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Who at Your Company Should Get a Key?

Who at Your Company Should Get a Key?

team meeting

Businesses are composed of myriad moving parts. From daily operations to the maintenance of the office space, it’s impossible to list everything involved in making a company functional. But it takes all parts working in harmony for a business to thrive. Sometimes, helping your company achieve this goal means delegating new responsibilities to stand-out employees, trusting they’ll work in the best interest of the company. And, sometimes, this means handing over the keys.

Why Employees May Need Keys

Though most businesses rely on key-swipe mechanisms during business hours, nearly every office has an entrance that can be unlocked with a key at all times and internal doors with key locks. Regardless of your profession, if you operate out of a physical office space, it’s more than likely you’ll need to entrust a handful of employees with keys to these entrances. 

Though the reasons vary, employees typically need keys for one of the following purposes: to gain access to facilities outside normal hours, to open or lock up, or to respond to emergencies. 

Often, an employee needs to gain access to business premises outside the hours of operation, whether to fulfill their responsibilities or to complete a special project that demands working odd-hours. For these reasons, they may require a key to enter the building and lock up, and keys to access any internal offices they need to use. While these employees might also be tasked with locking up behind them, other employees are typically assigned the responsibility of opening and closing the office, which requires company keys as well. Finally, there might be certain employees who should be given keys for the sole purpose of entering the building in case of an emergency. These individuals are either equipped with the skills and expertise necessary for handling a break-in or other crisis, or they’ve proven to care enough they would be willing to help professional responders. 

In any case, being in possession of company keys is a major responsibility and due to the risks involved, keys should only be handed out if it’s absolutely necessary for business operations.


Who to Trust

When your business depends on everything happening as it should, you can’t trust just any employee with the company keys. Even if some operations require someone using business keys, it’s imperative you fill this role with someone you can rely on and, for special situations where an employee might benefit from 24/7 access to company resources, it’s important to consider their character first as well. 

  • For one, it’s of the utmost importance that all company key-holders demonstrate integrity in all their work and professional relationships. You need to be certain these people would never abuse their privileges, or use the key for any non-work related purposes. 
  • In addition to being trustworthy, these people must also prove they’re responsible, reliable, and can listen to instruction. These employees are thorough and organized in their work, and make improvements when needed. If trusted with a company key, you could be sure they wouldn’t lose it or forget to complete the tasks they’re supposed to complete. 
  • When choosing an employee, you may also want to consider their leadership skills. If an employee is using a company key, it’s almost certain they’re at the office at an odd-hour, with few other people. For this reason, it helps to choose someone who knows how to act in case of an emergency, and would be willing to report any suspicious activity.

We’ll Take it From Here

As a business leader, you’re free to trust any employee with the company keys, but we think it would be ill-advised to leave your security maintenance in the hands of anyone other than Pop-A-Lock. We’ll help you locate potential weak-spots through our business security audits, and ensure you have full control over who can enter or exit your facilities with our business lock installation and rekeying services. Whatever your needs, we’re determined to make your business even stronger. Browse our website for more information, or give us a call to get a free quote today!

What’s Included With A Commercial Security Audit

What Is A Commercial Security Audit?

As a business owner, you are likely concerned about your commercial property’s security. Businesses often have valuables located within the property, such as sensitive employee or client information, cash, products, electronics and other goods. To protect your property and reduce the chance of a threat, it’s very important to have effective security practices in place.

One great method to strengthen security is to have a professional evaluate the property and make suggestions. This practice is called a commercial security audit and can be very beneficial to business owners worldwide .

What Exactly Is A Commercial Security Audit?

To put it simply, a commercial security audit is a  systematic evaluation of the security of a company’s property against a specific set of criteria. These audits cover a variety of factors that contribute to the property’s overall security, and allow for a professional to make recommendations to enhance your current system. Security audits are a great practice because they ensure small details do not get looked over, and these details can make a huge difference.

Although audits differ depending on the security company conducting them, a basic security audit will include the following elements.

