Is it time to update your keyholder information?
Do your staff or neighbours know who to call if your security alarms go off or if someone needs emergency access to your property? This is our guide to keeping your keyholder information up to date.
When it comes to who has access to the keys and access codes to alarm systems at your business or domestic properties, most of us start out with good intentions.
Businesses often have written security policies, naming staff who have access to keys and who are trained to use security systems. Most property owners begin with the intention of ensuring that the keys and access codes to burglar alarms are only shared with designated people.
The problem is that over time, staff members change and people who were once keyholders move on. After a while, people become unsure of who exactly might have a key and often the information held by neighbours, your security team or the police is out of date. Not only is this a security risk in its own right, but it causes particular problems when alarms go off and property owners are away — an issue which is particularly problematic during holiday season.
Of course, most home and business owners have a key and can manage day to day access. The problems arise when the person who normally holds the keys is unwell, or simply unavailable, and also if your alarms go off when you are away and neighbours or the police need to find a keyholder urgently.
Things to consider when updating keyholder information:
Choosing the right keyholders
Choose at least two keyholders and write their details: their names, address (including postcode) and telephone number in a location where other staff or neighbours will be able to access it easily.
It’s important to choose keyholders who can be trusted and who are punctual. Ideally they will also live close to the premises. In addition to locking up on a daily basis, your key-holder will be responsible for attending the business premises when an intrusion is detected. Most premises have alarm systems that alert them, management and security services when an entry point is opened or an intruder alarm activated outside of business hours.
Write down procedures for attending intrusion alarms and train keyholders to follow it.
It is very important to establish procedures for them to follow when they attend an intrusion alarm. If you own a business or property, it is required that you should be able to attend to your premises within 20-minute of any emergency to resolve any alarm issues. Failure to do so on your part more than three times could lead the police to withdraw providing any response.
To ensure your keyholders are safe, make sure that if possible a keyholder answering an alert is always accompanied by another person, and that the keyholder is aware of any potential hazards on the premises, such as ponds, dogs, toxic chemicals etc.
Make sure you inform the local police as well as your security service of your keyholder information
As well as informing your security provider of your keyholders and updating this information annually or when the information changes, it is also helpful to let the police know your keyholder information. For many years, Devon and Cornwall Police has provided a benefit to businesses and individual residents by recording details of their keyholders.
To join the scheme, you simply email the required information below to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Your name and telephone number
- The property name, address (including postcode) and telephone number
- Two keyholder’s details: their names, address (including postcode) and telephone number
- A list of hazards at the address, such as toxic substances, dogs, ponds, swimming pools
- Your preferred emergency repairs tradesmen and their contact number for glazing, locksmith and any others you can think of.
Click here for more information about the service, which is free