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1) I have trouble keeping people from duplicating door keys. I'm worried about the security risk from all those unauthorized keys. What can I do to prevent this?
Key control or, more accurately, the lack of key control, is one of the biggest security threats that businesses face.
Not having a patent controlled key system leads to unauthorized key duplication, which leads to employee theft or theft by someone who has been given an improperly duplicated key.
Most key-control systems utilize patented keys and or cylinders. Because they are patented, only factory-authorized professional locksmiths can duplicate the keys. The key blanks and lock cylinders are made available only to those factory-authorized professional locksmiths.
The control can be at the locksmith dealer level, at the distributor level, or at the manufacturer level.
All high-security key-control systems require specific permission to have keys originated or duplicated. With those procedures in place, the building owner or facilities manager will always know who has keys and how many. If an employee leaves and you get the keys back, you can be reasonably assured that no copies of your keys are floating around.
Don't presume a key is safe from duplication simply because the key is stamped "do not duplicate." There are more than 1 million places in the US where keys are copied; there is no legal ban on any of those places from duplicated a key stamped "do not duplicate."
2) Why are there so many different kinds of safes?
There are many different kinds of safes because there are many different secure storage needs. When it comes to safes, “one size fits all” does not apply. If you are in the market for a safe, ask yourself the following:
- What items do you want to protect?
- What do you want to protect them from?
- Where are you going to keep your safe?
- How much space do you need?
3) How do your safes differ from those sold at big box retailers?
Bonafide Security Solutions offers a wide variety of safes because our customers have a wide variety of security needs. Safes are designed and manufactured for specific purposes and to withstand certain conditions. We'll match one of our high-quality safes with your need. And we will expertly install and service it. You won't get that from a big box retailer. If you buy from a big box retailer, you might get a safe that does not match your needs or building conditions, and that could increase your security risk.
4) What are some of the different kinds of safes?
Safe varieties include fire safes, burglary safe, depository safes, deposit boxes, computer media safes, vaults and gun safes.
If you keep your business documents and records in your business or home, you need a fire safe. The loss of records due to a fire can be devastating. Statistics show that if a company's records are lost in a fire, 17% can no longer furnish a financial statement, 14% suffer a reduction in credit rating and 43% go out of business completely. Fire safes ratings indicate how long they will insulate against exterior furnace-level heat, how well they will withstand a flash fire that could cause the safe to explode, and how well they would hold up to being dropped 30 feet.
For cash or other valuables, a burglary safe or a high-security container would be in order. Bank safe deposit boxes are good alternatives for certain valuables that you do not need to frequently access. Insurance industry classifications are used to rate the effectiveness of these kinds of safes. Burglary safes include in-floor safes, depository safes, money safes and record safes.
If you have a high-traffic retail business where a lot of cash is handled, you may benefit from a depository safe or skim safe to control access to that cash.
If you keep computer media on your premises, copies should be stored in a media safe.
If you keep guns for sport or hunting, they should be stored in a gun safe.
5) What's wrong with using old safes?
Old safes might look like they offer protection, but you should not rely on them for fire or burglary security. Here's why:
- Their insulation dries out and will no longer resist fire heat.
- They often have unreliable door design that actually conducts heat to the interior. If they were made from cast iron, that metal als will direct heat to the interior.
- Gases built up by heat often have no escape route, and that can cause an explosion.
If you have an old safe, use it for a conversation piece but not for security needs.
6) Can I view video from my surveillance system at my home or at another offsite location?
Yes. With the proper equipment set-up, a closed circuit television (CCTV) system could let you see what's being monitored from any computer with Internet access or connected via a network to your main surveillance computer system.
7) Is color important in a video surveillance system?
Color closed circuit television (CCTV) systems offer a key advantage over black-and-white systems. If a crime is committed, a color system provides you and the police with better evidence. For example, if you are monitoring a cash register and you are robbed, the camera would record the color of the suspect’s clothing. Similarly with outside monitors, a color system would allow you to better identify colors of vehicles that might be involved in a crime on your property. A black-and-white system cannot give that level of detail.
