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Mastering Access Control – How the Master Key System Works

Managing multiple keys is challenging for properties that need to give employees, cleaning staff, and other vital holders varying access levels. Master key systems provide a solution that helps reduce the need for heavy key rings while providing increased security.

A key management system consists of a logical hardware keying design, an access permissions policy, and a tracking and storage system for keys. This system also includes a range of crucial levels, beginning with the great grand master key and ending with different keys.

The Lock

With a master key system, a single key can unlock multiple locks. In most systems, the top-level key, referred to as the Great Grand Master (GGM), opens all of the locks in the security system. The following level key, the grand master key or change key, can only open designated doors or rooms. The first-level keys also work as the door knobs for the individual units within a building, such as classroom doors or closets.

Most master key systems Orlando are based on a basic pin tumbler lock design. Each key will have grooves that allow the shear line to lift key pins and rotate the lock. These key pins are all different sizes, with the universal driver pin.

Effective key management involves four critical parts: Hardware keying design – outlining an organizational structure for users who will hold master keys and change keys; Access Permissions Policy – outlining access restrictions, including users who won’t be granted access to high-security areas; and Key Tracking – maintaining accurate records to track key issuance and usage.

The Key

A key in a master system is stamped with identifying letters and numbers to match it with a door. It helps track the level of access a particular key has and maintains the suite’s security if a key is lost or stolen.

With the correct design, a single key can operate all doors within the main essential suite. Seated keys can open a select number of doors depending on their authorization level and designation within an organization. It provides a cost-effective solution for businesses and multi-family buildings, as individuals must carry fewer keys, and less expensive traditional security hardware needs to be used.

The Pin Stack

The key to a successful lockpicking strategy is to resist the binding force of these pins as much as possible. It can be accomplished by jiggling the key up and down (with considerable turning pressure maintained) and around in a clockwise direction. If enough up-and-down jiggling is done, the key will leave impression marks on its blade.

The impressioning marks on the key’s blade indicate where pin stacks are bound. If the key is turned and wiggled again counter-clockwise, specific pin stacks (like in Figure 1.24) will rub against the key’s blade, causing it to bind.

A master key system is an ideal way to limit access and track who has access to what areas within a building. Effective systems include Hardware Keying Design, Access Permissions Policy, and Key Tracking – keeping accurate records of crucial issuance, returns, loans, and creation of duplicate keys.

The Pin Chamber

When a lock cylinder is master keyed, additional shear lines are added to the pin chamber. It allows more minor cuts to work and makes it harder for a picking device to detect and locate shear points in the pin stack.

A critical system can be tailored to meet your business’s specific needs. Effective master critical systems include a Hardware Keying Design, Access Permissions Policy, and Key Tracking to keep accurate records for key issuance, returns, loans, and the creation of duplicates.

Master keying is a great solution for businesses with different departments that need to keep certain items from being in the hands of the wrong employees. Whether it be office equipment, documents, or equipment, a master key system ensures that only the right people can get what they need. It also prevents unauthorized individuals from entering areas that could be hazardous or expensive to damage. It’s a safe and efficient way to increase security in any facility.