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The person opening a door lock in Vancouver, BC

Master keying refers to a mechanical locking system used throughout a building whereby one key can access multiple locks. This type of system, also known as a master key system, is used to provide or limit access to different locked areas within a building or complex and offers a high level of security.


Master key systems use cylinder locks which can be accessed by an individual key designed for the lock. However, master keyed locks also feature additional pins – referred to as wafer pins or master shims – which allow them to not only be accessed by an individual key but by a master key also. The master shim is inserted between the top and bottom pins within a cylinder lock, so that there are two different shear lines, meaning the master keyed lock can be accessed by at least two different keys.

Alongside the master key, there may also be a number of sub-master keys. A master key system works on a key distribution hierarchy, which means that the sub-master keys will have more access than a key used for a singular lock but will not have access to the same number of locks as a grand master key.

A master key system with high-security locks can ensure your organization with total peace of mind for both the residents of a building and its management team. Master keying makes certain restricted areas remain secure, while also granting access to specific people in case of an +emergency.

The convenience of managing a reduced number of keys can bring peace of mind in emergencies such as fires, as well as saving critical time making sure that exit routes are open and all residents have been evacuated safely. A reduced number of keys can also save costs when making and replacing keys. The reduced number of keys involved in a master key system, since one key is needed per person rather than multiple, ensures fewer keys go missing or become stolen, which further increases the security of a building or complex.

Master key systems are typically used within high-security multi-occupation buildings and complexes such as apartment complexes, schools, office spaces, detention facilities, hospitals, and nursing homes. Correct key management is a way of increasing commercial security within these environments.

By maximizing security with every component of a master key system, you can ensure that your products, employees, and facilities are safe and secure.


For your commercial, residential, or industrial security needs, you can turn to the professionals at Accurate Security. For over 50 years we have helped homes and businesses throughout British Columbia remain safe and secure. Your safety, as well as the safety of your family or employees, is our top priority No matter your security needs, our team will provide competitive prices and premier security solutions you can trust.

For more information about the services we offer, visit our website or contact us at 604-777-3888.