Key Control: Proper Ways of Securing Keys and Accountability
By Ryan Kaullen, Field Services Manager at Kenton Brothers
In several of my blog posts, I have spoken about Key Control, setting up Master Keys systems, accountability of managing keys, and more. What I want to introduce today are the different ways to actually secure and track keys within your facility… physically and through software.
The first topic is how to physically secure keys at your facility.
There are several options out there, including standard key cabinets. There are also intelligent key cabinets such as the one pictured below. Here at Kenton Brothers, we sell and support both options and both options have a place within physical key security.
The most obvious pro for a standard key cabinet is the price. Standard boxes will have a lock, but will always require a paper trail of who has the keys. (The typical procedure is a clipboard managed by someone.) Typically, companies require another employee to always be there when someone else accesses the box.
Intelligent key cabinets are expensive, but they provide an audit trail. Intelligent key cabinets only allow users who have a card and/or a code to get into the box. This provides another layer of security for key control. This enforces the goal of users having access to the right keys. Reports can be generated to see who has keys that are missing or who used what keys and when.
Every facility has different needs and different requirements. Kenton Brothers will help you choose the best option for physical key security.
The second topic is securing keys through software.
At Kenton Brothers, we utilize and sell a software program called SimpleK.
SimpleK allows the person administering keys for your company to be as high level or as granular as they want with the information to be captured. When a key is handed out, you can capture information like the following:
- Name of the person receiving the key
- The code of the key
- What doors the keys can open
- If they are supposed to return the key by a certain date
- What hardware is on a given door
- What department the key belongs to
SimpleK captures that data and much more.
If an employee leaves, you have an account of what keys they have. If they don’t return the keys, you know exactly what doors are exposed and the potential threat. You can use the software to track one facility, or if your company has multiple buildings, you can track other sites as well. At any given time you know who has what keys, when they were issued, what doors they’re supposed to be able to open, and what doors they’re not supposed to have access to. This concept is part of a master key plan detailed in a past blog post I wrote called, “What is a ‘Master Key System’ and why should I care?”
Securing Keys in Your Facility
Securing keys in your facility is something that should be at the forefront of the security plan when handing out keys. As mentioned above, you can do this in many ways. You always want to know what keys have been handed out, who has them, and if any of them are missing. The options I’ve outlined will allow you to bring stronger security to your facility and let your employees know that you’re taking key security seriously. This directly impacts their safety!
Let Kenton Brothers, a company with 125 years of experience providing locksmith services, help you decide what type of key security is right for your facility. Give us a call!
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