Master Key System

What Is A Master Key System?

A master key system allows one key to open several locks. Those who are authorized have access to different doors within a system. A master key system allows security with as few keys as possible. The system is easy to use with only one key needed and simplified organization.

Most master key systems operate with a basic pin tumbler lock. To open this kind of lock, the pin stack, which consists of a driver pin and a key pin, must be elevated on opposite sides of the shear line. A key lifts the pins within the lock. The key pins are all different sizes. The driver pins are a universal size. The key has to have the right set of grooves to lift the key pins to the proper height. To convert a pin tumbler lock into a master key system, a master wafer pin is added between a driver and key pin. Once it is inserted, the pin stack will have two shear lines – one for the pin stack and one above or below the line for the master key.Master Key System - Locksmith Denver

Master key systems can be basic or very complex. The most basic master key system has two levels of keying. The lower level keys are called change keys. Each change key operates only one lock or one group of like keyed locks. They key at the top is known as the master key.  Within the master key system, one key may open two doors while another key only opens one of those doors and not the other. In order from lowest level to highest,

The master key system keys are as follows:

Change Key – Sometimes this key is called the sub-master key. It opens only one lock or locks that are identical. The lock that the change key opens can also be opened by the master key or, in more complex systems, the grand master key, or the great grand master key.

Master Key – In the most basic system, the master key is the top level key. It opens every lock of the change keys below it.

Grand Master Key – In a slightly more complex system, the grand master key will open every master key lock within the master key system as well as all of the subsequent change keys.

Great Grand Master Key – In the most complex master key systems, there is a great grand master key. This key will open all of the grand master key, master key systems and change locks beneath it.

The first step is to determine the size of the master key system. Considering:

  • Compose an organizational chart to determine who the current users are and existing needs.
  • Determine future requirements, up to a 10-year life of a master key system
  • Think about employee turnover rate through friendly and not-so-friendly terminations of employment
  • Think about the potential for increasing staff size
  • Think about what to do in the case of lost keys
  • Determine what type of locks your master key system will open
  • Expand an existing master key system.

Master Key System DenverBasic pin tumbler locks within the master key system are able to be made more secure by adding sidebars, using master rings, implementing restricted keys, employing multiple cylinders, using electronic controls, disk detainer locks, or use separate master key systems for different work groups or locks on separate parts of the building. Qualified locksmith technicians will know which ones best meet your needs.

When you are ready to install a master key system at your place of business, contact a local, professional commercial locksmith who will be able to walk you through the best master key system for your company's needs as well as secure your locks to prevent security risks with the master key system.

Panic Hardware - Locksmith Denver

When Is Panic Hardware required On exit Doors

Feeling secure and relying on your door locks to keep you safe inside is a good feeling unless of course, you are in a room full of people and there is an emergency that leaves a potentially panicked mass stampede of those all trying to find a way to exit the building at once. This is the moment you will be thankful that your facility adhered to the legal requirements and recommendations to install panic hardware on their egress, exit, doors to make it easier for everyone to get out safely.

When is panic hardware required on exit doors?

Panic hardware is installed and used on doors as an exit device. It is usually only installed on doors that are required by law to have panic hardware. International Building Code IBC only requires this type of hardware on buildings:

with specific high-traffic or high-hazard occupancy, such as educational or assembly facilities with more than 50 people.

Some examples of high-hazard facilities include rooms that run equipment with more than 600 volts or more than 800 amps, boiler, incinerator, refrigeration machinery, or furnace rooms as well as some electrical rooms.

The idea behind panic hardware is to allow a way out of the building in the case of an emergency. Panic hardware cannot be used on a fire door because of the danger of trapping people inside during a fire.

Sometimes, panic hardware is called fire exit hardware, or they may be referred to as egress doors. Basically, if a door doesn’t have a lock with a push/pull or a latch, the door is not legally required to need panic hardware. Though, just because you may not be required by code to install panic hardware on your door, you still have the option to do so.

If your building is required by code to have panic hardware in place, you will need to understand what all this entails. The type of hardware you use is important.

Some key features to keep in mind:

  • The actuating portion of the exit device needs to be at least half the width of the actual door.
  • It should not require more than 15 pounds of force to unlatch it.
  • You should never add a chain lock, padlock, an extra deadbolt, or any electric latches or components that would delay the opening of an egress panic hardware equipped door.
  • If you use a touch pad, it must never extend more than half the width of the door, starting from the side with the latch.
  • Depending on your location, your panic hardware may be required to meet testing standards to withstand a tornado or hurricane.

