This blog is a continuation on our recent blog on types of security systems. It provides more detail on using electronic strikes as a locking mechanism for access control.
What Are Electric Strikes?
An electric strike is a metal plate installed on a door frame that can be unlocked via remote electrical control. These devices can be programmed to lock or unlock doors at certain times of the day or based on the user’s level of access. Electric strikes come in a wide range of options, depending on the application needed.
The electric strike, unlike a magnetic lock, doesn’t actually secure the door. A door with an electric strike is being secured by the lockset or door handle. What the electric strike does is allow access to a secured door without the need for a key to unlock the lockset.
How Do Electric Strikes Work?
An electric strike lock system uses an electric current to move the latch on your door backwards and forwards. The electric strike holds the latch in place and releases it electronically. There are different types of electric strikes; which one you choose depends on the lock you use it for and the characteristics of the opening. Some examples of electronic strike applications include:
- Cylindrical lock, hollow metal door and frame
- Mortise lock, aluminum storefront door and frame
- Rim exit device, hollow metal door and frame
- Rim exit device, aluminum storefront door and frame
- Mortise lock, hollow metal door and frame
- Mortise exit device, hollow metal door and frame
The electric strike is often used by businesses to secure entries and exits. The lock can be released by either pressing a panic bar from inside the building or by swiping an electronic key card or fob reader outside of the building. Even though the electric strike is powered by electricity, the door is still secure and operable during a power outage via the panic bar.
Where Are Electric Strikes Used?
Electric strikes are typically most common in commercial settings. They are also great for residential buildings where exits and entries must be controlled; e.g., nursing homes or assisted living. Some typical applications for electric strikes access control include:
- Employee entrances and exits
- Limited access to secure areas or entire floors within a building
- Government buildings
Pros and Cons of Electric Strikes
As with most access control systems, electric strikes have their pros and cons.
Advantages of Electric Strikes
Electric strikes are a very secure method of protection. They succeed where other types of locking devices don’t. A variety of door locks can work in conjunction with the electronic strike mechanism, although combination locks may be more difficult to use. An alarm can also be used with the electronic strike for added security to let you know if the door is securely locked.
Disadvantages of Electric Strikes
The first potential issue with electric strikes is that they require a key card to access and unlock the door. These cards can be lost or stolen, so a system must be in place to de-activate and replace them appropriately.
There are also limitations on the types of doors where electric strikes will work. Electric strikes require thick, solid doors to function and install correctly.
There may also be restrictions on using electronic strikes on interior stairwell doors because in most jurisdictions stairwell doors must be unlocked and positively latched when the fire alarm has been activated and/or when the building experiences a power outage.
Even with the inconveniences of using electronic strikes, the level of security they offer is a clear advantage. You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons when deciding on the best access system for your business.
Gateway Lock & Security Knows Access Control
Gateway can help you decide on the access control system that’s right for you and your business and answer all your questions.
We have been in business for over 50 years as a local, family owned and operated company.
Call us today at 636-778-1135 to schedule an assessment to protect your home or business, or send us a message and we will get back with you ASAP.