Things Landlords Need to Know About Master Keys

master key

A Master key is one which is capable of over-riding all other locks configured in a master key system, and opening them up to gain access. No other key in that same system would have such a capability, having only the ability to open the single lock associated with that key. There are some obvious advantages to a landlord or property manager is having a master key system installed for a given building since it would allow access to all individual apartments within the building, and provide emergency access when needed. But installing a master key system also calls for some responsible control measures on the part of the holder, just because of the power it wields.

Points to remember about master keys

The worst-case scenario with a master key system would probably be to lose the master key itself or to have it found or stolen by someone with malicious intent. Someone holding that kind of power could access any apartment in a building, and be free to cause damage, remove objects at will, or even to bodily threaten occupants of the apartment – all while leaving no visible traces of entry. This means that only the most trusted individuals should be given access to a master key and that the location of a master key should only be known by someone who has the complete confidence of the landlord or property manager.

All other locks in a master key system can be completely changed out without affecting the access of the master key, and this allows a property manager to change locks after a tenant leaves without having to disrupt the master key system itself. That is just the kind of flexibility needed for large apartment complexes, where tenants routinely come and go. Security can be maintained in the master key system, without having to undergo the constant expense of changing the master key system itself.

On the negative side, an improperly designed or constructed master key can lead to the possibility of a knowledgeable criminal subverting the master key and gaining access to an entire building. This is because of the inherent nature of master key systems, in that the locks themselves are much easier to pick than individual locks, and a professional thief is often aware of this fact.

Conclusion

While the convenience aspect of master key systems is unquestioned, from the standpoint of security, high-security locks may be better options than multi-lock systems, especially in situations where entry to buildings could potentially be an issue. To install the right kind of security system for your apartment building which incorporates both convenience and security, you should contact your commercial locksmith and discuss your needs with an expert.

Where Should I Put My Safe?

floor safe

There are many different kinds of safes you can use to protect your home valuables or your office valuables, and the type you choose will depend on what it is you’re trying to safeguard, as well as how much you want to invest in a safe. If you are completely new to the world of safes and protective systems, a good place to start augmenting your knowledge and understanding of them would be with your local residential locksmith.

Since that is likely where you would purchase your safe, it would be well worth your while to discuss the various types of safe available, and where yours should be installed in the home. Some of the most trusted names in safes, including Amsec and Gardall, are provided by your Quick-Key Locksmith, and expert installation can ensure that all your valued assets remain safe indefinitely.

Types and placements for safes

Safes for the home are generally smaller than commercial safes, which are not intended to be kept out of view, but instead, depend on high-quality construction and locking mechanisms to prevent unauthorized access. Among these smaller footprint safes are gun safes, jewelry safes, fire safes, and wall-mounted safes, just to name a few. These safes can be mounted in one of your walls, in the flooring, or in an area out of view, which would be very difficult to detect by the casual observer.

Wall safes can be a good choice when you’re trying to conceal their presence because they can be mounted either flush with the wall itself or recessed so as to keep them from being seen. These can be ideal for securing valuable documents, expensive jewelry, cash, or other assets that should not be left out in view to tempt the criminal-minded.

Floor-mounted safes are another good option if you prefer having your safe securely bolted to the floor, and immovable without having the combination to the safe. Either floor-mounted or wall-mounted safes can be enhanced to upgrade their levels of protection against tool and device attacks, fire possibilities, or even water damage. There are incremental levels of such protection that can be implemented, and at the very top end, such safes are nearly impregnable to all kinds of depredations.

Installation and afterward

One good thing about maintaining a business relationship with your local locksmith is that you can discuss exactly what your security needs are and have them implemented to your exact specifications. Your locksmith can have a bypass installed on your safe which will allow you to access your valuables in the event that you lose your combination and cannot open it normally. You can have your safe outfitted with either a mechanical dial or a digital keypad, and professional maintenance of your safe will also be available, to protect your investment as well as your valuables, and keep your safe in tip-top shape for as long as you require it.

Do You Need More Door Locks?

