For people who own multiple properties, or have a business that involves many locked facilities, having a master key system can be highly convenient. Qualified Locksmiths can provide home and business owners with affordable master keying services.
Master keys are keys that will open several differently configured locks. Locks that have been master keyed are typically designed to work with two different keys, the change key, which only opens one specific lock, and the master key, which opens all of the locks configured to accept it. Some master key systems have several layers of keys, with grandmaster keys that open all locks, lower level master keys that open some locks, and keys that open only individual locks.
Master keys can also be made for vehicles to a limited degree. Master keys can be made that will open locks and operate ignitions on vehicle that have differing locks for these functions. Master keys capable of opening locks on multiple vehicles are not manufactured, however. Urban legends have sprung up concerning thieves using master car keys to commit theft, but according to the Coalition Network of Forensic Examiners, master car keys that open multiple vehicles do not exist.
There are a variety of reasons why property owners may want a master key system, including:
- Convenience for owners. By having a master key, you don’t have to sort through multiple keys to get into property or facilities that you own. For property owners who may need to get into facilities quickly or late at night, having a master key will save valuable time.
- Better organization. Master keying gives management a better idea who has access to specific facilities. Managers using several change keys can better keep track of who has access to what using this system.
- Employee efficiency. Employees with master or sub-master keys can more easily get in and out of properties. This works well for employees working in maintenance or cleaning services.
- Theft deterrent. Having a series of master and change keys is more secure than having all your locks fit multiple copies of the same key. When you need to rekey a facility or property’s lock, in a master key set up, you will typically only need to rekey that specific lock. Keeping your master key secure is essential to maintaining the security of this set up, however.
- Limiting access. If you have employees who need access to one area of your business but not another, a master key system can be convenient. With a master key system, you can provide employees with keys to access the areas they need while keeping other areas off limits to all but those who hold master keys.
In many cases, your existing locks can be configured to accept a master key. In other cases, you may need to install new locks to take advantage of a master key system. The investment is worth it for many business owners, particularly those in the storage or hospitality industries, or those in property management.
For reliable service, consult with a locksmith who specializes in this area of the industry. Working with a locksmith inexperienced in master keying may result in an inexpert job and non-functional locks and keys. When selecting your locksmith, inquire about previous work in providing master key services and ask for references.