One common characteristic of most panic hardware is that it has a dogging feature. These dogging features allow the latches to be held in a retracted position in order to create a push/pull function. When the device is dogged, it is unlatched or unlocked, and you will be able to pull the door open.

When selecting the panic hardware for your doors, you have several options and styles, but three are the most common and include the

The touch pad the most common style for modern buildings. Flexible when an electrified option is required.

Touchpad Style Panic Hardware Denver Experts Locksmith

The crossbar usually will be used for glass doors, but the electrified options are limited because of the lack of space.

The Crossbar Denver Experts Locksmith

Recessed panic hardware will require a cut out in the door but will reduce the projection of the hardware from the door.

Recessed Exit Device Denver Experts Locksmith

There are a couple of types to use depending on whether you have one door or a pair. These types include Rim or Mortise. The Rim device is mounted on the surface of the door, whereas the Mortise is installed inside the door with the panic hardware mounted on the face of the door. There are also Vertical Rod/Cable or Multi-Point options. The Vertical Rod/Cable style is usually used on pairs of doors. The Multi-Point combines vertical rods with a Rim device to allow 3-point latching. Once you decide on the functionality of your panic hardware, you will be able to select from trims, controls, and a variety of finishes. In some cases, you can also choose to add Electric Latch Retraction ELR.

Not all buildings are required to have these type of exit devices, but some choose to install them regardless for safety sake. These legal requirements are often revised, but you can always stay up to date by first referring to the latest information provided by The Life Safety Code NFPA 101 as well as the International Building Code IBC.

The panic hardware requirements vary depending upon the year and other factors:

  • 2006 and 2009 IBC requires panic hardware on egress doors in educational and other buildings with 50 or more occupants.
  • 2000 and 2003 IBC requires panic hardware on egress doors in educational and other buildings with 100 or more occupants.
  • NFPA 101 is the Life Safety Code encompasses high hazard occupancies with 100 occupants or more.

 

Are you looking to install panic hardware on your doors? For more information, give Denver Experts Locksmith a call 24/7 at (303) 749-0505 today. We will be happy to help serve your door hardware requirement needs.

How To Choose A Commercial Locksmith - Locksmith Denver

How To Choose A Commercial Locksmith

What Is A Commercial Locksmith?

A commercial locksmith is a professional locksmith who focuses on locks, access, and security of commercial businesses. Because they sometimes work with security systems, they are usually required to pass rigorous background checks. A typical work day may include installing new locks, repairing existing locks, assisting with lockouts, monitoring and researching security technology. They stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in locks, including knowing how to install both indoor, outdoor or master locking systems as well as key-less systems. When an employee is hired or terminated, the locking and security systems constantly change to keep up with the company's needs.

Commercial Locksmith - Locksmith DenverAnother aspect of a commercial locksmith's work is to repair locks and know when to recommend locks rekeying or completely new locks change system. The commercial locksmith is on call for emergencies or to allow a boss or employee to get inside if they lose their key or are otherwise locked out. They may also help with safes and window locks. A commercial locksmith is skilled in installing, adjusting and repairing commercial locks and security devices. They fabricate and duplicate locking keys, change lock combinations, and bypass locks when authorized. A commercial locksmith will be able to cut keys for any type of lock whether it's cabinet, padlocks, doors, or safes.

Since a commercial locksmith will work hand-in-hand with helping your company stay safe, you will want to interview several locksmiths before deciding on which one is the best for your company's commercial needs.

Six Questions To Ask Before Hiring a Commercial Locksmith

  1. What is the skills range of the locksmith? Will they be able to do everything from installing a door lock to providing on-the-call help or assistance with security systems or electronic access systems?
  2. Find a commercial locksmith who will consult with you to assess your company's needs.
  3. Ask them to inspect the integrity of the building's doors, frames, hinges, panic hardware and security systems.
  4. What distance do they cover? For instance, will you be charged extra if your company's building is located several miles from the locksmith's place of business?
  5. Ask if they are a member of the Associated Locksmiths of America ALOA. While it's not a requirement for any locksmith, it's good to know to help make the decision as to which locksmith you hire. ALOA is an organization that provides continuing education to keep their skills fresh in areas of locks, access control, and security along with a code of ethics.
  6. Does the locksmith have the capacity to grow with the company he or she is serving?

Once you are happy with the right commercial locksmith for your business, you will do more than merely hire them for one job or a happenstance lockout emergency. The right commercial locksmith will become someone you will call upon for every locking and security need. You build a long-term relationship.