Keycard access system with an electric strike.

Electric Strikes – The Unsung Hero


It is easy to get caught up in all the features of modern access control technology from video intercom systems to touchless entry devices. But the equipment that’s working behind the scenes is what really makes or breaks a facility’s security. One of the most essential pieces of an access system is the electric strike. So much depends on the strike, it’s important to choose an electric strike that is high-quality rather than just low price.

What is an electric strike?

A “strike” is a metal plate that catches a latch or bolt on a door restricting or granting doorway access. An electric strike goes a step further by unlocking without manually turning a key. An electric strike can be activated remotely, releasing the latch and unlocking the door.

Once the strike is energized, the strike will release, allowing a door to be pulled or pushed open. This means that a key is not required. The strike can then be wired, to a keypad on the exterior of the entrance, or to an intercom system at a desk somewhere inside.

Fail-Safe Vs Fail Secure

An electric strike acts as a normal strike on the frame until it is energized. They can either be “fail-safe” or “fail secure” which determines whether the strike stays locked or open in the event of a power failure. About 90% of the strikes are fail secure or non-fail-safe. This means that when the power fails or is turned off the lock will stay locked and will not open. Fail-safe is just the opposite. When power is cut the fail-safe lock will unlock allowing the door to be opened. Many businesses use fail-secure locks and still meet life safety codes since the hardware used provides other emergency exit options like panic bars or other exit devices.

Without the ability to remotely release the door, through an electric strike, keypads and intercom systems would not have the ability to open the door. That being said, when considering options on electric strikes, it is always a better idea to go with quality products. Even though the keypads and intercoms have all the “cool” features, the electric strike is a crucial part of the system and really is the unsung hero.

Finding the right solution for your business can be difficult. Contact the experts at the Flying Locksmiths today and we can help you find the best products and install the hardware in your facility.