The possession of materials that pertain to the customer’s key control can create discord between the customer and the locksmith, especially when those resources are necessary to generate the combination of the keys. Many customers whose business plan requires the management of a large keying...
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Instead of referring to a charge as “Developing the bitting list” or “Entering key records,” use “Administrative preparation.” Include the amount of hours and the rate relating to this charge.
Another recovery tactic is to include a statement that offers many options as to how the customer can take possession of the key control materials. When the locksmith includes this type of documentation in the estimate, the customer has to ask why the other bidders have not.
The following is a statement that makes the locksmith’s position clear when it comes to the handling of key generating resources and key control records:
“The described keying services rely on a unique list of keying combinations referred to as a bitting list. The locksmith has invested ______ hours at $________ per hours of administrative time to develop a bitting list and basic key records. These key control records reside with the locksmith so that the keying system can be properly maintained.
At a later date, the possession of these records can be transferred to the customer for this amount: $_________”
A better means to convey the message is to include it in a list of caveats that include general information that customers need to know.
Here is a list of caveats that are informative to customers while conveying who owns the key control materials:
1. While incidents are rare, lock cylinders or cores that are master keyed can be attacked, resulting in the unauthorized origination of the Top Master Key (the highest master key in the system). The only known prevention from such an attack is the conversion of lock cylinders or cores to those that feature patented-controlled key stock. This type of key stock is not readily available to unauthorized sources. This prevention remains effective during the life of the patent.
2. The customer is aware of the above and has elected not to convert existing lock cylinders or cores to those that feature patented-controlled key stock.
3. Sometimes lock cylinders or cores have been altered with a file in an attempt to make keys work smoothly. When this occurs, replacement is necessary to prevent unintentional access with other keys. The locksmith will notify the customer when this occurs and reveal any additional charges associated with the replacement.
4. Rekey services have been requested. Part of that service is to account for existing keys and develop a system that limits as much as possible existing keys being operational in the new system. This is not always possible, as the locksmith may not have access to all existing keys or keys from a pre-existing system.
5. The development of an organization of change keys and master keys and other key control records is derived using the locksmith’s proprietary means of generating key combinations. The customer has not been charged for this resource, as it is strictly owned by the locksmith. After the project is completed, all key control records will be retained by the locksmith with all rights reserved.
6. The organization of change keys and master keys is pre-planned including future expansion that is sometimes necessary. If another locksmith is asked to expand the organization or create additional key combinations without consulting the original system, all warranties regarding the integrity of the key organization are voided.
Another method to bring harmony is to provide a minimum amount of materials that will suffice as key control records should the customer request them.
The abbreviated package includes the bare minimum:
1. A unique key bitting array. The bitting array needs to include the key combination of the Top Master Key, all possible key combinations that could be derived to create change or operation keys, the key combination to the control key if interchangeable cores are used, and the sequence of progression.
2. A table of key issuance information that includes columns referring to: the key reference; the key bitting, and who received the key.
Two powerful techniques can assist locksmiths when assessing existing master key systems. These techniques work on all types of pin-tumbler locks, regardless of chamber counts, or progressions under...
High security is a broad term, while key control is a level of security.
Choose and manage your high security key system carefully.