The key questions to ask before embarking on your master key system design process are: A “master key system” is a set of locks that are keyed so that they each may have an individual key, called a “passkey,” yet all are also opened by an additional special key called a “master key.” These locks would be described as “keyed different and master keyed.”, Within a master key system, groups of locks can, alternatively, be keyed alike, so that the same key operates all locks in the group, with all locks in the group also operable by the master key. These locks would be described as keyed alike and master keyed. Your locksmith will surely have questions regarding who needs access to specific doors. For example: You can see that the cylinder keyed to "AA1" can be easily keyed to all three keys. A master key system is a set of locks that are keyed so that they each may have an individual key, called a passkey, yet all are opened by an additional, special key called a master key. Under the master, groups of locks can be keyed different, keyed to a sub-master and keyed to the master. How often should you change or replace keys. Also there's a big difference between possible changes and usable changes. R3 efforts are crucial for the future success of hunting and the shooting sports and should be a focus for all organizations seeking market growth. If your master key system is going to be part of new construction, use the door numbers from the architect's hardware schedule to identify the doors. Once finalized, your locksmith will set the process in motion to properly “combinate” all of your doors, showcase and padlock locations to allow seamless use of your keys once installed. Sub-master keys are often created to match the hierarchy of the users and/or the structure of the building. If, however, you add one pin to one stack and one pin to a second stack, now there are twelve keys that will work this lock. Tom rubenoff (author) from United States on December 21, 2016: Hi Mac! These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. A separate sub-master may be issued to personnel who need access to other stock and merchandise areas, but not firearms. Simply identify the doors and locks that allow access into the facility, key them alike and set these locks up on their own keyway combination. An easy solution? Within a master key system, groups of locks can be keyed alike, so that the same key operates all locks in the group, plus all locks in the group are operated by the master key. I would love to be able to leave something with a building owner so they can answer simple yes/no type questions to aid in distilling their keying needs. I have been using this techique a lot and it seems to be pretty good. You still need to avoid cross keying, but at least folks won't be able to try their keys in the LB keyway cylinders unless they have them re-cut on an LB, LD, or LN keyway blank. I apologize in advance for my obvious ignorance and appreciate any guidance. Included in the typical master key system is a special key referred to as the “control key,” which can be used to remove or change the main locking or combinated mechanism of a lock so that a particular key will no longer work in the lock. 2) Do you have a good reference for the rules of binning? Typically, locksmiths number keys in a master key system similar to this: If there are no submasters and no grand master, the master key would simply be numbered "A" and the pass keys "A1", "A2", etc. Question: 1) Which codes make a good master key? You may have to include an additional interior office where the store’s master key is stored overnight and retrieved by managers when they arrive for work. For that reason, I’d like to discuss the basic outline for designing and installing a sound, standard locks-and-keys system in your facility and discuss electronic access control later. Be sure you always keep it safe. You are almost selling our knowledge. If the wrong person gets a copy of the grand master key, every lock in the system may have to be changed. An easy solution? Once you’ve determined how employees will access various parts of your store or range, you’ll want to number your doors and keys. Although electronic locking systems and computerized electronic access control systems are plentiful and reliable, they can add significant costs to your retail or range operation. NSSF’s on-demand SHOT University is a one-stop e-learning platform for firearms retailers and ranges. NSSF’s on-demand SHOT University Online is a one-stop e-learning platform for firearms retailers and ranges. How to Lay Out a Master Key System Schedule Identify the Doors. In a master pinned cylinder, an additional set of pins are added between the top and bottom pins. For example, in the series above, the next change would be 56519. Of course, you likely do and should have an alarm system to back you up in the event of unauthorized use of the lost or misplaced key, but nevertheless, it’s prudent to change locks when keys are lost or stolen — and that can be costly! And errors are easy to make. The way a master key system is laid out determines the ability that each individual key holder may have to operate any given lock. These locks would be described as “keyed alike and master keyed.”. Number of possible changes varies widely between pinning technologies and manufacturers. I used to do fairly well avoiding cross keying by keeping one digit the same as the master and then adding a certain number to each other digit to come up with the next change. Therefore the most practical way to proceed would be to ask them to list their doors and the people who need to get into them when they are locked. Dorma Kaba Ilco is an aftermarket cylinder and key blank company that produces good quality products, but if you want to be able to use the pin size your keying kit tells you to use, you will need to use original cylinders and key blanks. Question: How should I go about developing the bitting codes to be used in my system? An organized key storage system and key sign-out procedure can help make sure the major convenience of a master key does not become a major liability. Partial spreadsheet for a master key system. When you have identified your doors and settled on a key numbering system you are ready to design your master key system.