What is a Master Key System

Master key system is an effective high-technology solution that is designed to manage access to residential and commercial properties. As a homeowner or facilities administrator, you must have encountered issues or drawbacks in your current security systems. Master key systems are one of the effective solutions recommended to be installed to control access and prevent unauthorized entries. 

Let’s take an example of a master key system installed in a school where a master key is used to open all classroom doors. At the same time, each and every classroom also has its own key. So, you can consult a locksmith specialist to get this system installed, aligning with your requirements. 

A master key works in the building having cylinders and pins designed especially for the master key. Suppose, a master key system is installed by a landlord. Now if their tenant changes the lock, the master key will no longer work to open it.

The rising security incidents and threats have necessitated the need for such ultra-modern systems. Although these systems are mostly used in commercial setups like corporate buildings, retail stores etc. They may also be installed in huge residential buildings or farm houses with different floors and sections.

Deep Insights on Master Key Systems

A master key system is a type of lock system that is built on a hierarchical system. It lets authorized individuals gain access to defined areas or locks through a single key. 

So, basically, there is a primary key that unlocks all locks within the system. All the locks in the system are operated by the master key, but each lock is keyed and has a unique key, called a change key. This solution ensures security by enabling controlled access with varying degrees of authorization.

A master key system is comprised of the following: 

Master Key

There is a primary key that is used to unlock all locks within the system.

Sub-Master Keys

Secondary keys are used to unlock a subset of locks within the system.

Change Keys

These are the separate keys used to unlock particular locks within the system.

Why Should You Install a Master Key System?

A master key system enables authorized personnel to keep an easy access control within the property. Here are some of the major benefits associated with using a Master Key System.

Security Enhancement 

Since you are able to limit access to particularly defined areas, it helps reduce the risk of unwanted or unauthorized entries.

Cost-saving Method 

It’s really a cost-efficient method, as it eliminates the need for separate keys for each lock. You need not spend on getting and managing different keys.

Flexible Solution

These systems can be customized without any hassle. You can seek help from a professional commercial locksmith to get a custom-made master key solution so as to adapt to the changing access needs of your organization. 

How do Locksmiths Conduct Master Key System Installation Process?

The installation of a master key system demands knowledge, care, and meticulousness. Locksmith professionals make use of high-tech tools and techniques to undertake this process in a safe and smooth manner. 

Take a look at the steps described below.

Assessing Lock Requirements  

Initially, the locksmith thoroughly assesses the lock requirements pertaining to your commercial zone or facility. They conduct a survey of the areas that require high access control.

Selecting Keyway 

Once the relevant areas are assessed, the next step is to select a suitable keyway for each lock. Now each key must be compatible with the master key system.

Creating Master Key 

Now the creation of the master key and sub-master keys begins. A check is conducted to verify that all keys are compatible with each other.

Configuring Lock 

The locksmith configures each and every lock so that it can accept the corresponding sub-master key or change key.

Verifying the System

The locksmith conducts a check and discovers that every lock works properly with the key assigned to it.

Documenting the System 

The locksmith provides you with a descriptive documentation of the master key system. It consists of lock configurations, key assignments, and other relevant details. 

Final Training 

The authorized personnel in your official setup are trained and made familiar with using the system effectively. 

Types of Master Key Systems

These are the basis types of a master key system.

Single Master Key System

This includes only one master key that is used to open all locks in the system.

Grand Master Key System

This system has a master key that is used to open multiple sub-master keys, which are used to open separately provided locks.

Electronic Master Key System

With technology advancing at a rapid pace, electronic locking systems are now also available. 

Things to Consider for Master Key System Installation

Here are certain key pointers that you must consider while opting for a master key system.

Follow a Planned Approach 

You must be clear with your master key system requirements. Make sure to have a comprehensive plan which helps you identify your access needs and the authorized personnel.

Use High-Quality Locks

Invest some time in finding high-quality locks, and they must be compatible with the master key system. Always remember, spending some time in your research will yield good results in the long run.

Use Keys with Unique Features 

Keys can be easily duplicated. Hence, you are advised to use high-security keys or keys designed with unique features.

Use Key Programming Software 

It is beneficial to use a key programming software which helps you manage and track the access and usage of keys.

