Access control technology has evolved tremendously over the years, offering various features like touchless entry devices, video intercom systems, and other modern electrified door hardware designed to act as commercial security solutions for properties and office sites. But while these devices are what people notice, there are other essential pieces of an access system that people may overlook, such as the electric strike.
What is an electric strike?
An electric strike is a type of electrified door strike that catches a latch or lock bolt of a mechanical lock and unlocks a door by releasing the latch of the strike so the door can be pulled open. Unlike traditional locks, an electric strike doesn't require a physical key to retract the latch bolt or release the door handle to unlock the door, making it ideal for access control systems.
Electric strikes are commonly used in commercial and industrial settings to ensure only authorized individuals have access to restricted areas. They are also used in senior living and multi-family housing complexes with elderly or disabled individuals who may have difficulty using traditional locks.
What does an electric strike do?
An electric strike replaces a standard strike plate in a door frame and is wired to a power supply. The mechanical lock on the door is always locked, meaning the handle is rigid and latch bolt will not move. The bolt sits inside the latch keeper of the electric strike and the latch of the strike controls when the door becomes unlocked. When the electric strike receives a signal from an access control system to activate, the latch releases and the door can be pulled open.
Many electric strikes are connected to a power supply with 12 or 24 volts of direct current VDC, but others may be connected using alternate current AC. The way you can tell the difference is the sound it makes when activated. An electric strike running on direct current DC makes a very subtle click, you may not even be able to hear it activate. However, when connected to alternate current AC, the strike makes a buzzing sound.
An example of this is when you go to a bank ATM after business hours and you use your ATM card to open the door. When you stick the magnetic strip of your card into the slot, the electric door strike makes a noticeable buzzing sound for several seconds so you are aware the strike is activated. The buzz can easily be heard so you know the door is unlocked and can be pulled open.
Types of Electric Strikes
Electric strikes design can be classified into two types of solutions: fail-secure and fail-safe lock mechanisms. Fail secure electric strikes do not require an electric current to stay locked so without power they are in the locked state. They will only unlock when receiving a pulse of electricity and will stay locked when power fails or is turned off. Fail safe electric strikes require electric current to stay locked and when power is removed, they unlock, allowing the door to be opened. When using electric strikes with an access control system, the choice between fail-secure and fail-safe depends on the needs of the end-user, building codes and emergency response requirements of a local fire department.
Other essential factors to consider when choosing electric strike solutions are its size, compatibility with existing hardware and door frame conditions. The common types of electric strikes can be used with mortise locks, cylindrical locks, and rim exit devices. Mortise strikes are commonly used on commercial doors with mortise locksets, while cylindrical strikes are used on doors with cylindrical locksets. Both mortise and cylindrical options either utilize the existing strike prep in the door frame or must be cut into the frame. Rim exit device electric strikes are surface mounted on a door frame and used with rim exit devices.
HES Electric Strike Options From ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions
This image only displays six electric strike models, there are several dozen options available for any opening imaginable. The Flying Locksmiths security specialists can recommend the correct strike for your application. View more HES electric strikes from ASSA ABLOY.
Why Choosing Quality Electric Door Strikes is Essential
Choosing quality electric strikes is essential to ensure the security of your facility or property. While low-quality electric strikes may be less expensive, they are often more prone to failure and require frequent maintenance, leading to additional costs in the long run.
High-quality electric strikes are more durable and reliable, ensuring that they will last longer and require fewer repairs or replacements. They are also more likely to be certified by safety and quality organizations like UL or ANSI, giving you peace of mind that you have chosen a product that meets industry standards.
How to Choose the Best Electric Strike for Your Needs?
When choosing an electric strike, several factors should be considered, including the type of door, the type of locking system, compatibility with existing hardware, the type and condition of the door frame, the product warranty and technical support from the manufacturer. It's also essential to choose an electric strike that meets safety and quality standards.
With a plethora of options on the market today, to ensure you choose the best electric strike, The Flying Locksmiths can recommend a high-quality electric door strike that fits your needs. We can help you choose the right electric strike for your facility or property and provide installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting services.
Benefits of Electric Strike Door Locks
Electric strike door locks offer several benefits over traditional locks, including:
- Enhanced Security: Electric strike door locks provide a higher level of security than traditional locks, especially when used in conjunction with access control systems.
- Convenience: Electric strike door locks eliminate the need for physical keys, making it easier and more convenient to grant access to authorized individuals.
- Durability: High-quality electric strikes are durable and reliable, ensuring that they will last longer and require fewer repairs or replacements.
- Accessibility: Electric strikes can be used with automatic door operators, making them ideal for areas being accessed by individuals with disabilities or mobility issues that may have difficulty using traditional locks.