What is a Master Key System?

What is a Master Key System?

A “master key system” is a system used primarily by businesses, especially office buildings, in which people who have access to specific areas are each given a specific key that can access specific areas of the building. Master key systems have many benefits, including:


  • Better access control
  • Minimizing the number of keys that are being used
  • Saving money on key replacement costs
  • Quick access to specific areas or all areas for management and security personnel
  • Can save lives in emergency situations
  • Keys cannot be copied without your permission

Types of Master Key Systems

There are four types of master key systems:

GMG System – The GMG system, or General Main Group system, is a hierarchical structure consisting of a general master key,subordinate keys and own keys. The structure of a General Main Group system is very similar to that of a company. This type of master key system is commonly used by administration and infrastructure companies.

Main Key System – A main key system is a system in which locks are given different cylinder configurations that correspond to specific keys. These are primarily used by businesses in the commercial sector.

Central lock system with technical master key – You will see this type of master key system in use by Homeowner’s associations and other types of housing developments. Locks on individual dwellings or flats are given different locking cylinders that are tied to specific keys. A master key is also typically provided that unlocks maintenance areas where maintenance equipment is stored.

Combined master key system – In this type of master key system, doors are protected by both mechanical and electronic locks. These locks can only be unlocked with the correct ID card. The card will have the appropriate combination code that unlocks the door.

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