What Exactly Are High-Security Keys?

Talk to any security expert about locks and keys for homes and businesses, and you’ll doubtless hear the words ‘high-security’ mentioned; but what does the term really mean when it comes to keys and locks?

High security – what does it mean?
Realizing the need for some sort of control over the duplication of keys, a number of lock manufacturing companies worked together to develop a patented key system that banned aftermarket key blank companies from being able to make the blanks. First coining the term ‘high-security’, the locksmith industry used it to refer to the controlled security of key blanks, and not to the increased security of the locking systems.

Under what circumstances should high security keys be used?
If there’s a need to control the number of keys being used in a facility or building, they would certainly benefit from a high security key system. Whether it’s vestibule entrance doors or computer rooms, high security keys can be extremely beneficial, and some locksmiths and security companies also offer advanced deadbolt versions for both residential and commercial sites; these offer a winning combination of additional key control and extra protection against forced, unlawful entry.

What about the term ‘high-security’ in general?
Many lock and security system companies may use the term high security to promote their products, and generally speaking, they usually refer to hardware products that are of above average quality, or which have a locking system that provides stronger resistance and protection in the event of a forced entry. Unless the term refers to a patented key system, it will not appear in capital letters.

What you should look for in a high security product?
For the most part, high security lock products have a minimum of two locking systems, and can include a type of normal shearline operated by a key cut combination, and some type of secondary locking system that requires extra milling or extensions in the key blank, allowing the key system to be patented.

It’s true to say that all security system companies started off with a patented key system, but they will take a number of factors into account when deciding which high security system to promote, recommend and ultimately, sell. They’ll want to look for when the patent might expire, whether the manufacturer offers a wide range of lock cylinder applications, and if their preferred distributor stocks a full line of the products, among other things.

If you’re concerned as to whether your lock and key systems are secure enough, schedule a consultation with a local locksmith and have them conduct a thorough review of your home or business.