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These days high-tech cybersecurity gets most of the security crime headlines: hacks into databases or financial transactions, electronic locks bypassed for unauthorized physical break-ins. But in the midst of twenty-first century security attacks, it is important to keep one eye on the basic physical security in your municipal operation.

Lax security measures with poor key control can lead to undetected access to doors, gates, utility boxes, and fuel dispensers. Lock America of Corona, California, has developed a municipal security lock program that delivers an added level of access security while enhancing a community’s public image. Lock America’s branded security locks ensure that every item is properly secured with a lock that promotes its municipal branding.

Lake Elsinore, a city in western Riverside County, California, has grown from a small resort town in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to a suburb with over 70,000 residents. Like most towns, its security infrastructure has grown over the years in bits and pieces without any comprehensive planning. The Lock America Security Lock Program has enabled Lake Elsinore to get a handle on its physical security.

The Benefits of a Security Lock and Key Control System

If you can’t control the keys to your locks, they aren’t locks at all. If you can’t identify the location of every key at all times, you leave your operation open to an undetected break-in. It could be as simple as the theft of a tool box discovered months later, or an electrical box or circuit compromised by unauthorized access. With gas prices soaring, those municipal gas pumps are tempting to professional and amateur thieves alike, so it certainly makes sense to lock municipal pumps securely and to know who has the keys.

A High Security Key Control System ensures that management knows who has access to every secured item or location. The system is based on a non-duplicatable key blank, with each individual key code registered, and replacements available only to authorized management. A secure master key allows management access. With this system, staff have access only where they are authorized, significantly reducing the opportunity for theft or misuse. Management knows who has access at any time. In an emergency or during an audit, for example, management’s master key provides immediate access.

Why is a hardware lock system superior to a keypad access system? People write down their codes and share them occasionally, and there are other undetectable ways to breach electronic locks as well. In addition, an electronic system is expensive to install and maintain. A physical barrier limits access to an authorized identifiable key holder and management. With the Lock America system, locks of various sizes can all be based on the same type of key and branded with the city image, broadcasting a professional image to the public and providing visible evidence that a lock hasn’t been compromised and switched.

Lock America high security keyways can be installed in a variety of padlocks, round locks, and cylinder camlocks for many applications. With the Lock America system, barrel locks can be coded to the same master key as labeled padlocks for most applications, among them:

  • Garages: Cylinder barrel locks can be keyed to the same master key as labeled padlocks.
  • Gates: There are two sizes for high security locks, both with heavy duty boron alloy shackles.
  • Electrical/Control Boxes and Fuel Dispensers: Key control allows access only to authorized personnel with a master key option.

The Lock America Key Control System is based on a keyway with 11 rotating disks to stand up to picking and harsh weather conditions. Because this lock mechanism permits millions of usable key combinations, Lock America can provide unique registered key codes for separate departments while still maintaining a unique master key that opens every lock for emergencies or audits. Lock America registers each customer’s key codes for replacement by only authorized personnel. Because each key and lock combination is accounted for, it is almost impossible to open a lock undetected.

Broadcast Your Community’s Security Commitment to the Public and Your Team

Every aspect of a community speaks to the public. A branded lock program enhances a community’s image while providing accountable security for its assets.

LOCK AMERICA has developed and marketed high-security locks and hardware since 1981. For more information, contact 800-422-2866,, or


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RICH MORAHAN writes frequently on security and marketing for the ATM, fuel marketing, self-storage, and vending industries. You can contact him at 617-240-0372, or


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