What kinds of jobs do you encounter?
We do all lock changes for the different campus departments. We do security upgrades, general maintenance, repair and replacements, and we rebuild door closers in house. In addition we maintain card access, key records and work with a number of other departments to get a given job done.
If it has a lock, latch or bolt, we'll get called out to unlock, open, repair or replace it, ranging from file cabinets and desks to large rolling gates and regular door locks.
Some institutional locksmiths only deal with locks. Hinges are farmed out to carpenters. What do you do?
Since we are a full union shop, including the locksmiths, we have guidelines. Hinge repair and replacement work is done by the carpenters along with wood door and frame jobs. Aluminum storefront and glass doors are done by glaziers; ornamental gates and steel doors go to the ironworkers, etc.
Pivots are usually done by a composite crew. On any given job you might find a composite crew of locksmiths and glaziers, locksmiths and ironworkers, etc.
How do you handle duplicate keys and key tracking?
On a regular basis we deal with over 100 commercial keyways. Because of the flexibility they offer, we are trying to focus on bringing most of our facilities into a seven pin SFIC.
Being a state-funded facility, it's always hard to sole source a product. Now, with the availability of seven-pin SFIC from various manufacturers, it's easier to get exactly what we need in a short lead time.
In addition, the process of regular key duplication is handled on a key request form which tracks which department has been issued what keys. That department is responsible for tracking which individual it was issued to, when it is due back, etc.
“Lost” or misplaced keys usually warrant the rekeying of a door, which may be charged to the department involved, depending on the circumstance.
What happens to your old keys?
We go through a lot of keys. Worn, broken or used keys are all recycled on campus at our recycling center. We also recycle other brass, copper, steel, aluminum and other products when we get rid of old locks, lock bodies, door closers, etc.
Do you deal with high-security and restricted keys?
From a security standpoint I can't go into great detail, but yes we are working with three of the major manufacturers to convert sensitive areas into a seven-pin, high-security SFIC keying system. This will give us exclusivity and total control over our own keyways, minimizing or eliminating the problem of unauthorized duplicates being obtained by students or faculty.
Is access control or CCTV a part of your job?
We are using a large variety of Locknetics standalone equipment. Our locksmiths do all of that work including installation, programming, repair, etc.
For hard-wired locks, we've formed a composite crew of locksmiths and electricians where they'll run all the wiring to the opening and provide any needed gang boxes, conduit, etc. They will terminate the runs at the opening and be there when we need to power it up for programming or testing.
Do you do any automotive or fleet maintenance?
Very little. We'll remove a broken key and cut duplicate keys for the standard autos, trucks, tractors, forklifts, etc. but we don't get into any high-security or transponder keys. Those are all referred to one of the local locksmiths, but sometimes end up at the originating dealer for service or repair.
We done some checking, but our fleet is so large and diverse that we don't feel it is a good investment for our lockshop at this time to get that deep into automotive high-security and transponders.
How much door closer work do you do?
We have one locksmith who does door closers full time. He'll disassemble, flush out, clean repair and rebuild almost any door closer you can think of. While a majority of our closers are the newer style LCN or Rixson, we have a lot of the old pot type closers.