Keyholding and alarm response: Everything you need to know

Read our guide to keyholding services for businesses

Every company will have at least one keyholder. And, in all likelihood, the keyholder or keyholders will at some point, have been called out to an alarm activation at the most inappropriate of moments. Whether that’s 3 o’clock in the morning, or just as the hotdogs are served at a weekend barbecue. It’s annoying, inconvenient and actually quite scary.

That’s why outsourcing your keyholding to a professional security company may be in your best interests.

What does keyholding mean?

Keyholding is the responsibility of looking after keys for a business or organisation. Often this is a senior employee or a chosen rota of employees. Responsible for opening up and locking down the premises, the keyholder is also the first point of contact in the case of an emergency. When an alarm is triggered, they are the first people to respond.

What makes a good trusted keyholder?

A position of responsibility, an internal keyholder is often a senior employee. Because they are required to respond quickly should an alarm be triggered, they should also live close by. As they are accountable for correctly locking up and setting alarm systems, characteristics that would make for a good keyholder include being highly conscientious, responsible and dependable.

If you choose to utilise employees as your keyholders, the tips in our blog ‘How to keep your designated keyholders safe’ will help to protect them.

Do keyholders get paid more?

Often keyholders are senior members of staff, so keyholding is an understood part of their role. While you may get paid a little extra to be a keyholder, you have to factor this increase alongside the fact you may get called out at unsociable hours, to attend an emergency where you don’t know what is waiting for you. Often, employees will be paid their petrol money to attend the call-out, as well as for the hours spent dealing with any issues that arise.

What is an outsourced keyholding service?

An outsourced keyholding service is where your keyholding duties are provided by an external security company. This external company will take charge of all the duties usually associated with an internal keyholder, including unlocking and locking premises if required. The security company will also provide alarm response services in the event of your alarm being triggered.

Why use a keyholding service?

Outsourcing your keyholding comes with a number of benefits for your business. Not least because you know that any alarm activation will be attended by someone who is experienced in how to react.

As well as this safety factor, there’s also the convenience which senior staff will benefit from, knowing their business is in safe hands while they’re away from the office.

Find out more about the benefits of outsourcing here:

What is a key holding licence?

In order to provide keyholding services to a customer, private security companies are required to hold a key holding licence.

Issued by the SIA, there is no training or qualifications required to hold a key holding licence, however, if in attending an alarm call-out, you undertake activities such as you would during manned guarding, the appropriate front line licence and qualification is required.

Keyholding and alarm response in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire

Abbey Security has been providing key holding and alarm response services to businesses throughout East Anglia for over 30 years. Based in Bury St Edmunds and Cambridge, we can quickly respond to alarm activations, and work directly with the emergency services if required. To find out more about our keyholding services, call us on 01284 768832 or fill out our contact form.

Posted on September 27, 2019

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