RESTRICTED MASTER KEY SYSTEMS
What is a Master Key System?
A Master Key System is comprised of a hierarchy of keys and a number of cylinders/locks that allow different groups or individual key holders to gain access to all or specifically designated areas of a building or buildings. Put simply, a master keyed lock is a lock that is designed to be opened by individual keys, but can also be removed by using a master key.
What are the benefits of a master key system?
There are many benefits of a master key system, but the overriding one is that access can be controlled, allowing appropriate people access to defined parts of the building.
Other benefits include:
A master key system or Restricted System, uses security key blanks, which are specifically designed keys which can only be obtained/copied only from the locksmith business which designed the system, and only then with authorisation from the Building’s owner or nominee. Locks are more secure, as the restricted key-way reduces the chance of picking or bumping the lock. Restricted security key blanks are patent protected (design registered) therefore key manufacturers are not allowed to produce copies of that design Individuals can have access to more doors using only a minimum number of keys. A master key system is a dynamic entity and as your business/organisation changes, a well-planned master key system should be able to adapt to changing requirements. Accurate records of keys and who has them can be easily kept and maintained, eliminating the possibility of duplicate keys being made without authorisation.
What is the difference between master keying and keying alike?
A master key will operate two or more locks that operate on two individual keys.
Keying a lock alike is to have several locks altered to operate using one key exclusively.
Keying alike is great for domestic purposes and small businesses, enabling key holders to open several doors (front door, back door and security door for example) with the single key.
Things to consider when implementing a secure master key system
The system should be designed with an eye to the future, plan how many different types of keys you will need today and add 50% expansion for tomorrow. Place people into groups, this will indicate how many different types of key you will need. Then decide where each group needs access, this will indicate which doors each key will operate. Simplify your design. It may be that you could merge two key groups into one. This may allow key-holders access to doors they wouldn’t normally use, but if you feel this does not compromise your security then it may be good. Having less key groups allows your system to be more flexible.