If you own a property, business or investment, you own a set of keys. If you have a security contractor onsite, patrolling after hours or providing call outs, there’s a good chance they have a set of your keys as well. It is important that if you employ a security contractor that they have key registration, either by electronic tag or log book, to maintain the integrity and safety of your assets.
In security it’s “a Key holding service” in real estate its known as a “Key registration service”. It is essentially when a third party ‘holds’ your keys and acts as a point of contact to reset alarms, respond to alerts, make onsite checks and provide security cover when the owner or business owner/s or their staff are not available. It is important that whoever has access to your asset, have a secure holding facility and key audit procedures in place to maintain the security and safety of both property and people.
So why does my business need a key registrar or “Key holding”?
It is an essential part of ensuring that your business is protected around the clock. It provides an ideal solution for you or your business. If you need someone to be onsite for access, at a call out, or if you need a security professional to check your premises if an alarm is triggered or a break in occurs. It is important that your security provider ensure that any call out is dealt with swiftly and professionally.
Most owners, property managers and tenants maintain a strong relationship with their security provider to ensure that they are on hand to deal with any situations that arise. The better the relationship and greater the communication and consultation between the client and the security provider, the better the security company can accommodate the specific needs and requirements of the stakeholders.
When your security provider attends a call out, they will make a log on their incident report sheet. The information and details provided may provide essentials of security, threat and risk assessment and identify any flaws or risks.
In the general follow up report it is important that the security provider not only identify risk but give direction to mitigate future risk, this may be as simple as suggest having key access codes or hardware modified or replaced.
The general role of the key holder is to be the first point of contact, should the need arise to visit the premises outside normal trading hours. Security officers will attend, observe, report and where required manage the situation. Security professionals communicate and consult with law enforcement, emergency services, owners and stakeholders. They make the initial determination if an area is secure.
Whether using a local company or a larger more established company, you need to ensure that their key holding security officers are fully licensed and insured.
In my experience working for security firms from small, medium to large, "unlike the real estate industry a suitable key registrar and key procedures are not only uncommon, but in some cases non-existent." It is not uncommon to have a patrol officer have several non-related keys attached to one key ring or several sets of keys sitting in their Patrol car console. This not only places the client at risk but increases the risk to both property and people.
In my opinion "if you are seeking a reputable security company, ask them for details of their Key registrar or ‘key holding procedures”, check out their patrol vehicle and if they can’t mitigate the risk for their other clients, don’t risk them putting your livelihood and assets at risk."