On-site Key Making

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 What is On-site Key Making?

In America, getting locked out of one’s house and needing to call a locksmith to make a spare key at the door is typical. Making keys on-site is exactly that. A locksmith visits a house or residence and makes a backup key there so the visitor can enter the building.

What if the person who phoned the locksmith doesn’t belong at the house? This is the obvious issue.

Many states have enacted regulations to control on-site key-making in order to stop unauthorized people from entering residences in this way. Most of these regulations govern locksmith licenses and the conditions that must be met when a locksmith visits a home to make a key.

What Conditions Must Be Met for On-Site Key Making?

A locksmith who makes keys on-site typically has to complete the following tasks:

  • Note the time the key was made, the residence’s address, and the caller’s signature.
  • Obtain the person who made the locksmith request’s name, address, phone number, birth date, and driver’s license number.
  • Keep such documents for a period of time, often between 2 and 5 years, and
  • Give police officers access to these records without a search warrant.

What Penalties Could Someone Receive if They Didn’t Meet Those Conditions?

A misdemeanor is typically committed when the rules for on-site key-making are not followed. Criminal penalties may include probation, community service, mandatory fines, and a locksmith’s license loss.

A “Do Not Duplicate” Key Can Be Copied by a Locksmith.

Have you ever needed to duplicate a key but realized it was marked “DO NOT DUPLICATE”? Most likely, you were interested in the legality of key duplication.

The truth is that there is no official “do not duplicate” key policy. The engraved advice that can be seen on many business keys is only a suggestion. A locksmith can readily make copies of these keys, even though many large hardware chains, like Ace, might not be willing to do so.

You may wonder why some keys are marked “do not duplicate” at this point and whether they are safer than non-marked keys if a locksmith can reproduce them.

The “Do Not Duplicate”-Marked Keys Do Not Tighten Security

ITo prevent security infractions by dismissed employees, former renters, construction workers, and others who obtained a key, property owners and managers started pressing the “do not duplicate” key message. Unauthorized key duplication is currently the most frequently broken security rule in business and continues to pose a severe danger to security.

Because a locksmith must be hired to copy them, the inscription might reduce the number of duplicates in use. However, it is still true that keys with the “Do Not Duplicate” stamp are no less safe than keys without them.

A “do not duplicate” statement written on your company keys, according to the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA), may give you a false sense of security.

The Associated Locksmiths of America recommends the following for “Do Not Duplicate” keys:

“Orders for keys branded ‘Do Not Duplicate’ or similar phrasing shall be processed in the same manner as any unrestricted key.

Using keys with the words “Do Not Duplicate” or other similar language is not reliable protection. It is also misleading because it gives the user a false sense of confidence. Instead of relying on a ‘Do Not Duplicate’ label, customers who want adequate protection should buy a proprietary key control system.”

Keys that are legally protected are not affected by this.

The good news is that additional key types are accessible and can contribute to your company’s security.

Specified Keys

Some keys cannot be duplicated legally. These keys are referred to as “restricted” by locksmiths, denoting that only the key’s original maker has the authority to duplicate them.

Lock manufacturers have created restricted keys that are more difficult to reproduce because the process needs specialized tools. The key design is patented to make some of their goods more secure.

The makers of specialized lock and key systems are safeguarded by U.S. patent rules, which also cover restricted keys. A fine of up to $10,000 may be imposed for breaking the law, which includes making unauthorized copies of restricted keys.

Restrictive keys can only be duplicated by authorized manufacturers and locksmiths using certain equipment. The locksmith should request the identity of the individual making the request and documentation that the requestor has authorization from the original owner before producing a copy.

Because they are more challenging to duplicate than unrestricted keys, including those with the “do not duplicate” stamp, these keys offer a higher level of protection. A restricted key can be the best option for companies looking to limit the number of copies that are made available.

Steps to Take to Increase Business Security

Consider having the locks on the building rekeyed if you believe that duplicate keys are compromising the security of your business. The locksmith alters the internal mechanism that receives the keys during rekeying, rendering the old keys useless for opening the lock.

Purchasing locks that are more challenging to pick is another option to provide a commercial property additional security. Some manufacturers create locks with precise tolerances, extra pins, or unique pin characteristics like dimples and angles.

High-strength materials should also be used to make locks so that robbers and vandals cannot drill or violently break them. If you’re unsure of the materials or construction of your locks, get in touch with the maker.

Implementing a technology solution, such as smart electronic locks, is advised for higher security. With these unique gadgets, you can lock and unlock doors, set up the security system, and even track traffic entering and leaving the building, all from your smartphone.

Electronic access control systems are a fantastic alternative; with key card systems, businesses may restrict access to particular locations or cancel it altogether without issuing new cards to other personnel.

Speak with Your Property Management First

Talk to someone if you’re unsure about your ability to duplicate a key because leasing terms can seem difficult to understand. You can put your mind at ease about making copies by asking your property manager about the restrictions. Your management office can respond with a clear yes or no.

Making copies of your apartment keys without first consulting a real person is a wonderful method to endanger your relationship as a tenant.

Even though you can legally have nearly any key copied, it is prudent to reconsider if your lease forbids it. Research your agreement and speak with your property manager to ensure you won’t suffer any consequences for getting that spare key manufactured.

Does My On-Site Key Making Case Require the Assistance of an Attorney?

It is highly advised that you speak with a local criminal defense attorney in your area if you are accused of failing to follow the rules for on-site key-making since, in addition to potential jail time, you might also be held civilly liable to the real owner of the property.

The problems can only be completely explained and your defense supported by an attorney. Use LegalMatch to find an attorney today. Your attorney can provide you with the legal guidance and representation needed for your particular case and issues.

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