Keyholder Responsibilities and How to Choose a Keyholder You Can Trust

The role of a keyholder within a business is a crucial one.

If you are considering allocating keyholding responsibilities to one or more members of staff, or are thinking about outsourcing to a professional keyholding company, there are various things to consider, all of which we will explore in this post.

What is keyholding?

Keyholding involves an allocated individual or company keeping a set of keys to a property safe on behalf of a business.

This individual or company may need to be called upon to provide access to commercial premises in the event of a key being lost or stolen, to provide contractors with access as and when required, or may be summoned in the event of an alarm being activated or an attempted break-in.

What are the benefits of using a keyholding company over allocating keyholder responsibilities to individual employees?

Keyholders are expected to be first responders in the event of an alarm being activated or an out of hours intrusion. For these very reasons, allocating the responsibility to an individual who works for the business may not be the ideal scenario.

Keyholding companies are equipped with trained personnel, ready to be despatched in the event of an emergency. They provide a professional, responsible and accountable service.

Obviously such a service comes at a cost, but for round-the-clock peace of mind, it can be well worth the investment.

Learning about the typical responsibilities and qualities of a keyholder may help you make your mind up about the most appropriate keyholder option for your business.

What are the typical responsibilities of a keyholder?

Keyholders will generally have responsibility for opening and closing commercial premises at the start and end of the working day. At the beginning of the day, they will be expected to inspect the property, deactivate the intruder alarm and any other overnight security systems in use, and switch on the lights, doing the same in reverse at the end of the day.

It is considered the keyholder’s responsibility to ensure the premises are safe and secure before closing down for the night, weekend or any other period of shutdown.

Keyholders will also be expected to take charge of keeping the keys to the premises safe. This is a 24/7 responsibility which must be taken seriously. They will also need to know the security codes for the alarms.

Another expectation of the keyholder is to act as emergency contact. As they will possess the knowledge required to reset the alarm, the keyholder will usually be trusted to liaise with the police or alarm receiving centre if an alarm has been activated. It will also usually be down to them to ensure a property is secure following a break-in or attempted break-in by carrying out security checks, and arranging the necessary locksmiths and tradespeople to make the property safe.

What are the desired qualities of a keyholder?

Due to the sheer volume of responsibility involved in being a keyholder, it is absolutely vital when choosing someone to undertake the role that the selected person is readily available, responsible and practically minded.

They will need to have clear leadership qualities, possess good initiative and be able to think on their feet, as well as being comfortable operating within a position of authority.

It is not always straightforward to find all of these qualities within a person who hasn’t necessarily been recruited for that particular role. You would not for example hire an accounts manager to undertake a marketing role, or a mechanic to fulfil a woodworking job.

This is precisely why many organisations opt to engage the services of a professional keyholding company. Because their personnel have been selected and trained for that very role.

Keyholder companies also hold a keyholding licence, a must-have for anyone working or supplying operatives under a contract for services when keeping custody of, or controlling access to, any key or similar device for operating any lock.

One last consideration in favour of using a keyholder company is that of departing staff. If you allocate keyholder responsibility to a member of staff who later leaves, you will need to change your locks, especially if that member of staff left under a cloud. Staff sabotage, a worrying reality, is also something that should be seriously considered.

Tailored security solutions from Barry Bros Security

From Master Locksmiths Association accredited locksmith services to National Security Inspectorate (NSI) Gold accredited intruder alarm installations and plenty more besides, Barry Bros Security has all you need to secure your commercial premises, including fully tailored advice to ensure your security solution meets your individual requirements.

To discuss your commercial property security needs, you are welcome to get in touch with our helpful experts.

How Can We Help?

Regardless of the type of premises you are looking to protect, Barry Bros Security has the solution. Contact us today for expert advice and the benefit of decades of experience in the security industry.