Master Keyed Locks

Master Key Systems

Diagram of a master key system

Diagram of a master key system – click to enlarge

A master key system is a very convenient means of controlling access. It consists of a suite of locks – it could be just a few locks in a block of flats or hundreds of locks in a large business or on a university campus. All types of cylinder locks can be master keyed, so a suite can be made up of a mixture of different types of locks, for example padlocks, Yale locks and euro cylinders. It is a very useful solution for any premises that has a requirement for different levels of access.

How a master key system works

Each lock will have an individual key called a pass key which will operate only that lock.

However, each individual lock can also be opened by another different key, called a master key. Master keys will open all the locks in that suite.

Within a master keyed suite of locks, groups of locks can also be keyed alike, so that the same pass key operates all of the locks in that group, but the master key will also still open them too.

Within a master keyed system you can also have groups of locks called sub masters. This may apply in a large organisation were there are different buildings or departments. The head of each department may have a master key which will operate all of the locks in that department, but none of the locks in other departments. This type of suite may have several layers of masters and sub masters. There will always be a Grand Master key which will still open all of the locks (see the diagram above).

Clearly key control is very important when a master keyed suite of locks are installed. For this reason it is fairly common although not essential that master keyed systems are supplied in the form of high security registered profile locks. This means that the key blanks are impossible to copy and can only be obtained from the supplier with the correct authorisation.

We supply our own master keyed high security registered profile lock cylinders which are anti-pick, anti-drill, anti-bump and anti-snap, and which also have high security registered profile keys that can’t be copied.

There are many benefits to operating a master key system. For security staff and cleaners, it takes away the burden of organising and carrying dozens of keys. It also works as a great back up if an individual key is lost or forgotten.

We can also provide a master key system with a restricted key, meaning only selected individuals are authorised to get keys cut from us, giving you complete control of how many keys are out there and who has them.