Black-and-white systems may, however, be suitable for monitoring low-use areas such as storage rooms, or areas that are being monitored for building conditions rather than for security.
Like many electronic devices, the cost of color CCTV systems has fallen over the years. So you may want to consider a color system for any purpose.
8) What happens when my security alarm is tripped?
That depends on where your building is located. In most communities, a tripped alarm will prompt a response from the police or fire department and a telephone call or page to the building owner or designated personnel. If your system is not set up or maintained properly and, thus, leads to excessive false alarms, some communities will charge you for police and fire responses.
9) What do you mean by the term "access control"?
The term “access control” refers to a wide variety of ways to control access to a facility or a room, from mechanical key-operated locks to elaborate bio-metric systems.
While mechanical key-operated locks are the most common form of access control, they actually offer the least overall security. There is no capability for an audit trail -- you cannot track who accessed a room or when an access occurred. Further, if a key is lost or duplicated, you have lost access control.
The next step up in access control would be the use of a guard. With a guard, you could have all of the benefits of an electronic access control system, including:
- Accountability - Audit trails
- Convenience - no need to re-key if a key is lost or improperly duplicated
- Security - no one enters without permission
- Time zone capability the ability to control not only who access a room but when they can access it.
- Time and attendance - no need for the old time clock.
The downside of having a full-time guard would be the cost and potential challenges in hiring the right person for your organization.
Mechanical push-button locks are used extensively for access control. The limitation with these systems is that all users would have the same entry code and could reveal the code to anyone else.
The next step might be a stand-alone battery-powered lock. These locks have many useful features and are becoming very popular. Benefits include:
- No hardwiring
- Range from single to multiple user, some allow groups and management levels
- Some can “learn" existing controls
- Units that keep audit trails are available
There are numerous types of integrated access control with features that include the following:
- Can integrate with alarm systems, fire alarm systems and CCTV systems.
- Can be remotely controlled - i.e. via modem and computer.
- If a card or control is lost - no need to re-key, you just delete the lost control and issue a new one.
10) What kind of access control do I need for my building?
The type of system that will be right for your needs will depend on many factors, including;
- Fire and building codes
- Inspection by the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ)
- The ability to run wiring
- The need for your system to integrate with a fire or alarm system
- The number of openings or buildings involved
- The number of users
- The type of exit control needed or desired
11) Do you install automatic door opening systems?
Yes. Automatic door opening systems can be integral elements of facility security. But they also are necessary for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and they can help make your business more customer friendly. There are a variety of mechanisms used to automatically open doors, including remote control, buttons, "bump bars," and other pressure-activated devices.
12) Should I tell my property insurance company when I update my security systems?
Yes. In many cases insurance companies will reduce your premium if you have qualified security systems in place. And in some cases, security systems can lead to better employee safety records and, thus, potentially lead to lower worker’s compensation costs.
13) What kind of deadbolt locks should we buy?
There are big differences between discount-store deadbolt locks and high-security deadbolt locks. A quality, secure deadbolt lock should have at least the following features:
- The bolt (the part that extends into the door jamb) should extend 1 inch.
- The outside collar should be constructed of solid metal, or have a metal reinforcement under the decorative cover.
- The strike (the part that the bolt extends into) should be mounted with at least 2-1/2 inch screws that screw securely into the framing material behind the door jamb.
Check the durability of the lock. The more durable, the better it will withstand blows and other attacks. Better-grade locks also have a longer lifespan.
Before you buy a deadbolt lock system, however, talk with a security professional to make sure such as system is best for your premises. Deadbolts became popular in the 1970s as a way to offer more security than older lock systems. But today, newer technologies are raising the level of security beyond what deadbolt systems can provide.
14) What kind of padlock should we buy?
As with other situations, the type of padlock you need depends on what you hope to protect. Padlocks vary in their design and quality of materials. The simpler the mechanics and the softer the metal, the easier it will be to pick the lock or cut the metal. Those types of locks are adequate for certain applications and low-security needs. But where greater security is needed, you will want a high-quality padlock with intricate mechanics and harder metals.