendous. If a door needs to be rekeyed, you know how that will support the master key system already in place. If a key is lost, you know the budget needed to fix the problem. If you add doors / locks, those can be added to the existing master key system. Implementing this properly allows the facility to keep people, property, and possessions safe.
  • Control – Implementing a Master Key System provides a complete understanding of how every door is keyed, who you gave keys to, who has access, what they have access to and so forth. If you decide to set your system up with a restricted keyway this provides even more control to your system.

Implementing a Master Key System

When considering a Master Key System, there are many steps to setting the system up properly. A site survey will be required to review existing hardware, key meetings are held to determine how the facility wants everything keyed. And then the site is rekeyed. The importance of these steps cannot be skipped or taken lightly… the security of the facility is in the balance.

Consider letting Kenton Brothers help you implement a Master Key System. We will secure your facility and bring key control back into your hands!

COVID Fighter – Opening Office Doors Without Using Your Hands

By Ryan Kaullen, Field Services Manager at Kenton Brothers

You can’t turn on the TV, read a news article, or go anywhere without hearing about COVID. And rightfully so. COVID is causing uncertainty in our world, but one thing is certain… Kenton Brothers is working at the forefront to help our customers stay safe and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Wrist Pulls, Push Plates and Foot Pulls

COVID Fighter: Foot PullsRecently, we’ve been getting requests and calls for help related to door hardware. Our customers are asking, “How can we add safety features to keep our employees safe while keeping our doors/openings functional?” In response, we’ve been installing wrist pulls, push plates, and foot pulls at our customer sites to meet this growing need.

Wrist pulls, push plates, and foot pulls allow employees to go in and out of doors without using their hands. A perfect example of this type of project was the recent installation of 38 restroom doors on a multi-floor office building. We can keep the functionality of commercial doors intact, maintaining a clean and professional appearance, while increasing the health safety for the staff.

Want to know more about COVID Fighter solutions?

Is your company looking for ways to offer hands free solutions to openings at your facility? We would love the opportunity to show you our full line of COVID Fighter offerings. These include hands-free mechanical locking hardware, touchless Commercial Access Control, and Commercial Video Temperature Monitoring solutions. Give us a call!

COVID Fighter: Hands Free Mechanical Locking Hardware COVID Fighter: Hands Free Mechanical Locking Hardware

Form Meets Function: Security for Glass Commercial Storefronts & Entrance Systems

By Gina Stuelke, CEO of Kenton Brothers.

Glass StorefrontArchitectural glass is a common choice for everything from retail storefronts to building entrances and even interior wall-systems. The use of glass is used to convey a sense of openness and is often a go-to element for designs that demand a modern, sleek aesthetic. So how do you maintain secure environments without sacrificing architectural appeal?

Kenton Brothers has a huge catalog of doors, frames and locking hardware that can meet any need. Our commercial-grade components and architectural hardware experts can help at any stage of the process. We specialize in helping glaziers specify products for new installations or source materials for replacing or updating existing hardware.

Security Solutions We Provide:

  • Commercial Doors and Frames
  • High Security Cylinders
  • Commercial Door Locks
  • Commercial Door Pivots
  • Commercial Door Closers
  • Commercial Door Panic Bars & Exit Devices
  • Multi-point Locks
  • Access Control

Glass Entrances Types We Support:

Glass EntrancesMost entrance systems have common components. However, consideration should still be given to finding the right hardware for all types of systems. Below is a list of common glass entrances we can help you secure by providing commercial-grade solutions such as:

Handicap Power-Assist

One of the first considerations for any entrance should be accessibility and maintaining local regulations. Kenton Brothers offers ADA compliant solutions including handicap power-assist door mechanisms.

Frameless/All-Glass Entrances:
Our push/pull accessories and rod installations help maintain a clean, minimal look.