  • Mechanical Security– Experts will check the functionality of your locks,  along with the condition of doors and door frames. Other factors such as the property’s windows, effectiveness of types of keys used and methods used to access the property will also be evaluated.
  • Security System in Place– The security professional conducting the audit will also check to see if your property uses a security system such as Access Control. They will evaluate factors such as how the system is managed, who has access, and that access to sensitive areas is appropriate for employee status.
  • Code Compliance– Commercial Security Audits will also include checking your compliance with building codes. Safety is very important, and a professional should check compliance with ADA codes, Electrical codes, Fire codes, and other codes depending on your state.
  • Security Measures Outside the Building– A commercial audit will evaluate your outside security measures, showing the efficiency of cameras, gates, lighting near entrances, landscaping and other elements.
  • Environment– Another factor taken into account during security audits is the area where your business is located. Higher security will be needed in areas that have higher crime rates or gang activity.

It is important to note that audits may differ depending on the complexity of the business and company conducting the audit. A formal audit by a professional will likely include many other factors such as the building design, infectious disease control,  monitoring requirements, etc. Work with a professional to determine your system design and the best security practices for your individual property.

Considerations for Commercial Security

It’s important to take some time and consider what is important to you and your business when you decide to implement a new commercial security plan. Factors to consider should include:

  • Future Plans– What are your short, mid and long range visions for an effective access control system?
  • Your Current System– What investments have already been made in your system? Can you upgrade the system you already have or do you need a new system entirely?
  • Asset Control- What is the value of assets you have located in the property? Has there been a recent change in value of assets that requires more security? ( such as new client data, new products etc).
  • Credentials– How do you currently authenticate entry into the building? Does your property require an ID card for fob or access? How can you make these methods more secure?
  • Convenience factor– How willing you are to sacrifice convenience for increased security? These factors are often in conflict, and it’s important to find a balance that works for your property.

If you’re thinking about conducting a security audit, a great starting point is to download the full commercial security audit PDF from the Pop-A-Lock website. This download will help you consider if  your property would benefit from this practice, and will give you a better understanding of where your property stands in terms of security.

Security Professionals at Pop-A-Lock

If you’ve decided to have a security audit conducted, contact your local Pop-A-Lock today! Participating Pop-A-Lock locations will conduct a security audit in person, along with providing the download online. Deciding to have a security audit performed is a great step to ensure your commercial property is secure as possible!

Contact Your Local Pop-A-Lock Today!

Founded in 1991  in conjunction with law enforcement officials, Pop-A-Lock has grown into a prominent locksmithing franchise with locations across the United States and Canada. Our experienced security professionals are highly qualified, trained and have the experience to help you address your commercial security concerns. You can contact us by calling (800) POP-A-LOCK or contact us online for a quote today!

What is Key Control and Why Should My Business Care?

Security is important to all businesses – from large corporations to locally owned mom-and-pop stores. Business owners have many responsibilities, security being a major concern for all. Businesses throughout the country benefit greatly from key control, a popular method of maintaining more control over your commercial property. Key control is essentially a system of tracking which employees have keys and what areas they have access to with those keys.

Employees account for over 40% of occupational fraud and $3.7 trillion in lost revenue each year for all businesses, according to the 2014 Global Fraud Report. Much of this fraud and lost revenue occurs because keys are issued to employees and never returned when the employees leave the company.

A key control system is critical to not only the security of a facility, personnel and equipment, but can also save you money. Key control, which ensures that certain keys are only used by authorized people, involves strategies for keeping tabs on which keys are carried by employees. Key control also involves the implementation of strategies  that prevent employees from giving away duplicate keys to unauthorized users.

If you don’t have a key control system in place already, consider one for your business to increase employee safety, decrease workplace crime, and give you peace of mind.

What Are The Types of Key Control Systems?

