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The Security Event

8 - 10 April 2025 | NEC Birmingham, UK

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Security Cameras

20 Mar 2024

How Safe is a Key Safe?

Keynetics Stand: 5/L80

The security product industry is bustling at the moment. While cybersecurity is undoubtedly a “hot topic”, physical security of commercial property and assets remains a critical factor when allocating funds. Products incorporating cutting-edge technology in CCTV, access control, perimeter guarding, and alarm systems are in high demand, but the marketplace is highly competitive. Considering the market statistics, this comes as no surprise.


Enhancing Security in the Times of Elevated Threats

The Private Security Services industry is valued £8.8 billion in the UK alone[1]. This figure is predicted to increase globally over the next few decades due to the current outlook of increasing crime rates, burglaries, vandalism, and the need to protect against potential threats[2].

According to the latest Official Statistics on Crime Against Businesses, 28% of all commercial premises in the UK fell victim to crime, with burglary (including attempts) accounting for 9% of all crime[3]. Furthermore, the FSB reports that the ratio is even higher for small business owners, with 30% experiencing burglary or robbery[4] and having to deal with consequences of crime, including purchase of replacement equipment and stock. The British Retailer Consortium’s 2024 Crime Survey reveals that burglary, robbery and criminal damage are among the top nine threats recognised by retailers in the next two years[5].

Considering these trends, forward planning is essential. Businesses must ensure that, in the event of an intrusion, security service providers and the police respond in shorter time.

Can Key Safes Transform Traditional Keyholding?

One of the most cost-effective and efficient ways of securing quick authorised access to a locked property is by deploying a key safe at the point of entry. This would allow the nearest patrol to arrive at the spot, gain quick access to the site and inspect the premises for intruders without the need to search for keys.

However, while this may appear to be a straightforward answer, a crucial question must be asked prior to adopting such a system: How safe is the product and how to check its security levels? After all, a key safe must be stronger than the entrance door; otherwise, unauthorised entry is a matter of time.

Over-the-counter key safes are clearly not a wise choice as they are not intended for higher-risk commercial applications, but there are multiple products available from key safe brands that claim to provide sufficient levels of security for business use.


Attack Tests Disclose the Value of Accreditations

Keynetics, the sole supplier of the SentriGuard® key management solution, conducted an attack test experiment comparing multiple key safe products. The LPCB accredited Sentriguard, which passed design and manufacturing audits as well as rigorous attack tests by BRE, was attacked in the same manner as a similar key safe widely used on commercial property in the UK.

Using only a screwdriver and a hammer, the alternative key safe was opened in only seven seconds! Whereas SentriGuard remained undamaged after a full minute of attack.

This comparative experiment highlights one of the most important considerations when selecting a key management solution: Due diligence must be conducted before making important decisions around the security of keys and access.


Choosing a Secure Key Safe System

There are a few simple steps to follow:

  1. Check the accreditations and research the organisations that issued them.
    Additionally, look for more information about the approach and examine the real certification document with explanations. For example, LPCB certificates and standards are presented on RedBookLive, a website for designers, specifiers, regulators, and end users of fire and security products.
     
  2. Find product reviews or ask for references.
    See if there are any product reviews online. In terms of references, key safe suppliers may be unable to publish case studies in order to avoid customers’ security being compromised. However, they may have a database of customers who are happy to endorse their products in a conversation with potential users.
     
  3. Evaluate other features of the product.

Once the security of the key safe has been verified, learn more about other product features. SentriGuard key safes, for example, can be unlocked with an app or a temporary code. Key safe access is managed on a cloud-based platform that allows you to grant and revoke access in a matter of just a few clicks, run live audit reports, receive missing key notifications and much more.


[1] Private Security Services in the UK - Market Size, Industry Analysis, Trends and Forecasts (2024-2029) – IBIS World

[2] Private Security Services Market Analysis APAC, North America, Europe, South America, Middle East and Africa - US, China, India, Germany, UK - Size and Forecast 2024-2028 - technavio

[3] Crime against businesses: findings from the 2022 Commercial Victimisation Survey – GOV UK

[4] Cracking the Case: Uncovering the cost of small business crime | FSB, The Federation of Small Businesses

[5] Crime Survey 2024 https://brc.org.uk/media/tubas22s/brc-crime-survey-report-media-2024.pdfReport - BRC

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