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Master Key Systems

MASTER KEY SUITES EXPLAINED

A MASTER KEY SUITE IS BUILT FROM A SYSTEM OF CYLINDERS AND KEYS, THESE ARE THEN CONSTRUCTED IN SUCH A WAY AS TO ALLOW AUTHORISED KEYS TO PASS THE CYLINDERS WHILST RESTRICTING ANY KEY WHICH IS NOT AUTHORISED. THIS IS DONE BY THE ARRANGEMENT OF “BOTTOM PINS” , TOP “DRIVERS” AND “MASTER SHIMS”TO ALLOW TWO OR MORE DIFRENT KEYS TO WORK ONE CYLINDER.

THE SYSTEM IS USUALLY BUILT AROUND A MASTER KEY THAT WILL GIVE ACCESS TO ALL OF THE LOCKS IN THE SYSTEM, THIS THEN STILL ALLOWS THE OWNER/MANAGER OF THE BUILDING OR THE SECURITY DEPARTMENT TO ACCESS ALL AREAS WHEN REQUIRED.

IN ESSENCE A MASTER KEY SYSTEM SHOULD PROVIDE A METHOD OF CONTROLLING ACCESS TO A BUILDING IN SUCH A WAY THAT ONLY PERSONS RESPONSIBLE FOR PARTICULAR AREAS OF A BUILDING MIGHT HAVE KEYS FOR THAT AREA.

THERE ARE TWO BASIC FORMS OF MASTER KEY SYSTEMS.
HIERARCHICAL METHOD

THIS METHOD ALLOWS MANY LEVELS OF KEYS TO BE USED FROM THE GREAT GRAND MASTER KEY ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE BASE LEVEL KEY (DIFFER KEY) WITH MANY CONTROL LEVELS IN BETWEEN.

THE EASIEST WAY TO EXPLAIN THIS SYSTEM IS TO THINK OF IT IN THE CONTEXT OF A FAMILY TREE CHART THE WAY THE DIFFERENT LEVELS CASCADE DOWN FROM ONE STARTING POINT AND BRANCH OFF.

THE BENEFIT OF BUILDING A SUITE IN THIS WAY IS IT IS POSSIBLE TO ADD EXTRA COMBINATIONS AT A LATER DATE MAYBE FOR NEW ROOMS, DEPARTMENTS OR EVEN A NEW BUILDING AS LONG AS IN THE INITIAL PLANNING OF THE SYSTEM POSSIBLE FUTURE EXPANSION HAS BEEN TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT.

MATRIX METHOD

THIS METHOD ALLOWS FOR A VERY FLEXIBLE DESIGN OF THE SYSTEM AND ALSO SUPPORTS CROSS KEYING.

THIS GIVES YOU INDIVIDUAL KEYS FOR MEMBERS OF STAFF THAT WILL ACCESS ALL OF THE DESIGNATED LOCKS THAT YOU WISH THEM TO OPEN, THIS CAN BE AS MANY OR AS FEW AS REQUIRED.

THIS SITUATION MAY ARISE IF YOU HAVE MEMBERS OF STAFF WHO NEED TO HAVE ACCESS TO MANY DIFFERENT ROOMS, SUCH AS A TEACHER WHO MAY HAVE TO ACCESS A NUMBER OF CLASSROOMS DURING THEIR WORKING DAY.

BY USING THIS METHOD YOU CAN DECIDE ON AN INDIVIDUAL STAFF LEVEL WHICH ROOMS THEY CAN ACCESS AND WHICH THEY CANNOT.

YOU MAY REQUIRE SOME PEOPLE TO HAVE ACCESS TO SOME ROOMS BUT NOT OTHERS.

THE MAIN DRAWBACK TO USING THIS METHOD OF MASTER SUITE BUILDING IS THAT ONCE THE KEYS HAVE BEEN DESIGNATED TO PASS AND THE SYSTEM BUILT IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO ADD NEW COMBINATIONS FOR ANY FURTHER EXPANSION.