What should an accredited key-holding service do?

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Key-holding services are only of any interest to businesses when they understand the approach taken to ensure the security of their premises. It is a simple concept – the business provides a key and some instructions to a security company and never again needs to worry if an out-of-hours security problem occurs at the business premises. In reality business managers need to know that they are not simply giving free access to their premises to the security patrols.

The following summary of the processes of an accredited key-holding service highlight how the security of the premises is maintained and that there are no loopholes.

1. When keys are received from a client:

  • Each key collected is listed and described by size, colour, markings and use on a Key Receipt Form and signed by both the client and security company
  • Keys are then placed in a pouch which is labelled with a code number and NOT with a name that identifies where the keys are from
  • Each pouch is placed in a safe or vehicle safe when in transit
  • The code and its relationship to the client / premises are referenced in a secure database which the mobile patrols have no access to

The reason for using codes is to ensure the security of keys in the event of loss or theft: the location the keys are for is not identified.

2. When an alarm or call-out is activated:

Mobile patrol officers are contacted by security control. Control / Operations (a 24/7 x 365 day a year operation) provide the mobile security officers with:

  • the alarm activation or call out location
  • the details of which key pouch to use – identified by the code, if necessary
  • the operational details for each site, including (if required)
    • alarm codes
    • key issues to be aware of
    • client instructions in the event of problems / intrussion etc

This process ensures that the security of clients’ sites are maintained and that confidentiality is maximised.

Read about who should be using key-holding services.

Written by: Paul Ritchie

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