With key control, there are mechanical systems and electronic systems. The differences between the two are as follows:

  • Mechanical systems are an effective form of key control that enhances your facility’s overall security when used correctly. Simply put, these systems consist of a key with a plastic peg attached.  The pegs are unique to each employee, serving to prevent keys from being removed unless the employee has the peg with specific clearance to remove it. The keys are also locked in a numbered port, and can only be removed after an access peg has been inserted. Mechanical systems help track which employees have accessed the keys, as their individual peg cannot be removed until the borrowed key is returned.
  • Electronic systems are a more advanced form of key control  that involve the newer technology of microchips . Keys are assigned to unique chips that are then inserted into a reader.  The reader records when an authorized employee takes a key, and when it was returned. This advanced kind of key control system also lets others know which employee  has a key if they request it and creates an audit trail of every key used and who used them.

What Are the Five Security Levels of Key Control?

The five security levels to key control are:

Level 5 – Key control systems with Level 5 security rely mostly on the honor system. This system has the lowest level of security and consists of unrestricted keys that employees are simply told not to make copies of. Employees are also warned not to give their keys to others and are trusted to comply with these rules, but there is no way for employers to track compliance.

Level 4 – Systems with Level 4 security involve unrestricted keys, however they are marked “do not duplicate.” This disclaimer is only semi effective, as the keys technically could still be copied anywhere. However, the majority of reputable locksmiths and key professionals  will not copy them. The Associated Locksmiths of America, a nationwide trade organization for locksmiths, calls the “Do Not Copy” disclaimer a misleading tactic because it provides a false sense of security.

Level 3 – Systems with Level 3 security involve the use of restricted keys. These keys provide higher security as they can only be obtained through a single supplier. Restricted keys cannot be found at retailers,  as they have to be obtained through the original source. The supplier of the key has rules set forth to prevent unauthorized duplication, giving business owners a certainty that only the keys they hand out will be able to access the designated restricted area

Level 2 – Key control systems with Level 2 security contain an even more restrictive set of keys. These are  keys are patented, giving an extra boost of security as they are protected by patent law. If an individual attempts to sell or duplicate this key without getting permission from the patent holder, they could face legal penalties.

Level 1 – Systems with Level 1 security provide the highest level of security possible with a key control system. This level of security involves factory-only patented keys used to restrict access to designated areas. These keys have no possible way to be cut locally. In order to make copies,  users have to send an authorization request to the original factory to have keys cut. In Level 1 systems, strict records are kept of who has access to each key, and when each key was used.

Commercial Security Locksmithing by Pop-A-Lock

A key control system will help improve the overall security of your business. Allow the knowledgeable and experienced locksmiths at Pop-A-Lock to install the right system for your business.

Pop-A-Lock is the No. 1 commercial locksmith in the United States. When you use our commercial lock services, you can rest assured that your business locks are repaired or installed correctly by highly skilled technicians.

You can rely on Pop-A-Lock® to provide high quality, professional service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 1-800-POP-A-LOCK today to learn more about how can help set up the right key control system for your business.

6 Tips To Prevent Workplace Crime

Common forms of workplace theft and fraud include:

Billing Fraud: An employee submits inflated invoices, invoices for fictitious services  and goods, or invoices for personal purchases.

Cash Larceny: An employee steals an incoming payment after it has been recorded on the accounting books.

Prevent Workplace Crime

Skimming: An employee steals an incoming payment before recording it on the accounting books

Embezzlement: This involves the taking of money or property by an employee who was entrusted to it.

Business owners can implement the following practices to help reduce the chance of these crimes occurring:

  1. Know employees well and be aware of any odd behavior. Examples include an employee’s sudden devotion to working late or early, sudden lifestyle changes that don’t align with their salary, and strong objections to procedural changes that involve money.
  2. Supervise employees closely. Studies indicate that when supervision is lax, fraud rates increase.
  3. Provide a way for employees to report theft or fraud discreetly.
  4. Have a method of tracking spending. Use purchase orders, cash receipts, and informal audits.
  5. After an employee is terminated or laid off, rekey the locks.
  6. Install Security measures such as key control systems. Limit access to areas with sensitive financial data to specific employees.
Prevent Workplace Crime
Workplace Security Lock

Pop-A-Lock Site Security Audit and PAL Commercial Security Solutions

Pop-A-Lock created the Commercial Site Security Audit as a way for customers to think about and evaluate their current security measures. This checklist, which can be downloaded for free here,  provides guidance for creating a safer environment for your employees, customers, and visitors. The site security audit will evaluate your business with a security-focused mindset, identifying potential security threats and ensuring code compliance.

