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The Benefits of a Master Key System in a Commercial Building

Despite the continued rise of digital locking solutions, many companies are still opting to secure their premises using keys. Glen Butler, Sales Centre Manager at HOPPE (UK), explains how a master key system can provide reliable access control for businesses.

A significant shift in workplace security is under way, and companies are no longer treating security as an afterthought. Data and software specialist Envoy lists ‘increased investment in workplace security’ as one of its top five trends shaping the future of physical workplace security in 2024. This is based on its survey which found that 62% of businesses plan to allocate more resources to workplace protection this year.

And while digital solutions are on the rise, many companies still prefer to secure their premises using physical keys. This is where a master key system is ideal. Providing the same access control as several keys, master key systems are mechanical access systems whereby a single key can open all the doors that have cylinder locks within a business. This is all while enabling each door to have its own individual key if required.

Varying Types

Varying degrees of complexity can be achieved to suit a variety of needs, but there is often confusion between keyed alike locks and a straightforward master keyed system. In a keyed alike arrangement, all the locks operate using the same key. However, in a straight master keyed suite all the locks can operate with different keys, but one specific key (called the master key) will open them all. Keyed alike groups can also be incorporated into any master key suite.

Maximum Control

Master keyed suites often have sub suites, allowing companies to have full control over who is permitted entry to any given area. Most master key systems provide the option to create a hierarchy system, whereby certain people can gain access to every area while others are given sub keys to restrict them to a select few.

Examples of this could be seen in a small hotel where the hotel manager has a master key to open all doors, and cleaning staff have a sub master to open a range of bedroom doors but none of the offices, for instance. An individual room key in this arrangement is referred to as a servant key.

Trackable Security

Key control systems for master key suites provide the ability to manage and track keys, offering unparalleled control over which individuals have access. This is crucial for maintaining high levels of security in a workplace.

Also, if one of the keys is misplaced, the key control system allows you to track when and/or by whom the key was last used, helping to find and return it to the individual who has authorised use of that specific key.

The benefits of a master key system in a commercial building

A Cost-Effective Choice

While the price of your chosen system will depend on a range of factors, cost is bound to be important – and a master key system is usually less expensive than an electronic alternative; electronic key cards can be very expensive to install and manage.

Don’t let the fact that they are less expensive fool you into thinking they are not as reliable or secure, though. This is simply not true, and master key systems are regarded as being one of the best access systems around thanks to the variety of options on offer and how much less expensive in comparison to other options like electric key cards. If you have a limited budget, then a master key system is the perfect choice.

Options to Suit all Premises

When specifying a master key system, it’s a good idea to consider features such as the length of the cylinders. For example, you might require longer ones when accounting for buildings with thicker doors for acoustic properties, such as music schools and theatres.

The ARRONE range of cylinders can be made to any length, our qualified locksmiths can offer quick production of master-keying service for both keyed alike sets and master suites.

In any master keyed suite, regardless of size, it is wise to look ahead to future growth. Provision can be made in the suite for extensions at a later date. This is always easier to do at the time the suite is created.

For more information on ARRONE master key systems, contact HOPPE (UK) on 01902 484 400.

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