Custom Master-Key systems

So... You want to Master-Key your facility. We can help!
We understand not only the how and why, but the why not when it comes to master-keying. ​

Individually keyed system 

With an individually keyed system, each cylinder can be opened by its unique key.

Keyed alike 

This system allows for a number of cylinders to be operated by the same key. It is ideally suited to residential and commercial applications such as front and back doors.

Master keyed 

A master key can operate from 2 to well over 2000 locks. Usually, there is nothing real special about the key itself, The pins inside the locks are configured in a way to operate with two, or more, different keys: one specific to each lock (generally refered to as the change key), which cannot operate any of the others in the system, and the master key, which operates all the locks in the set. For example, master keyed pin tumbler locks often have two shear points at each pin position, one for the change key and one for the master key. Some people think master keyed locks are more secure than single keyed locks, but that is not the case, in reality master-keying makes the locks less secure. The fact that some pin chambers have two shear points allows for more options when picking and it also allows for more keys to operate. For example, a standard 6 pin cylinder, which was designed to be operated by only one key, can be operated by up to 2^6=64 keys if there are two shear points in each chamber.

Larger organizations, with more complex systems, may have several levels of master keys, where the top level key works in all of the locks in the system. To visualize this, it can be thought of as a hierarchical chart, or a tree.

We can even set up padlocks to your master-key system. Think of how AMAZING that will be. 

Maison keying  

This system is widely used in apartments, office blocks and hotels. Each apartment (for example) has its own individual key which will not open the doors to any other apartments, but will open common entrance doors and communal service areas. It is often combined with a master-keyed system in which the key is kept by the landlord.  Masion Keying DRASTICALLY reduces the level of security in the Masion keyed lock, for that reason if you have 3 or more people who need access to a door we STRONGLY recomend using an electronic lock like the E-Plex 5000

We do not suggest Masion keying, but most clients have a hard time understanding how a master key system works and often try to set give too many people access to a few locks. We always try to keep the amount of keys that will open a lock to a minimum, this maintains a consistant level of security. 

Empire Lock & Alarm is fully licensed by the State of Tennessee as a Locksmith company TN LS #000355    © 2023 Empire Lock & Alarm created by

We are ALWAYS happy to assist in an emergency BUT we have noticed companies taking advantage of this. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO REQUEST ANY PAPERWORK NEEDED BY YOUR COMPANY  PRIOR TO REQUESTING SERVICES. Our W9 is listed for your convenience. If you call and request a copy of our COI, or to be added as additionaly insured AFTER services have been rendered, YOU will be billed a one time $150.00 fee to set you up as a client.  THIS is NON NEGOTIABLE, 

Emergency or Same Day service is available for commercial clients.

Our minimum rate for this service is $125.00 trip & $125.00​ for up to 1 hour of labor.

PAYMENT IN FULL IS REQUIRED AT THE TIME SERVICES ARE RENDERED unless prior arrangements have been made. Cancellation after our technician is dispatched. 

We charge a "trip charge" for each location we travel to, this covers our technicians travel time and gas. Once a technician is dispatched to your location YOU  have control over the disposition of these services, as sending a technician to you prevents us from sending that technician to others at that time. The service call must be paid in full at the time this service is rendered.  If you choose not to pay for this service after it has been provided we will be required to file charges for theft of services.  2017 Tennessee Code  Title 39 - Criminal Offenses Chapter 14 - Offenses Against Property Part 1 - Theft  § 39-14-104. Theft of services.

Universal Citation: TN Code § 39-14-104 (2017)

  • (a) A person commits theft of services who:

    • (1) Intentionally obtains services by deception, fraud, coercion, forgery, false statement, false pretense or any other means to avoid payment for the services;

    • (2) Having control over the disposition of services to others, knowingly diverts those services to the person's own benefit or to the benefit of another not entitled thereto; or

    • (3) Knowingly absconds from establishments where compensation for services is ordinarily paid immediately upon the rendering of them, including, but not limited to, hotels, motels and restaurants, without payment or a bona fide offer to pay.

  • (b) Any individual directly or indirectly harmed by a violation of subsection (a) shall have legal standing to report such violations to law enforcement and testify in support of corresponding criminal charges.