What is a Security Key?
Restricted or ‘security keys’ were originally designed as a security solution to prevent unauthorised cutting of keys.
Usually installed in conjunction with a Master Key System, this would enable the client to maintain complete control over user access ( access control).
Other locksmiths, or key cutting outlets can’t cut them because they can not get the key blank. The correct blank must be used to cut any key or it won’t enter the lock.
Why would I want a Master Key System?
A typical example and an ideal application to explain how a master key system should work would be a school.
The system would be designed on a pyramid type hierarchy where the head teacher would have a Grand Master Key which works every single lock in the school.
Department heads would have a Sub-Master Key which would open every lock within their department, but no other departments. ( The English teachers couldn’t sneak in to the maths department and nick their dusters).
Each teacher within the department could access their own classrooms but not the one next door.
There are of course exceptions to this rule but this is typically how the system should work and what it was designed for.
The school would know at any time how many keys were in circulation, who had them, and when they were issued. If someone was dismissed, or moved on, they would hand in their key and school security would be safe in the knowledge that security had not been compromised.
Why do I have a Security Key?
Although the security benefits of having a security key are obvious in some situations (e.g. it opens the stair door of my flat), unfortunately sometimes the system has been exploited by some builders hardware merchants so that the end user has no choice but to return to them for keys, sometimes charging inflated prices and taking up to a month to provide the key.
More often than not, no security checks are carried out to find out who they are sending the key to!! This therefore has the opposite effect of security which the system was originally designed for.( I’ve been racking my brains but can’t actually think of a word that best describes the opposite of security. Willy Nilly??)
How can I get one cut?
The first point of call is usually the factor for the stair. They should have contact details for the company who supplied the lock. Alternatively, there may be a phone number on the head of the key.