In the retail and industry, maintaining security is vital to loss prevention. Without strong physical security practices, your products are at risk for security breaches and your business can be vulnerable to organized retail crime. Enhancing and maintaining your keyed security includes how well your business operations are utilizing a master key system. First Lock & Security Technologies explores this important topic further below.
What is the Point of a Master Key System?
A master key system is an effective way of controlling which personnel have access to dedicated areas. A master key by definition, is a key that can open some or all of the locks which also have individual or sub master keys operating them. Master keys are typically assigned to general managers, facility managers and/or other employees who need higher level access to many doors throughout the location they manage.
How Does a Master Key System Work in a Retail Business?
Master keying can be an easy and effective way to grant specific levels of access to management employees while limiting access to lower level staff. This is particularly useful for large retail operations with a number of locations or locations with many different keyed doors. Master key systems can be configured in a variety of security levels, which means that area or corporate managers can have wider access than a location-specific manager, who in turn has more access than an employee without any master key access at all.
Grandmaster Key & Other Master Key Levels
Following are some of the levels of key usage included in a master key system:
Great Grandmaster Key: This is the highest level of access in a large master key system and is designed for a very limited number of staff within an organization who need complete access across multiple locations. As a great grandmaster key can have access to every facility, it is extremely important to limit these key holders only to the people who need and use such high level access.
Grandmaster Key: A grand master key is one step below the great grandmaster key. While still granting very high access to an organization, this is an ideal level for facility managers who need access to multiple locations within an area, but not access to facilities outside of their designated territory.
Master Key: A master key has less access than a grandmaster key and can provide total access to a single location with different keyed doors, a specific group of doors. This is ideal for a general manager of a single retail location with multiple doors.
Individual or User Key: A user key is not a master key. Rather, user keys are copies assigned to employees to open single access points such as a front gate, backdoor or staff room etc. These keys offer the most limited access and are ideal for employees below the managerial level who only need limited access in order to do their jobs.
How Do Businesses Keep Track of Master Keys?
Every master and user key distributed to an employee should be tracked with key tracking software designed to support the organization of locks, keys, users, and locations. Master key system can also be created using restricted keys and cylinders such as Primus or Medeco. This means that your master keys can be easily tracked with a unique serial code and they cannot be duplicated without your authorization.
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The locks and keys used throughout your retail organization can either contribute to your loss prevention by limiting access to only those who need it, or when poorly implemented or managed, can hinder your loss prevention efforts with inefficiencies that lead to frequent security breaches and negatively affect your bottom line. First Lock Security & Technologies specializes in developing and implementing master key systems and high security key control programs. We work with retailers, industry and property managers to implement effective and secure master key systems as part of a comprehensive key control program. Call us to learn more about key control in your retail operation or other type of business today!