The pro’s and con’s of restricted keys

The pro’s and con’s of restricted keys

There is a lot of questions relating to restricted keys V’s non restricted keys.  Customers often call me asking to duplicate a key they have which is stamped with ‘Do Not Copy’ or Restricted.  Restricted keys are used when a person or business wants to control how many keys are available and who should have these keys,  to a particular building or door.

These keys are unable to be copied by anyone except the locksmith who supplied the keying system.  The locksmith will only duplicate the key if they are given permission from the owner of the keying system.  A very typical use is a small office somewhere. Joe – The owner wants a restricted keying system on his entry doors.  He orders from the Locksmith, a key for each employee – 6 in total.  The Locksmith will record the request from Joe, and provide him with the 6 keys.  Each employee has a numbered key assigned to them.  If an employee should leave the business, they return the numbered key to Joe.  He knows that it is not possible for that person to have made any copies of that key, and he now has the original key back.  Joe can sleep well knowing that only the people he has issued keys to have access to the building.

Locksmiths are unable to copy other locksmiths restricted keys because the blank keys are very tightly controlled.  I would be unable to order a blank key that was assigned to another locksmith, and another Locksmith would be unable to duplicate a restricted key that I had supplied.

There are however drawbacks to having a restricted keying system installed.  For example, restricted key locks are in many cases, almost impossible for Locksmiths to pick open.  I have had many people call me after being locked out of their apartment because they left the keys inside, only to be told I was unable to pick the lock open and get them back inside.  The other potential problem, is the key control.  Imagine if you had a friend coming to stay and wanted to get them a key cut, with a restricted key, not only could you not get it copied by anyone, you would need the restricted systems owner to authorise the additional key.

I personally am all for restricted keying, I believe the extra security and key control outweigh any potential downside – in the right situation.

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