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What is a Master Key System and How Is It Useful?

Simply stated, a master key system is when a single key can open multiple doors within a building facility. However, the system itself can be more complex. With locks created to work with multiple different keys, a master key system can help limit access to many as well as offer full access to few. Confused yet? Let’s break it down…

How Does a Master Key System Work?

A master key system is comprised of multiple master keyed locks that are configured to operate with two or more different keys. The most common system is a two-level master key system, but there are three and four-level systems available as well to help cover the needs of facilities managers and multi-building facilities.

Benefits of Master Key Systems

The main benefit of a master key system is the increased safety provided by having different levels of keys that limit who has access to specific doors. Another benefit of this system it that it saves money as, most often, a lost or unreturned key does not require you to rekey the whole building.

Types of Keys in a Master System

There are two different types of keys depending on the number of levels in a system. While “change keys” limit access, the varying master key types help provide more access to appropriate individuals. The different types of keys are:

  • Change keys, like a traditional lock and key systems, are unique to a specific lock and cannot open any others in a set, which is great for individual office doors.
  • Master keys operate all locks in a set. An example of who would benefit most from this would be an office manager or maintenance worker who needs access to each individual office or common space in a building.
  • Grand Master Keys are for facilities managers who need access to every door in a single building, including private access areas.
  • Great Grand Master Keys are for property owners or facilities managers who need access to every door in more than one building or very large buildings.

Have You Inherited an Existing Master Key System Without Much Information?

It’s not uncommon to acquire a building and feel unsure about its lock and key hardware if the building already has a master key system installed. How do you know if you have a master key system on-site? If you have a key that has the word “Master” (AA, M, GMK, or GGMK) on it, and you know it unlocks multiple doors, that would be your first indication. One key does not help answer how many keys have been issued or who has them – unless you were provided full key records  – so it’s typically best to have your locks rekeyed and set up a new system that fits your needs. This is where we come in.

Designing and Managing Master Key Systems

Here at Assured Security, we have the expertise to custom design and manage your Master Key System. As no two properties allow the same people the same access, each master key system should be unique to you and your needs. When a new system is designed, it typically does not require replacing your door hardware. Our experts are great at integrating newer technology with existing hardware and will find the best solution for you.

Our preferred brand of master key systems is Medeco an ASSA ABLOY company, the leader in high-security keys. Medeco only authorizes select dealers to be a Medeco Security Center (MSC). Assured Security is an MSC in the Twin Cities. With this system, only authorized signers can request new keys, and keys cannot be duplicated due to a patented key blank. With Medeco, you’ll be able to track who has specific keys and rest easy knowing this will deter lock picking, bumping, or drilling.

For convenience, we maintain records of all the keys in your system for you so you know what keys will work on which doors. Master keys require sophisticated calculations, and we can guarantee the new keys and cylinders will work when we manage the system. After we design your system, we will continue to update it as your building needs change. Assured Security also offers a Door Management System that makes managing your property a breeze by simply scanning a QR code on your door when you need to submit a service request.

Upgrade from a Master Key System to a High-Security Key System

If you’re ready to increase safety and save money with an upgraded master key system, trust us as your high-security key experts in the metro area. When you work with Assured Security, you’re getting more than just a master key system, you’re getting one team that you can rely on for all your door, lock, and building electronic security needs. Contact us with questions or get a quote today.