Aluminum-framed Entrances
Due to their durability and capacity for high-traffic conditions, aluminum-framed entrances are a common entrance type. Locking solutions and accessories for these systems are nearly endless. Our team can help you source the materials that are right for the look and feel of your commercial storefront or entrance.

Balanced Doors

These oversized, heavy doors require high-grade commercial locking solutions and materials.

Automatic Doors

From single door or sliding systems, our hardware can help secure these entrances.

Let us know how we can help!

The Kenton Brothers Retail Counter [Video]

By Ryan Kaullen

Kenton Brothers can trace its customer service roots back to 1897. Our Retail Counter, customer-facing environment is at the forefront of service for our customers. Every day, our customers are coming in with various needs as a result of their businesses growing and evolving. That’s where the Kenton Brothers Retail Counter comes in. It’s a resource for their overall facilities physical security needs. Those needs come in the form of keying, part repairs, parts ordering, security needs, and knowledge database.

Our customers rely on the Retail Counter to be the gatekeepers for physical security at their facilities. Our internal database of records is guarded by checks and balances specifically outlined by our customers. Approvals must be followed every time. The Retail Counter staff works tirelessly to make sure requests are correctly followed and delivered on time.

Over the years, the Retail Counter has grown from a key shop to a full service solution for our customers.

The Retail Counter can help customers create and manage key systems, duplicate keys, re-key, order parts, repair parts and the list goes on. We welcome local walk-ins every day, but not all of our customers are local. We have customers across the country that rely on our knowledge and products to protect them. One day the Retail Counter Staff is cutting keys for a customer in Texas and the next they’re working with a customer in Arizona. We have thousands of key blanks and cylinders on hand, thousands of lines of in-stock product, as well as thousands more available through our vendors, and decades of experience to back it up.

From the entire Kenton Brothers staff, we invite you to allow Kenton Brothers and the Retail Counter Staff to help protect the people, property, possessions, you hold dear.

How does a security integrator design their own security systems? Part 3

By Neal Bellamy, IT Director at Kenton Brothers

In the last couple of months, we’ve been designing our intrusion system, network infrastructure, and video surveillance systems. Now it’s time to design the access control system.

Access Control

There can be lots of advantages to Access Control.

Because the doors are controlled electronically, we can:

  • Automate the open and close time of the business or areas
  • Stop handing out keys that might not be turned back in or lost
  • Track who goes where, etc.
  • Use access control doors for business reasons, not just for security.

Kenton Brothers: Access Control and LocksFirst, let’s talk about the components of access control. A couple of the components are obvious, but others are misunderstood. Today we’ll talk about card readers, locks, door position sensors, request to exits, and credentials. Exciting, right? Maybe not, but these are incredibly important details for a commercial security system.

Card Readers

Card readers are the most obvious component required in an access control system. The card reader is what reads your access control card and identifies you to the system. Your card is unique to you within your access control system. However, a card reader doesn’t have to be just a card reader.

There are lots of ways to identify yourself to the system. Fingerprint readers, vein readers, pin pads, iris scanners, and face scanners are all possible ways that you could be identified. Some of these are more secure than others. Pin numbers can be shared, so we highly suggest not using them, or make sure that whatever you have behind the door is not valuable.

Fingerprint readers are more hackable (YouTube Video about that here) than a vein, iris or face scanners. The highest level of security is two-factor authentication. You would use two of these kinds of credentials to enter the door at the cost of being less convenient.

Locks

Kenton Brothers: LocksLocks are the next most obvious component. You need to be able to lock and unlock the door electronically. Common electronic locks are Electrified Panic, Electrified Levers, Strikes and Mag (magnetic) locks.

All electronic locks can be broken into two categories, “Fail-Safe” or “Fail-Secure”.

Fail-Safe locks unlock when there is no power going to them. When the power “Fails” the lock is “Safe”. In this case, “Safe” means someone can get out. Unfortunately, that also means that the door is unlocked, so someone could come in if the power fails.

