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Key Identification

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  • Key Identification

    This is my first post here on this forum so bear with me.

    One day, I was looking for the key to a outside panel box (power and lan capabilities inside) and it took myself and another approximately 1/2 hour to find this key in question.

    We have a hole slew of keys that are in the safe, in a plastic container and in our keybox on the wall in our cash room. (all unorganized and the keybox has 70 places w/ 5 keys labeled)

    How do you propose to upper management that these need to be organized in some fashion?

    I've commented about this with the associates that work in the cash office, and they have no idea what keys do what, and are not about to try all them on every lock in the store.

    I started to draw up a excel spreadsheet that lists the key #/Letters and what they correspond to. I think this is a good start, just wondering what to do from here.

    I also have setup a Key Grouping system so that keys can be organized by type. (Office, Security, Outside/Perimieter, Cash Supervisor/Assistant, Stockroom/Recieving, Departments(subdivided)

    Can anyone give me some insight?


  • #2
    I had the same problem when I took over at a hospital no idea what 90% of the keys went to. If you can't get a sup to do it take the initiative and do it your self. It will help you in the long run. I used excel to put it on. When you have it done, show it to the bosses and have it put into 1) your post orders 2) your pass down book (every post should have one in my belief) 3) if you have a training packet for officers (but think about whether or not you want them to be able to take it home or not)

    Mark all the keys (if they aren't all ready) use a combination letter and number sequence. Never mark them where it would be easy to figure out where they go to in case the keys are lost (it happens)

    As for the right way to explain that need to management, you've already got it. Explain to them how it took you that long to find the proper key you needed and show how you may have been needed elsewhere, or were unable to do your proper patrols because of time lost. Management hates to hear about time lost.


    • #3
      Working in hotels we have tons of keys. One suggestion is to throw out the ones that no longer work anywhere. (You'll be surprised how many!) Another thing I did was because our "ring" was getting so heavy I took a bunch of keys for all the administration area & locked them in a secure closet near administration. Now we only need to have the key to the closet on the ring instead of the 10+ that we used to carry.

      We have water fire extinguishers in the stairways but our halon or dry chemical ones are locked in closets so they can not be tampered with. The key to the closets is well marked with one of those coloured bands that you can slip over the key.

      By the way, welcome!
      Last edited by HotelSecurity; 09-27-2006, 07:35 PM.
      I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
      Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.


      • #4

        What key will allow access to locked rooms in case of a fire? Is the fire pump room/sprinker system room locked?
        Some Kind of Commando Leader

        "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law


        • #5
          I like the color coding idea, we have this partially in place with our cash podium, orange = money, green lockup etc... bad idea because we currently have green matches green your in type senario.

          Thanks Guys!! So far I've just gotten the key letters off the Cash supervisor ring, thats a start. So i've printed it off and will suggest it next shift.



          • #6
            Old or Unknown Keys

            I collect them as a hobby. (I know....strange hobby ) Feel free to send them to me instead of throwing them out. PM me if interested.
            Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)


            • #7
              Good for you, see a problem, advise your supervisor and do something about it.

              Along with grouping the keys, can you list who is authorized to have / sign them out? This would help other shifts as well.

              When taking on a project remember, updates may be required.
              Quote me as saying I was mis-quoted.
              Groucho Marx


              • #8
                Working in a large apartment community, you can imagine how many keys we deal with.

                Rather than carry around hundreds of keys, we prioritized them, as some mentioned. All of the 'spare' keys for the apartments, (used if a tenant locks themself out), are labeled, and hung in a VERY large keybox in the office. That way we only have to carry the key for that office. (Similar to what HotelSecurity mentioned) That step alone dropped us to about 10 keys on our ring, so from there we used the little colored sleeves to identify the ones we still carry.

                Depending on what type of site you work, you may not be able to hang the majority of your keys up like this, but if you can hang 10 keys in favor of carrying 1, it helps!
                Corbier's Commandos - "Stickin it to the ninjas!"
                Originally posted by ValleyOne
                BANG, next thing you know Bob's your Uncle and this Sgt is seemingly out on his a$$.
                Shoulda called in sick.
                Be safe!


                • #9
                  This is in a retail environment.
                  That's a good idea too, to sign out the keygroupings. But then these groupings are going to be master sets. So we will have to create additional groupings for signout purposes.

                  Mr. Security: In response to sending you the keys I'd have to distroy them


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lzrman
                    Mr. Security: In response to sending you the keys I'd have to distroy them
                    Understood. Any other members who are not required to destroy the keys may PM me for my address.
                    Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)


                    • #11
                      I will be making up a proposal to organize our key's shortly next week, we're just in weekend crunch mode to do anything, but serve our customers.


                      • #12
                        A Suggestion

                        Don't discard keys that appear not to be needed. Place them in a category called "unknown keys" and hold onto them just in case. To do otherwise is to risk having to replace/rekey a lock that you didn't know about. That could be.....
                        Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)


                        • #13
                          hey now i didn't even think about a "unknown category".

                          Well they would all be unknown in the first stage until they are classified for a specific lock.

                          Good Job Mr. Security.