What is a Master Key System and How Does it Work?
The importance of having security for both private and commercial property cannot be overemphasized. With the many different security structures in place, many people have found that the master key system works very well. There are general master keys that will work on all doors and some that are limited. Regardless as to whether the master key opens all the doors in a building or only a few, it is important that it be given to only the most trusted personnel.
Any lock contains a number of small pins in the cylinder. When only one key is designed for a lock, it is called a ‘change key’ and will only work in one location. When different sizes of pins are added to a lock, it is possible to work it with a master key. This pin is called a ‘spacer’. Where a master key is in use, the locks are constructed to work with both keys.
A standard key, for a door, has a series of notches on one side. These notches fit pins that are located inside the lock. These pins have different lengths and are in pairs and rest on a cylinder which, together with a spring, keeps them in position. When the key is inserted, the pins fall into the notches, pairing them to different levels. In order to open a lock, the pins must line up evenly where the housing and the cylinder come together. This is called the shear line.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to a Master Key System and special care must be provided by the locksmith who installs it. A master key allows a person in charge of a company or department to open any door in an emergency or other situation where he or she has a responsibility. This means that those who have possession of a master key will not have to carry about a huge ring of keys, one for every security device on the premises.
A master key system can also be limited for specific companies or individuals, which allows them access only to certain restricted areas. This is particularly handy for people such as certain personnel who only need access to specific maintenance or storage locations.
In this diagram, there is an example of how a master key system works for a residential or commercial building.
When a company has a master key system it is imperative that there is a key tracking system so that the master keys are secure at all times. Maintaining a master key system correctly requires a good relationship with a locksmith. They must be well acquainted with the process of design, installation, and maintenance of both the keys and the locks involved, as well as setting up a good tracking system.
The locksmith chosen to install a master key system must have a good reputation, be acquainted with all the requirements of the system, and be able to respond quickly to any questions asked. In choosing a local Dallas Locksmith for this important task, they should be licensed and insured and have a good reputation in the locksmith industry.