A master key system is a set of locks that are keyed so that they each may have an individual key, called a pass key, yet all are opened by an additional special key called a master key.
This enables a business to have access to all locks using the master key but to restrict access to certain areas for certain people by giving them a pass key or change key that just opens locks to the areas they are authorised to be in (for example cleaning staff).
There are many benefits of a master keyed system, but the principal benefit is that access can be controlled across a building or buildings allowing appropriate people access to defined areas.
An additional benefit is that individuals can have access to different areas using only a minimum number of keys.
However, as with any key, if a master key is lost or stolen the security of any of the locks that key activated is compromised. However, current master key lock designs make lock picking almost impossible.
A well-planned master keyed system can be flexible so that as your business changes it can adapt to changing access requirements. Master key systems can be installed in phases (useful when installing into existing sites).
The system should be planned allowing for future expansion and changes, and the actual cylinders can be called for over a period of time to suit budget availability.
For additional security, master key systems are usually restricted meaning that each key is individually stamped and identified. This prevents these keys being duplicated without the written approval from one of the systems authorised signatories.
This also means the owner of the restricted system can keep track of exactly how many of each key has been cut and ensure that no unauthorized copies have been made.