Follow a Key Control Policy

It is significant to set or define a policy to manage and control master keys. This helps you make clear who has access to the keys and how they will be used. 

Monitor the Use of Key 

You must monitor key usage and access on a timely basis. This helps ensure that the master system is being used in an already planned or intended manner. 

Train the Office Personnel 

Train the personnel who will be authorized to use the master key system. They must be made conversant with proper handling of master keys.

Carry Out Regular Maintenance Work

It is important to conduct a regular inspection and maintenance of your master key so as to prevent unexpected issues. This helps you ensure continued security and protection against unauthorized access. 

Hire an Experienced Locksmith

When it comes to hiring a locksmith expert, you must consider several factors like their credibility on the basis of their license or certification, experience in installing master key systems, previous work, reviews by their customers, cost of installation, and so on. Once you compare several locksmiths, you can finalize the one suiting best to your requirements.

Where Can a Master Key System be Used?

A meticulously designed key system proves to be instrumental in controlling access and brings convenience when it comes to securing commercial properties.

Here are some of the major setups where master key systems can be installed. 

Commercial Buildings

Such official setups require the installation of master key systems, as they have different sections with great footfalls on a daily basis. There are management areas, employee areas, meeting rooms, storage rooms, and more, depending on requirements. Thus, each and every zone needs to be monitored using tailor-made master key systems so as to prevent unauthorized access.  

Retail Stores

Retail stores have staff areas, stock rooms, display rooms, storage rooms etc. Thus, installing master key systems is beneficial.

Research and Development Centers 

Such systems are highly required in research labs and other related setups, as they have experiment zones, storage rooms, and more. It’s important to secure everything so as to prevent breach of data.

Educational Institutions  

Schools and other big coaching institutes also require master key systems because they comprise various class rooms, teachers’ rooms, storage rooms, staff rooms, labs etc. 

Healthcare Facilities

Master key systems can help monitor access to patient rooms, medication rooms, and staff areas at healthcare facilities. 

Industrial Facilities

Equipment rooms, storage rooms, staff areas, and more can be monitored at industrial facilities using these systems.

Final Words 

Master key systems are meant to offer an easy, safe, and economical way to monitor access into your commercial or residential building. Considering the advantages associated with the same, you are advised to install it and prevent unauthorized access to your property. These systems are strongly advised for organizations or setups like corporate buildings, hospitals, schools, libraries, retail stores, which have different areas. No wonder, even if you reside in a huge property with various zones or floors, you can opt for a master key system like the landlords do.

It’s utmost important to get in touch with a well-trained locksmith expert who has good experience in installing master key systems. You must also take into account their reliability by checking their license and certification received through established organizations. So, conduct your research and find a suitable locksmith to opt for a master key system with appropriate design, installation, and maintenance. 

Related FAQ’s

Some of the major queries related to master key systems are addressed below for your knowledge and information. 

What is a master key system?

A master key system consists of a key that opens different locks related to each other. Each lock also has its own key, which can open only that specific lock. 

What is an example of a master key?

If a school has a master key system, it means there is a master key which is used to open locks of all classroom doors. Along with this, each classroom door also has its own separate key.

What are the benefits of a master key system?

It offers the major benefit of controlling access, as only authorized individuals can open the locks. It also helps save money, as you need not invest on separate keys. Furthermore, you can avail customized master key solutions as per the needs of your commercial or residential property.

Where can a master key be used?

Master key systems are most commonly required in commercial setups consisting of different areas or sections that need to be managed for security. These setups are office or corporate buildings, retail stores, research labs, schools, hospitals, libraries etc. 

Can master keys be used in homes?

Master key systems are usually installed in official or commercial setups. However, home owners residing in huge properties like villas, farmhouses etc., may also install the same for controlled access, as there are different zones or sections. Moreover, landlords who manage a building with spaces allotted to different tenants usually require a master key to ensure security. 

Can a master key open any lock?

A master key works in the building that consists of cylinders and pins designed particularly for the master key. 

What makes a master key?

A master key system is designed in such a way that the master key has pins and spacers set in a unique manner. Thus, it can open all locks provided in a set, while each change key is designed to open only its related lock.

What is called a master key?

A key which opens all the locks in a set, despite the fact that each lock also has its own individual key, is called a master key.