Master Key Systems

Before you decide to master key your facility, you must recognize what a master key system actually is and weigh the advantages against the disadvantages normally found in a master key system.

You have to keep in mind that a master key system is really (as a friend once told me) a controlled compromise of the security of a keying system. Later in this article POP A LOCK of Jacksonville will provide you with a link to an article: Applying a Master Key System by Don O’Shall a recognized authority on the principles and practicality of master keying.

The primary advantage of a master key system is that it allows management, maintenance and security personnel to carry a single key to access designated groups of door (or the entire building) with master keyed locks while keys issued to non-management employees will only open single doors such as their office or a supply closet.

A big disadvantage to any master key system is that more than one key will open a single master keyed lock. That means it is possible that a key, not intended to open a specific lock, may do so. Such a key is called a “ghost key”. If a key unintentionally opens several locks: that key is known as an Inadvertent Master Key. Consequently the master key system that is designed for your facility must be properly crafted to eliminate that possibility.

Which brings to the forefront that the design of your master key system, as well as the subsequent record keeping should be done only by knowledgeable and trustworthy people. POP A LOCK, Jacksonville’s trusted locksmith service can help you design, implement and maintain your master key system.

Also, once the master key system is installed, the number of master keys should be rigidly controlled and kept to a minimum—issued only to trusted employees—and never duplicated without your knowledge and specific authorization. Making a master key by code cutting or duplication should be authorized only by the highest levels of management.

Should you master key? That’s a decision you should make only after a careful analysis of your physical security requirements. POP A LOCK of Jacksonville would like to help you make an informed decision by helping you become familiar with master key systems in general. With our trained lock specialists we can help you prepare a customized master key system so that system becomes a security solution—not a security nightmare.

For more information on master key systems, master key system design and implementation, POP A LOCK of Jacksonville invites you to read another article on master key systems by one of the industry’s recognized master key experts: Don O’Shall. Click here to read the article.

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