Policy Information

Date Established: 1972
Date Last Updated: 7/1/2014
Category: 

Facilities; Health and Safety
Responsible Office: 
University Facilities
Responsible Executive:
Vice President for Finance and Administration

Policy Contents

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Lock and Key Policy

This policy is in effect even though it has not gone through the policy review process.

Summary

The university strives to maintain the integrity of university buildings and their contents and to achieve maximum security while maintaining reasonable usability of university areas. University Facilities works to maintain strict control of the campus key and lock systems to support safety and accountability.

Policy Statement

University Facilities, Environment, Health & Safety, and University Police will have unobstructed, 24 hour, year-round access to university buildings in the event of an emergency.

It is the policy of the university, that other than during normal working hours, all buildings shall be locked to maintain the safety of the buildings and their contents. Keys are issued for entry to university buildings for the purpose of conducting university business only.

University Facilities is responsible for providing building access excluding university residence halls and apartments. The primary access control to buildings (both exterior and interior) is provided by manual key system utilizing various University at Buffalo “restricted” keyways to prevent unauthorized key duplication. All campus door locks will be keyed within this system. An acceptable secondary access, including electronic key systems (code or swipe card), may be authorized by University Facilities if necessary. Working with the building users, University Facilities will determine the keying and issuance of all keys. No other sources for keys are authorized. All keys issued remain the property of the University at Buffalo.

When improved key control is desired, the university can install lock hardware on a unique key, commonly referred to as “off master”. Off master keys in academic and administrative areas will be issued only after being approved by the dean or associate vice president. If this option is selected, the department can request only they be given the key (thus cleaning activities will cease, making it the department’s responsibility to clean). The department may authorize that a key be made available to the custodial staff.

Keys to vehicles, cabinets, lockers, and desks are not covered by this policy. University Facilities will attempt to furnish such keys upon request, but the issuance and control of these keys are the responsibility of the individual university colleges/departments.  

Responsibility

University at Buffalo Campus Community

All lock and key work will be done through University Facilities key shop. Unauthorized door locks are prohibited and when found will be removed and appropriate charges made to the responsible college/department.

University Facilities

  • Maintain the university’s lock and key system, including codes, product standards and service equipment.
  • Maintain a computer-based key management system at the Customer Service department.
  • Cut and issue keys with a properly signed Lock/Key Request Form.
  • Maintain computer database of all keys, locks, and associated building and room numbers that they operate. Maintain database of all master key holders.
  • Supply various reports to administrators and key coordinators, such as which key opens what door under their control.  
  • Audit high security keys as required.
  • Restore physical security in a timely manner whenever key control is compromised.

College and Departmental

  • Each dean is responsible to develop and enforce a key return policy for their department.
  • Each department will ensure accountability for all department keys.
  • Protect keys against loss, theft, or unauthorized use. Report lost or stolen keys immediately through the appropriate department head to Customer Service (71).
  • Authorized personnel will sign for and pick up completed key orders at University Facilities Customer Service.
  • Any re-keying expenses to correct deficiencies in security due to lost, stolen, misplaced, or un-returned keys will be the responsibility of the college/ or department.
  • Deans or department directors will be required to authorize building master level keys within their areas of responsibility.

Keyholders - University Personnel and Students

  • The holder of a key to any university facility assumes the responsibility for the safekeeping of the key and its use. When leaving a campus area or building, ensure that all doors are secured as they were upon arrival. Protect keys against loss, theft, or unauthorized use. Report lost or stolen keys immediately through the appropriate department head to Customer Service (71).
  • Prior to leaving the university all keys must be returned to the issuing department. Departments are responsible for having key return on their employee exit checklist.

Key Holders - Contractors, Consultants, Vendors, and other Non-University Personnel

  • Before keys are issued, the Customer Service department requires a current signed document on company letterhead with the employee’s name and position. It must state they are authorized to check out keys on behalf of that company and that company is assuming financial responsibility for all re-keying that may be required to restore security due to keys not returned. The project manager is responsible for issuance and return of keys.
  • The letter needs to be signed by an appropriate officer of the contractor’s company. Loss of keys may require re-keying of one or more buildings and costs could be extensive. 
  • The holder of a key to any university facility assumes responsibility for the safekeeping of the key(s) and its use. When leaving a campus area or building, all doors must be secured as they were upon arrival. Key(s) must not be loaned or made available to others. All lost or stolen keys must be reported immediately through the appropriate department head to Customer Service (71).
  • The company representative must present picture identification and personally sign for all keys.
  • All keys must be returned to Customer Service at the completion of the project. Written confirmation from Customer Service is required before final payment is made by project manager.
  • Short term daily check-out of keys requires the contractor/vendor to follow the above steps. A copy of their driver’s license will be retained until all keys are returned.

