Your Keying System Unlocked: Common Problems and Solutions

Every building has locked doors needing a key. But did you know how complex it is to design and maintain a keying system? This week, we will tackle common problems and solutions regarding a building’s key system!

Problem: We recently let an employee go, and they had a copy of a “high security” key. If we cannot retrieve the key, what are our options for keeping our building secure?

Solution: A “high security” key is one that cannot be duplicated without proper documentation and a letter of authorization. Such a key will allow a holder to access secure parts of your building, often including the exterior door(s). However, this doesn’t help your current situation! To guarantee building security, you will likely need to re-key some or all of your doors, depending on the key lost. Luckily, LaForce offers a quick turnaround time and personalized customer service.

Problem: I need duplicate keys for my building, but the previous building owner or manager did not provide any details. How can get additional keys?

Solution: Each key manufacturer is unique, so getting a new key can be tricky if the manufacturer is unknown. Fortunately, the keying experts at LaForce can identify the key manufacturer and obtain duplicates for you. We offer a quick turnaround time and high quality service.

Problem: No one on our staff knows much about key systems! How can we get help creating our new LaForce system, and how long does it take to work out any kinks?

Solution: LaForce will send one of our Keying Team experts to your facility for a “key meeting.” Tiffany, Frank, or Travis will first design a key system based on past knowledge and experience, and then present it to your building administrators. During a short meeting, the LaForce staff member will concentrate on educating your end users – building managers and organization supervisors – on the logic and implementation of their keying system. Since many of our customers have varying degrees of comfort with complex systems, LaForce’s team tries to make it easy to understand. They can then make many adjustments based on owner preferences.

Most building administrators work through any changes in the first couple of months, as they adjust to the building’s system and discover any preferential tweaks that need to be made. 

Problem: Our constituents are demanding higher security in our building. How can we make this upgrade?

Solution: Security for semi-public buildings is an increasingly common concern, especially in healthcare and education. If your building currently has minimal security and you need an upgrade to an integrated security system, LaForce’s Security Integration Team can evaluate your openings and provide (in most cases) a free estimate for you.

Problem: We don’t want to pay the extra cost for a “high security” system – can’t we just have our regular keys stamped “do not duplicate”?

Solution: Unfortunately, a “do not duplicate” stamp is only as good as the place duplicating keys. Many run-of-the-mill key duplication centers (hardware stores, etc.) will make copies of such keys. Therefore, this stamp is not the way to make a non-secure key into a “high security” one. Your best bet is to upgrade your system with genuine, “high security” hardware and keys.

Problem: Our keying system is convoluted and unorganized!

Solution: Your building security is at risk if there is not an effective plan for key management, distribution, or record-keeping. It is important to train staff regarding keeping the right doors locked, proper key policies (issuing and returning), unauthorized key duplication, and haphazard loaning of keys. A building manager also has to have a handle on the number of “master keys” that have been issued.

Problem: My new building has over 1,000 doors! How will I identify my new keys when they are shipped to me?

Solution: LaForce makes shipping as easy as possible, and will deliver your keys in a manner that makes sense. We can have the keys shipped with the locks, packaged in individual envelopes, or even shipped in a pre-indexed key cabinet. Master keys will be delivered separately, for added security.

Problem: Our electronic card reader has malfunctioned! How can we get into our building? 

Solution: Luckily, your key system came with a manual override key. The locking function of a door with a card reader is used for key override in case of a reader malfunction. These are typically keyed alike to a department master, the grand master, or an individual key override key.

Every building has locked doors needing a key. But did you know how complex it is to design and maintain a keying system? This week, we will tackle common problems and solutions regarding a building’s key system!About the LaForce Keying Team:
John Desotell has nearly 30 years of experience in keying, including 17 years as the head of Keying for LaForce. Between John and the three other keying experts, the keying team touches nearly every LaForce project! These individuals are very detail-oriented and knowledgeable, and can be trusted with any key system, large or small. Unlike most other companies, the LaForce keying team is dedicated only to keying systems, so customers and contractors know they can count on LaForce’s expertise. They have designed and continually managed key systems for projects such as Lambeau Field, Marquette University, Lurie Children’s Hospital and many others over the years.

This team is also looking to add an additional member, ideally someone with a math, engineering, or building products background, in the near future. Stay abreast of current job openings by bookmarking www.laforceinc.com/careers.

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