Buyer Guide: Eight Pitfalls of Physical Locks and Keys

Problem with Physical Locks and Keys


As early as the Egyptians, we have been making use of keys to secure and lock our possessions. The traditional key has proven incredibly durable, but as digital security systems grow to be increasingly common, are the years of the simple key running out? It will not amaze everyone entirely if a creation from a few thousand years ago ends up being obsolete. However, keys have been extremely durable throughout modern history. That said, physical locks and keys do have a number of inherit pitfalls.

  1. Physical Keys are Easy to Copy As long as you continue to use traditional locks and keys to secure your sites, you can never know how many unauthorized copies have been made or who is holding them. How many times have you copied a “Do Not Duplicate” key at a hardware store?

  3. Lost Keys Force You to Change the Locks If you lose a traditional key, the only way to maintain security is to change all the locks that it can access. Imagine the cost of losing an entire ring of keys, necessitating the replacement of multiple locks at your sites. When a key is lost, you have to assume the worst case scenario.

  5. Forgetting a Key is a Major Hassle Every time a technician forgets to take a key on a truck roll, your travel time and expense doubles. That technician has to drive back to the office, pick up a key, then drive all the way back out to the site. The same situation can occur if that technician simply picks up the wrong key, as large organizations will have at the very least dozens of similar looking keys.

  7. Keys Inhibit In-Field Dispatch If you already have a technician in the field near the site of an alarm, it’s almost always best to dispatch them from their current location. If they don’t have the right key on hand, however, they’ll have to drive all the way back to the headquarter building to pick up the key they need.

  9. Key Usage Can’t Be Logged or Tracked Physical keys make it impossible to log entries to your sites.

  11. Locks and Keys can not Efficiently Provide User-Level and Time-of-Day Access Control Keys always work, even when you don’t want them to. There are probably few legitimate reasons why a site needs to be accessed on Sundays at 3 a.m., but you can’t restrict access times with traditional keys.

  13. Phyisical Locks do not Support Remote “Buzz In” If an unexpected event comes up and you want to allow access to a site immediately, you can’t if you use traditional, physical locks.

  15. You Have to Deal With Heavy Keyrings With traditional keys, you almost always end up carrying large, heavy keyrings to access multiple sites. If you lose a full ring of keys, the cost to change the locks can qucikly become astronomical.



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