Procedure

Requesting Keys

  • Determine what building/rooms access is required. Customer Service will determine the key required to provide such access.
  • Submit a Lock/Key Request Form through your department with appropriate information, signature, and account number.
  • The Customer Service department will make the final determination on the validity of information provided based on the level of key request.

Requesting Keys - Department Level Key Authorization

  • All key requests require a properly signed form submitted in advance of the date needed. Signed request forms may be mailed hand delivered or faxed to Customer Service and have a printed name as well as an approved signature.
  • The key will be fabricated when authorization is approved and the department will be notified when the order is ready for pick up at Customer Service.
  • Department level keys are to be picked up and signed for by the authorized personnel.
  • Authorized signatures are submitted to the Customer Service Department annually on the Key Control Authorization Form.  Please contact Customer Services for any updates.

Requesting Keys - College Level Key Authorization

  • Deans or department directors are required to authorize master and sub-master level keys within their areas of responsibility. All instructional, professional, and clerical space in the building must be controlled by the college/department requesting a master key.
  • The person authorized to carry the key must personally pick up and sign for the key at Customer Service. Keys will not be issued to a third party. Appropriate picture identification is also required.

Requesting Keys - Contractors, Consultants, Vendors, and Other Non-University Personnel

  • Formal request is required- See Responsibility Section for details.
  • The Project Manager must verify the request.
  • The person authorized to carry the key must personally pick up and sign for the key at Customer Service. Keys will not be issued to a third party. Appropriate picture identification is also required.

Returning Keys - Faculty, Staff, and Students

  • Return all keys to the issuing entity (department, supervisor, etc.) before leaving school, discontinuing employment or transferring from your present position. If there is a question regarding the issuing entity, turn keys in to Customer Service  Do not turn keys over to anyone else. You will be held responsible for all keys issued to you.

Returning Keys - Contractors, Consultants, Vendors, and Other Non-University Personnel

  • All keys must be returned to Customer Service at the completion of the project. Written confirmation from Customer Service is required before final payment is made by the Project Manager.

Keys Not Returned

  • It is the responsibility of the authorizing entity to make every effort to secure keys from personnel terminating employment or students leaving school. If efforts fail to obtain the keys they should be considered lost.

Lost Keys

  • Lost keys must immediately be reported to the department coordinator or Customer Service (71).
  • A new key request procedure must be initiated for replacement keys.
  • A Lock and Key Request form must be submitted to the Customer Service department for the lock change and replacement keys. Each department is responsible for the total cost of lock changes and new keys to secure areas compromised by lost keys.

Stolen Keys

  • Stolen keys must be immediately reported to the appropriate department coordinator and Customer Service (71).
  • Customer Service will contact the University Police. A detailed police report must be filed by the department detailing the circumstances of the theft.
  • A new key request procedure must be initiated for replacement keys.
  • A Lock and Key Request form must be submitted to the Customer Service department for the lock change and replacement keys. Each department is responsible for the total cost of lock changes and new keys to secure areas compromised by stolen keys.

Broken or Damaged Keys

  • If a key is broken or otherwise damaged the pieces must be returned to the department coordinator or Customer Service. If a key is broken off in a lock or is malfunctioning, notify immediately Customer Service to create a work order.
  • A new key will be issued after damage verification. There is no charge for the replacement.

Inventory

  • Customer Service will routinely review and check on outstanding temporary key issues. Customer Service will verify key status. 
  • A Master Key Inventory memo will be sent biannually to each college, department, and project manager requesting a list of the “master” keys issued for each department.

Electronic Access System

  • An alternate access on campus can be a card or code systems with a “key override” capability on the University Facilities keying system to all access to building and interior areas by University Police, Environment, Health & Safety, and University Facilities maintenance personnel. The department/college shall be responsible for the cost of operations and maintenance.

Contact Information

University Facilities
120 John Beane Center
Buffalo, NY  14260
Phone:  716-645-2025
custserv@buffalo.edu

Related Documents, Forms

Related Documents:

Forms:

History

July 2014 Updated Responsible Executive to reflect the current organization chart.