Multi Point Locks

A very skilled and knowledgeable burglar can easily gain entry to any business or residence which is protected only by a single lock, and with years of experience at breaking into such buildings, thieves can then easily take any of your possessions having value. This scenario has played out many times in more affluent neighborhoods, where residents might be expected to have high dollar-value items, which of course are the particular targets of the criminal-minded. To prevent this kind of security breach and potential loss of valuables, both homeowners and business owners eventually reach the point where they consider adding more door locks or perhaps taking other preventive measures against theft and property damage.

Better door security

One of the best door security options available today is multi-point locks, which generally consist of a centrally-located deadbolt with live latch, two or more hook bolts, and possibly even dual compression bolts. This kind of lock is opened by raising the door handle on one side of the door leaf, and it is closed shut by turning a key from either side of the door. Because this kind of lock simultaneously engages several different bolts, it is far superior to a system having multiple single locks on the same door, or on multiple doors.

Both the hook bolts and the compression bolts serve to secure the door tightly into the door frame’s weather seals to ensure integrity against weather conditions. Depending on how a specific multi-point lock is configured, it can also have bolts on the top frame, the bottom frame, and the hinged side of the door frame as well. The most sophisticated of these multi-point locks (and of course, the most expensive) can engage all these bolts simultaneously when someone closes the door. As you might expect, this can amount to very good door security for your premises, whether commercial or residential.

The lone drawback to the multi-point lock system is that the owner must remember to engage the multi-points and lock the door into position, otherwise the door is only secured by a latch, which can easily be penetrated by someone with criminal intent. However, after just a few days of usage, engaging and closing your multi-point lock door will become an ingrained habit, and the issue will be solved.

Finding a multi-point lock vendor

All your residential or commercial door security needs can be managed by a single expert locksmith such as Quick Key Locksmiths in the Chicagoland area of Illinois. After consulting with a Quick Key representative to explain your security objectives, the best system for your circumstances can be arrived at and then installed by master craftsmen to guarantee proper setup. You will then have the peace of mind which comes from knowing that the best security people in the business have recommended and implemented a system which will protect your valued assets, your property, and all occupants.

Intercom Systems Help Retain and Attract Tenants

When multi-family apartment buildings are being constructed, it’s not often that the individuals involved are thinking about tenant retention, although it does become a major concern of apartment managers when the facility is ready for habitation. At that time, retaining tenants become of prime concern for an apartment manager, and many different considerations are reviewed and implemented in an attempt to keep good clientele in residence.

One thing which often escapes the attention of apartment managers is a high-quality video intercom system. Although this type of system provides significant benefits to both tenants and management, and is, therefore, one very good way of attracting and retaining tenants – and providing great ROI for investors.

Security advantages

Intercom systems that feature voice, video, or other communication access provide for much better security at an apartment building, and they allow access to only those individuals who are visually or audibly identifiable by tenants inside. Having this kind of secure access means there will be far fewer break-ins and much less crime at the facility so that tenants are safer and building owners can keep their investment better protected. There are even some ripple effects to this arrangement, including lower overhead costs, less damage to the property, and an enhanced image of the apartment building and its ownership.

Access control

When there are many tenants dwelling in the same building, it becomes essential to have proper access control so that unauthorized access is either minimized or eliminated altogether. The most capable video intercom systems are able to record images of all persons entering the building, for the purpose of authenticating individual access. In some cases, video and audio intercom access can even be used to provide keyless entry to the building, which makes for much greater tenant convenience, while providing all the benefits of excellent security for management.

Millennial appeal

The largest single group of apartment renters has now become millennials, and this trend is sure to continue for several years into the future. That being the case, it makes great sense to appeal to this specific demographic group and provide enticements which will bring in larger numbers of millennials, and keep them as residents for a long period of time. By catering to the largest target audience available, video and audio intercom systems can be one of the most useful ways of attracting this desirable audience to move in and stay there.

Anytime is the right time for security

Even if a video/audio intercom system was not envisioned at the outset of a building’s design or construction, it can always be incorporated into the security system afterward. Your commercial locksmith will be a great resource to find out about what kind of system will work best at your facility, and how it can be conveniently and affordably installed and maintained. The benefits provided by intercom make it a system that should be considered, whether your facility is old, moderately recent, or completely new to the community.