How Master Key Systems Work
So many keys, so many locks. If you feel overwhelmed by the number of keys in your business or organization, it may be time to consider a master key system.
A Key Story
The more homes and businesses built in Michigan, the more locksmiths that are needed to install locks. According to IBISWorld, the locksmith industry throughout the United States increased by an average of 4.3 percent each year between 2014 and 2019. Similar growth in the industry is anticipated over the next five years.
Did You Know?
The Lock Collectors Hall of Fame was established in 2010 to recognize people who made significant contributions to the profession. Linus Yale Sr. (1797–1858), inventor of the Yale Lock, is among the inductees.
How It Works
Creating a master key system involves placing master pins inside the cylinder of a lock. You start with a master key that opens all the locks in the building, followed by submaster keys which open locks in a certain part of the building. Eventually, you work your way down to one single key—commonly referred to as a change key—that works for one specific lock.
The main advantage to a master key system is it limits the number of keys needed to open multiple locks. This is especially helpful in an emergency situation where authorized personnel can use a master key to access to all parts of a building.
And the less keys you have, the easier it is to keep track of them.
Most of us would rather not walk around with a giant ring of keys. At the same time, you probably don’t want every employee in your organization to have access to all parts of your building. Here’s where a master key system comes in handy.
At the most basic level, a master key system allows two or more keys to open the same lock. Consider a residential apartment complex in which a tenant’s key will open their apartment door but not their neighbor’s door. The property manager, on the other hand, typically has a master key that can open all the locks and doors in the building.
In an office setting, warehouse, or hospital, a master key system allows for different levels of access throughout the complex. When setting up a master key system, you’ll first need to decide who gets a master key (or submaster key) and which areas of the building your employees or coworkers need to access.
A locksmith is your best source to determine if a master key system is the right option for you.
A Sense of Security
Under a master key system, because you’re placing additional pins inside the cylinder of the lock, you are making the lock easier to pick or manipulate. Consequently, you will need to assess the convenience of having a master key system versus the level of security that’s required in a given area.
If a master key is lost or stolen, you’ll need to consider changing every lock in the system. To that degree, it’s essential that you keep track of your master keys.
Most master key systems have a control key that allows you to remove or change the main locking mechanism of a lock to prevent a particular key from opening the lock. If a key is lost or stolen, a control key allows you the option of quickly changing the locks that went with the missing key. You can then work with a locksmith to decide if you want to create a new master key system.
Give Us a Call Today
Unlocking the mysteries of a master key system is our speciality. Call Lockout Locksmiths here in Royal Oak, MI, at 248-321-2244 or request service online to learn more about master key systems and determine if this is the best system for you.