A professional locksmith or a commercial locksmith Melbourne, can create a master key to operate multiple locks, with each lock having one or more keys of its own. But, many people understand the master key as one key that can open any lock in their home. In fact, this happens only because all the locks in your home are identically keyed and does not constitute a master key system. For instance, when an apartment complex is master keyed, it allows an authorized person to override every lock that is part of the master key system. In usual circumstances, the key for apartment 201 can open only that particular apartment and not the adjacent apartment no. 202. But, the master key from a master key system can open the entire apartment within the system.
Another example is a distinct key for the garage door given to the gardener to gain access to the garden area. The homeowner retains a master key for all the other locks and the gardener gains access only to the external area of the home including the garage to access supplies and tools. Therefore, when you are moving into a new apartment or home, it is important to ascertain if your home has been master-keyed.
There are obvious dangers to the master-key system and the master-key being lost sits at the worst end of these dangers. When a master key system has been created, there should be strict and documented control of the master key. A master key in the wrong hands can spell disaster and potential theft will leave no sign of a forcible entry or physical harm. In some situations, master-key may be referred to as the ‘construction key’. Personnel in the employ of the builder normally use this key temporarily during the construction period. All designated locks can be opened with this key and the ‘construction key’ gets voided once the contractor hands over possession of the structure to the owner. The process of voiding the construction key is achieved by removing the plastic piece inserted in the keyway so that the construction key can no further operate the lock. A professional locksmith can carry out this exercise quickly for you. This method of master-keying has its in-built risks since the plastic piece can always be inserted into the lock to gain access to the home or other spaces. All master-key systems have master pins placed inside the lock cylinder which makes up the security of a particular lock and the same pin can be manipulated or picked by trained hands. However, you should also remember that master-key systems were originally intended only to enhance convenience. But, if you have even an iota of doubt that your lock could have been master keyed, you should immediately get your lock changed or get it re-keyed by a commercial locksmith Melbourne.
The restricted keyway in control programs for master key
Control programs for the master key are generally created using a restricted keyway to prevent unauthorized copies. Keys may be copied by criminals or even employees for varying purposes, but this can create security holes in your business. However, this possibility can be negated with the use of restricted keyway in the master-key system.
Serialized master keys
All keys with a restricted keyway come with its unique serial number to enable identification of individual keys for the locking system, including the master keys. These unique serial numbers, in turn, can be useful in tracking the keys to the respective holders and provide information about the parts of the key and key itself defining the particular that can be accessed using a given key. A tracking software (cloud-based) helps you track the information 24×7 and the master key serialization is also helpful in ensuring that a designated person or the owner can always know the exact number of keys in existence, the respective holders and the access level provided by each key.
Master keys work with re-key technology
A huge advantage of Master-key is that the administrator/owner is freed from carrying a heavy key bunch with him. With a single key, he/she can access every designated lock and even avoid the services of a locksmith at times and the owner/administrator can breathe easy and focus on other work improving the overall efficiency of the business. There are several benefits from re-key technology and if a security breach is noticed, rekey technology comes to your aid immediately to secure your system again by simply addressing the level at which the breach occurred. For instance, if the owner loses the master key itself, with the re-key technology, the master-level in the system can be adjusted and only the owner’s master key gets replaced. Keys in the hands of other users are not impacted and therefore needs no replacement. This also results in significant cost saving since only the compromised parts are replaced.
Managing and tracking Master keys with the help of software
Master keys can also be controlled using appropriate software, generally, cloud-based and all the keys within the system can be linked through such software. This will help the owner/administrator track all individuals who have keys to different locks within the system. This information can also be updated in real-time to provide a comprehensive overview. A professional locksmith or commercial locksmith Melbourne can help you integrate such software and guide you to use it effectively.
Master keys can protect your office and home
You can protect your home and business with the right master key and prevent a potential disaster. There may be situations when a senior employee who was given a master key is fired and the master key is returned to you. When the master key is serialized and created with the help of a restricted keyway, you can be sure that the employee who has been fired does not have a copy of the master key. Similarly, in disaster and emergency situations also, master keys are a huge help to address critical concerns quickly. Master key systems also come with a process of documented record-keeping helping reduction in investigation time and narrowing down a list of suspects.
The master-key system can be helpful in many ways for businesses as well as homes and can be a boon when you are facing a complex security concern.