Fail-Secure is the opposite; when the power fails, the lock is secure or locked. There are times when codes require a Fail-Safe lock, like in a stairwell of a large high rise, however, at Kenton Brothers we prefer fail secure locks.

Electrified Panic, Electrified Levers, Strikes can all be Fail-Secure or Fail-Safe, but mag locks are always Fail-Safe. Mag locks usually require two forms of egress, meaning that there are two ways to leave the building through a mag lock. Mag locks generally are also required to be connected to the fire alarm. Although Mag locks themselves can be cheaper than other types of locks, by the time you connect the two forms of egress and the fire alarm, you could have installed a Fail-Secure lock.

Door Position Switches

Now you can authenticate at the door with a reader and unlock the door with an electrified lock. But how do you know if someone propped open the door, or forgot to shut it? That’s where the third component at the door comes in, the door position switch.

This switch is generally a magnetic switch mounted in or on the door that tells the system if the door is open or closed. You can use this information to drive alerts if a door is left open too long, which circumvents the security that you are trying to establish with access control.

Wouldn’t it be nice to know if someone opened the door that was unauthorized?  With the door position switch, we can tell the door opened without a card read, but it would also alert us when anyone leaves the building.

Request to Exit

We use a second type of switch to tell us when someone is leaving the building called a “Request to Exit”. This can be a motion detector that triggers when someone gets near it, or it can be built into a lever or exit bar. That way, if the doors opens, but the request to exit was not triggered and the reader was not used, we know someone came in from the outside and was not authorized. This is called a “Door Forced”. The door was forced open with key or crowbar.

Credential

The last component is a credential. We say credential, not card, because we can use a key fob, iris, face, fingerprint or other identifying feature to authenticate to the system. Most systems use a card or key fob, because of cost and ease of use. However, not all cards and key fobs are the same.

There are dozens of technologies that can be used to store and transmit the credential number to the system. Some are proprietary, some are open, some are not-encrypted and some are. Generally, we advise clients to use a “Smart Card” technology that is encrypted, but not proprietary. It provides the security of encryption while allowing the technology to be compatible with most access control systems. Some options even guarantee that your exact credential number will never be available to any other company in the world, while also being non-proprietary and encrypted.

So What Will Kenton Brothers Be Using?

Whew, that was a lot of info! Now let’s talk about the solution we’re going to use at Kenton Brothers.

Our exterior doors need to be secure, while some of our interior doors are really just for traffic control. We will control our space while also controlling the tenant space. There’s an overhead garage door leading from our space to a space shared with the tenants. We also have an overhead garage door for loading and unloading material that we don’t want to have to get out of the truck to open.

For the exterior doors, we’ll install an electrified exit bar with a built-in request to exit. The exit bars are heavy duty and allow a large number of people to get out of the building. The built-in request to exit also gives less false triggers than motion detectors, because instead of triggering when someone gets close, it only triggers when someone actively leaves the building by presses the bar down. These doors will also get a door position sensor.

The interior doors will be strikes or electrified levers. Although these locks are still rated as “Heavy Duty” they are a little less expensive and won’t see as much use.  We will still use request to exits in the electrified levers, for the same reason as the exit bars. We’ll still use a door position sensor to make sure the doors are closed.

The overhead doors will be controlled by door operators, kind of like your garage doors at home. We’ll tie those into the access control system.

For the readers, we’ll use HID iclass SE. These are non-proprietary, encrypted readers, which can also be used with Bluetooth credentials. Right now, they will connect with the Weigand protocol, an open standard communication between readers and access control systems. They can also use a newer, more secure OSDP protocol when the access control systems are ready.

For the long range reader at the exterior overhead door, we’ll use a Nedap reader that can read a special credential at distances up to 33 feet away. That way, the door can be opened without leaving the comfort of the truck.

Thanks for joining me on this physical security journey for our new building. We are really excited to create a showpiece of security layers and technologies.

Please stop by this summer to see everything we’re integrating to create a holistic security stance!