We wrote (November 25, 2009):
As a blog author and locksmith, as a business owner and statistician, I keenly watch the results using Google Analytics, of the search terms people use while attempting to gather knowledge that may help them to be more aware when purchasing products or services.
I am noticing a significant number of searches recently about master keying although, it may be due to a cardinal lack of understanding about the principle.
It seems that many searches recently are from people who assume that all deadbolts are master keyed. This is simply not true. It is a fallacy.
A deadbolt, or any other lock for that matter, must be purposely master keyed.
There are no pre-fabricated master keys for residential or commercial deadbolt locks.
In bygone years, manufacturers of some bit-key type mortise deadlocks, did produce some of their ranges with a purposely designed flaw allowing for a "skeleton" key to operate. This skeleton key was often referred to as a Master Key.
There are some manufacturers of coin machine locks or cam locks, that routinely produce their locks to be master keyed. The primary benefit in using master keyed coin or cam locks is for commercial situations like an office complex that uses on-site maintenance to minimize the quantity of keys a janitor or other service person can be required to carry. (source...)
Many of the same things we wrote about 10 years ago are still true today.
We here at Master Key Systems America LLC/ St Louis Locksmiths are proud of our continuing longevity in the locksmith trade, currently just a tad over 35 years in the business.
We are lucky enough to have worked on 4 different continents and been exposed to many differing types and styles of key systems, that all have their benefits (and issues) for users in their respective regions.
We are one of the leading Bilock Extreme Security Dealers in the USA, having offered Bilock for the last 14 years, locally,
We have worked with the product regularly since 1983, when we first entered the trade. The product was first made available about 5 years prior.
We explain to customers when designing their master key systems, that our preferred method of creating their system requires establishing a list/spreadheet of doors in their property that they want to operate by key.
We usually survey the premise and will often mark all keyed doors with an individual number often on the hinge or inside of the door frame.
This enables each door to be recorded individually. We will often include details like, hinge location/size/make, door hardware (type of lock), color, kickplate (if required), strike plate type etc.
This allows us to immediately know what the original door products are, if ever asked in future. And allows us to know immediately which keys operate which doors.
On the spreadsheet, we will list each door and it's number across the top of the graph, separated into columns.
We will list the names/employee number of key holders in the left side column.
We will then check the name under the corresponding door each person requires to access.
This simple method allows us to accurately design each system and account for all users.
We prefer to offer all our master key systems using Bilock because it is a restricted keyway that is protected from unauthorized duplication. This means no one can get a key copy without the written permission of the designated authorized signatory. This prevents too may keys being out there and not accounted for. No one can get another key made without the owner/manager's knowledge and permission.
We color code all our Bilock keys for simpler identification. We also emboss the system number, key number and issue number on each key, that means each key is an original and NOT a duplicate.
The method of designing a master key system is important to control access to areas required and dramatically improves the security of a premise.
We still like to recommend mechanical access control key systems because they are virtually maintenance free, require no reliance on batteries or electricity, are significantly cheaper than electronic products and are specifically designed to last 25+ years.
Should you wish to know how master key systems can benefit you and your security, feel free to contact us or your local legitimate locksmith for more personal detail.