Keyed Alike

What is Keyed Alike?

Keyed alike means that one key will fit all locks. For example, your front and back door are opened by the same key, or your office door and meeting room can be opened by the same key at your business. Having locks that are keyed alike can be very beneficial to security, but they do come with some drawbacks.

keyed alike

The Positives of Keyed Alike Locks

Convenience

Having one key for multiple locks is a big convenience, whether at home or for a business. It means that you only ever have to worry about carrying around one key and you’ll have access to every door.

 

Cost saving

Having a single key that opens all of your doors means you only ever need one key, even if you have six locks. For businesses that have several members of staff that need access, having only one key that might need to be copied for each employee will save a lot of key copying costs.

 

The Negatives of Keyed Alike Locks

Security

Having one key that opens all doors in your home or business means that a burglar would only need access to that one key to gain entrance to all the doors. Doors that aren’t key alike could potentially make it more difficult for a burglar.

 

Lock Changes

If you lose your key, you’ll need to get all of your locks within your key alike system replaced as that key will be able to open all of the locks. For home security, we always suggest getting your locks changed when you lose keys as you never know who might have picked them up and in many cases you can invalidate your insurance policy if someone gains entry with a key.

 

Can All Locks Be Keyed Alike?

There are a large number of locks that can be keyed alike. The most popular lock that people want keyed alike is a standard euro cylinder.

 

Locks that can be keyed alike are:

  • Euro Cylinder locks (including Thumbturn + Double Euro)
  • Mortice locks
  • Sashlocks – 3 lever / 5 lever
  • Deadlocks – 3 lever / 5 lever
  • Night Latches
  • Furniture locks
  • House locks such as bathroom and bedroom locks
  • Padlocks

Visit our Guide to Locks for more information about different types of locks.

 

What locks Can’t be Keyed Alike?

A Euro Cylinder lock with a lever operated lock is the only lock that cannot be made keyed alike.

A lever lock is a type of lock that uses levers to open the door in which it is installed. Lever locks have several levers. When you insert a key into a lever lock and turn it, the individual levers are moved into the optimal alignment.

Can I Have My Whole House Keyed Alike?

If all the locks in your home are the same, then there is no reason they cannot all be keyed alike. If your door locks are different, then you will have to have them changed to match before you have them keyed alike.

 

Can You Get Keyed Alike Padlocks?

Yes, padlocks can be keyed alike. Padlocks and other types of locks can be keyed alike for convenience.

 

Can I Have My Existing Padlocks Keyed Alike?

This will depend on what type of padlock you have. There are some padlocks that are designed to be keyed alike and some that aren’t, so you will need to check what type you already have.

There are a couple of options if you want your padlocks keyed alike:

  1. Buy padlocks that are already keyed alike.
  2. Padlocks that have been manufactured to a predetermined code so that you can buy more if/when you need them.
  3. Buy padlocks with removable mechanisms so you can change the key code at any time.

 

Are Keyed Alike Padlocks More Expensive?

When you buy keyed alike padlocks, you will tend to buy them all together, so the keyed alike cost will be part of the total price of the locks.

It’s more expensive to make your existing padlocks into keyed alike than to just purchase keyed alike to start with.

If you are unsure about what to do then you can speak to a trained locksmith for some advice.

 

When Should I Have my Locks Keyed Alike?

We always suggest that you change your locks when you move house, so this would a great opportunity to get them key alike. Likewise, if you unfortunately have lost your keys and need to have your locks replaced, why not consider changing your locks to key alike?

You might be looking at upgrading to anti-snap locks so if you are already calling out a Locksmith you could always ask them to make your locks key alike as well.

 

How Much Does It Cost to Have my Locks Keyed Alike?

That will depend on how many locks you want keyed alike and the security standard that they have, alongside a number of other factors. Find out more about Locksmith prices by calling one of our expert team on 0808 164 2928.

 

Master Key Suites

A Master Key suite is a system designed to give designated key holders access to specific areas or buildings and a ‘Master Key Holder’ access to all locks within the suite. Master Key suites offer high security solutions and convenience for companies looking for the perfect access control system.

 

Benefits of Using Master Key Suites

Controls security within one or more buildings as it gives designated individuals access to specific parts of a building, for example, different departments, private areas or delivery zones.

The key benefits include:

Convenience

A master key system allows you to gain access to all or parts of a property using only one key. This is extremely convenient, especially in an emergency situation such as a building fire.

 

Increased Security

A master key system enables you to design your key distribution hierarchy so that employees, tenants, and other occupants have access to only the areas that they require.

 

Higher Level of Control

The system allows you to keep track of the number of keys and who has them. In the event of an intrusion or theft, you can easily track down the individuals who have access to the area in question and take appropriate action.

 

Negatives of Using a Master Key Suite

The most serious flaw in a master key system is key control. Because master keys can open multiple locks on a property, if an unauthorised individual obtains, say, the grand master key, every lock in the system may need to be rekeyed or replaced.

 

The method by which a master key system is created determines the level of access that each individual has in the system. As a result, it is best to have a firm grasp on your security requirements and access permissions before implementing them in your organisation.

 

How does a Master Suite work?

Construction Master Keying

This function enables constructers (builders) to issue a construction key that will operate all the cylinders under the system, once the property has been handed over to the tenant/owner the construction key is locked out once the cylinder is operated by the tenant/owner’s key. This system eliminates the need for multiple keys during the build process.

construction keys

Key Life or Landlords System

This system is designed to minimise the need to change door cylinders when tenants leave a property (for whatever reason) but do not return all copies of the key to the landlord. This system is designed for the cylinder to change when the next tenant’s key is operated in the cylinder. This will then lock out the previous tenant’s key. Up to four key lives can be built into the cylinder. This type of arrangement is not normally under a master key as most landlords are not happy to hold master keys to tenants’ properties.

All systems or suites described on this page will come with restricted keys therefore any additional keys required will need to be cut by the initial supplier. Anyone in possession of these restricted keys will not be able to get any additional keys cut unless they have authorisation to do so, giving you added peace of mind when it comes to the security of your business.