Key control

Levels of Key Control

– Level 5: Ordinary unrestricted keys
– Relies on the honor system
– Users instructed not to make copies or loan keys
– Common for private residences

– Level 4: Unrestricted keys marked Do Not Duplicate
– Can be copied anywhere, but many stores refuse to do so
– ALOA calls this level deceptive
– Provides a false sense of security

– Level 3: Restricted keys
– Not generally available at retail outlets
– Obtained through a single source
– Supplier has rules to prevent unauthorized duplication

– Level 2: Patented keys
– Restricted and protected by patent law
– Selling without permission can lead to financial penalties

– Level 1: Factory-only patented keys
– Cannot be cut locally
– Authorization request needed to have additional keys cut
– Strict records are kept of each key

Key Control Methods

– Mechanical or electronic means
– Electronic key control systems
– Use serialized key assignments
– Housed in a centralized database
– Allows for better tracking of each key made

Limitations of Key Control

– Key control cannot protect against users loaning keys and falsely claiming loss
– Unauthorized key duplication remains a challenge

Benefits of Key Control

– Prevents unauthorized access
– Enhances security and safety
– Reduces the risk of theft or break-ins
– Allows for better tracking and accountability
– Ensures compliance with regulations and standards


– Key Control – SARGENT (
– The Associated Locksmiths of America Technical Standards Policy (
– Key Access Control Security, Electronic Key Management Systems, Cabinet Keys (
– How Simple Key Control Benefits Retail Store Operations (PDF) – Carter, Ryan
– Instakey Security Systems (