At Pop-A-Lock, we recommend you select an access control system that best suits your business’s needs and will provide a higher level of security than what you currently have. Our security professionals will you to determine the right system for your company, helping keep your employees, information, and equipment safe.

From rekeying to new lock installation, Pop-A-Lock’s highly skilled technicians can provide the best locksmith services at affordable rates. Some of our commercial services include:

  •   Repairing locks, exit devices, and ancillary locking hardware.
  •   Maintaining proprietary key systems, including Primus, Medeco, and others.
  •   Providing on-site service using a standardized billing process.
  •   Replacing and controlling keys and locks for desks.
  •   Providing Pop-A-Lock’s locksmith services to your employees at a discounted rate.
Pop-A-Lock Workplace Security

To schedule a Pop-A-Lock Security Professional to evaluate your business, call 1-800-POP-A-LOCK today.

The Pop-A-Lock Guide To Commercial Security Solutions

As business owners know, running a company (large or small) is a significant undertaking. Keeping that business secure adds another major area of responsibility. Commercial buildings have much different security issues than residential properties, as they have more locks, special security needs, and higher stakes. Because your business is an investment that provides your employees with a way to earn a living, you must do everything you can to protect that investment.

Whether you own a small business or a large corporation, having a commercial locksmith that you can rely on is critical. Pop-A-Lock’s commercial security services will help you achieve the advanced level of security you need. Pop-A-Lock can provide you with high-quality locksmith services at an affordable rate, saving you time and money. Our highly skilled and trained locksmiths can help with everything from rekeying to new lock installation to general maintenance and more.

If the lock to your business breaks, if a  key gets stuck in the lock, or if you need to re-secure your building, it’s vital to have access to a trained professional who can help. That’s where Pop-A-Lock comes in.

Master key systems are one of Pop-A-Lock’s major areas of expertise. While these systems are essential to the security of a business, the installation process can be tedious when it involves dozens, if not hundreds, of locks. However, no job is too big for a Pop-A-Lock commercial locksmith. They can get the job done the right way.

Pop-A-Lock is a one-stop locksmith that offers a wide array of commercial security services, including:

  • Lockout help: From locked warehouses to storage rooms to cash registers, we can get you back in quickly if you are locked out
  • Panic bar installation: The panic bars we install are building code-approved and designed to keep your business safe.
  • Lock installation: Want to switch from a traditional lock to a keypad? Or do you need deadbolts installed? Pop-A-Lock has your back.
  • Rekeying or changing locks: Whether you need one lock changed or an entire building, we can get the job done quickly and efficiently.
  • “Door closer installation: While a door closer alone won’t prevent intruders from entering, having a system in place to help keep your doors closed is a great additional level of security, removing the invitation to intruders to walk right in. Let our locksmiths install door closers for you today.”
  • Full building or single door rekeys: We perform timely rekeys and lock changes.
  • Installing master key systems: The systems we install are custom engineered for your needs.
  • Card access and keypad locks: We can install card access and keypads and connect them to your central access control system.
  • High-security locks and deadbolts: Pop-A-Lock installs high-security proprietary key control systems, such as Primus and Medeco, for mechanical locks
  • Safes: We can help install a safe or open a safe.

As the trusted name nationwide for commercial and residential lock services, turn to Pop-A-Lock to get peace of mind in knowing your commercial property is in good hands. We carry and service nearly any lock used in commercial buildings today. We offer unparalleled reliability, transparency and accountability to our clients. We can be the one vendor who handles all your commercial security needs – no matter where your buildings are located in the country.

Pop-A-Lock Workplace Security

The Pop-A-Lock Site Security Program takes the guesswork out of securing your commercial space. Call one of our trained and experienced technicians or download our free security audit today to find out more about how Pop-A-Lock can help you.