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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.