Here’s a question a customer recently asked us:
I had an argument following a disagreement with an employee. I had to let them go and now I need to know how to make sure they no longer have access to our shop? How do I lock them out and prevent this from happening in the future?
This is a question that comes up from time to time and a tough one to answer depending on the situation you have. Restricted systems can be a solution to prevent this type of problem. Firstly, let’s understand what they are.
What is a Restricted Key System?
Our main page on Restricted Key Systems has the big-picture points, but here’s some extra detail:
A restricted key system is a patented product that can only be produced by one manufacturer. There are a number of systems available, but patents only last a certain amount of time before running out. An example of this is the Locksmith Guild’s new restricted key system that came out this year, GUILD7 (LG7). The key blanks are made to fit into the restricted system hardware, and only certain locksmiths have access to these blanks and hardware to supply to customers. The patent on the LG7 is valid until 2025, so no other manufacturer can produce blanks and make copies of these keys for many years to come.
The main benefit of a restricted key system is that in having your premises keyed with a certain shape of key blank, you can restrict people with access to a key (e.g. your employee) from getting a copy made with another key cutter (who has no access to GUILD7 key blanks). Being a member of the Locksmith Guild of Australia (LGA) allows All Secure Locksmiths to gain access to the new GUILD7 hardware and keys. It also legally prohibits us from copying or cutting keys from another locksmiths system, and vice versa.
How to Get a Restricted Key System
When you sign up for a restricted key system, you will set up an authorised signatory form with our company. Your system details are kept in our secure safe, and cross-checked any time a key is ordered. The key you will provide to employees is embossed with our logo and calls about copying the key will be directed to our company. In doing so, you prevent an employee from getting unauthorised keys cut. This means that the only people in existence who can copy one of your keys is us and only with your permission.
Another benefit of a restricted system is that you can customise the keys for your premises. A good example is a warehouse with sheds outside, a maintenance department, offices inside and large gates on the front. With a restricted system, an office worker could have keys that allowed them access through the gates, inside the main door then into their office, but not to anywhere else in your operation. A maintenance worker can have a key that will allow them access through the gates, into any sheds and around the grounds, but not into the offices inside. Each individual office could be keyed to a single person’s key, whilst allowing their key to also work certain other locks individually chosen by you. These types of systems are perfect for schools, large operations, multiple locality franchises, etc.
Upon receiving the key back from an employee, you can feel comfortable that no other copies have been made. If the key is not returned however, the restricted key system offers you no protection. The premises would still require to be rekeyed in this scenario, but the cost would be the same as if the premises was on a standard key.
Costs of Restricted Key Systems
In terms of cost, this is the main difference between a standard rekey of your premises after a situation where an employee has left on bad terms. When installing a restricted key system, the main factors to take into account are how many keyways there are in the premises, and how many keys you will require in the end. Keyways on standard key systems need to be replaced (this is what allows only a restricted key to enter the lock) and this cost is on top of a standard rekey charge. In most commercial premises the locks are of a quality that can accept restricted key systems. In some cases, locks need to be upgraded to commercial grade in order to receive a restricted key system.
The other thing to take into account when deciding whether to upgrade to restricted keys is your company’s situation. If you have multiple employees, each with a key and you want it to access different areas of the building but not your office for example, then a restricted key system is perfect for you.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss anything about restricted key systems, please contact us. We’re happy to give advice and talk about how we can tailor a solution to work for you.