Key control is exactly that: control of your lock keys. Getting there is much harder than you may think. You may think if you have your it with you then you are controlling it. There are many other considerations that go into total key control, they are:
- How many total keys were cut for that lock code?
- Can you account for all your keys and who has them?
- Has that lock code ever been repeated?
- Do you have a high security lock?
- Are your locks patent protected?
- What is protected by the patent?
Lock security is only as strong as key control. You could have the strongest and best high security lock made, but if you can’t control your keys that very expensive lock is not very secure. It doesn’t matter what type of lock you purchase. You can make it more secure by practicing good control.
It is more difficult in a business. The rules are the same, but there are more people involved. This is where lockable key rings and tamper proof key rings are used. With lockable rings, you place the them on a ring and they are locked usually using a high security lock. For tamper proof rings, the keys are placed on the ring, then the ring is clamped shut. Each ring has a unique serial number. The only way to get the keys off the ring is to cut it. By using these rings, you will be able keep track of your keys, they also help prevent lost keys.
When a key is lost or you can’t account for it, then a decision must be made. Should you rekey these locks or take a chance that the lost key won’t be found by the wrong person. This decision is made depending on what that lock was protecting and what that value is to you. Rekeying the lock is less expensive that replacing it. Rekeying involves changing the locking pins and cutting new keys to match. The older keys will no longer operate the lock.
High security locks come with registered lock codes and they give a higher level of key control. Usually key control is maintained in a computer database and keys can be accounted for until they get to the end user. What happens after is the responsibility of the end user.
Take key control seriously, without key control there is no real lock security.