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Master keying explained

Masterkey systems offer control over the movement of people within a building or buildings. It is most important that the keying requirements of a building are accurately and correctly detailed to provide security and accessibility for the keyholders of the building.

Any recommendations must relate the security of the system to the convenience of movement within the building.

Too much reliance on one side of the security/­convenience balance will either sacrifice the security offered or lose the convenience factor. It is thus vitally important to strike the right balance.

Examples of the principle of masterkeying are shown below.


Individually Keyed System (KD)

With an individually keyed system, each cylinder can be opened by its individual key.


Keyed Alike (KA)

This system allows for a number of cylinders to be operated by the same key. It is ideally suited to residential applications such as front and back doors.


Master Keyed (MK)

A master-keyed system involves each lock having its own individual key which will not operate any other lock in the system, but where all locks can be operated by a single master-key.


Grand Master Keyed (GMK)

This is an extension of the master-keyed system where each lock has its own individual key and the locks are divided into 2 or more groups. Each lock group is operated by a master-key and the entire system is operated by one grand master-key.


Common Entrance Suite (CES)

This system is widely used in apartments, office blocks and hotels. Each apartment (for example) has its own individual key which will not open the doors to any other apartments, but will open common entrance doors and communal service areas.

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