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What Business Owners Need to Know About Key Copy Protection

What Business Owners Need to Know About Key Copy Protection

“Do Not Duplicate” keys do not afford total protection against unauthorized copies

Key CopiesIf you own a business, whether it be a store, a warehouse, or a series of rental properties, security is no doubt important to you. But are you using the right types of locks and keys to deliver the level of security you want? One of the biggest concerns for many business owners with traditional locksets (rather than electronic ones) is unauthorized key copies. Here are three possible ways to protect your property, your employees, and your clients against criminals using unauthorized key copies.

Do Not Duplicate Keys

The most common precaution business owners take is to use standard locksets but have all the keys stamped “Do Not Duplicate.” This option is quite inexpensive and allows for same day rekeys and key copies to be made by the business owner, but it also potentially leaves you open to serious risks of unauthorized key duplication. While all locksmiths are expected to ask for proof of ownership of the lock from the customer before making a copy of a Do Not Duplicate key, in practice some unscrupulous locksmiths don’t bother to ask or to thoroughly investigate the proof of ownership offered. There is nothing physically preventing this type of key from being duplicated.

Restricted Keyways

The next option is to use a restricted keyway. This type of lockset must be purchased from an authorized dealer, and only that dealer is authorized to make key copies. Because these kinds of keyways use special key blanks that are not available at your average hardware store, it is very difficult for an unauthorized key copy to be made. However, depending on where your dealer is located you may not be able to get same day services.

Proprietary Keyways

Proprietary keyways are the most expensive option but they also offer the highest level of protection against unauthorized key copies. This type of keyway must be ordered directly from the dealer or the manufacturer, and either way the key blanks for that particular lockset will be unique and will be reserved specifically for you, so you have absolute certainty that no one will be able to get a hold of a blank to make an unauthorized copy. Manufacturers are very careful to protect their proprietary keyways and will track all key sales closely to ensure they are all authorized.

Which Will You Choose for Your Business?

Do Not Duplicate keys can still provide good security, so long as you are careful to change your locks periodically—particularly after an employee or tenant leaves. Depending on the number of locks on your property and the level of security you want, Do Not Duplicate keys may be more affordable than other keyways, even if you do have to replace them periodically. If you have any questions about choosing commercial locks, please come visit us at Curley’s Keyshop.

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