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Electric Strikes Buying Guide

Electric Strikes Buying Guide

Best Brands | FAQ | Electric Strike Terminology

It is important to remember that door locks in public buildings must meet applicable regulations based on the type of door hardware on which the lock is to be used. Most safety codes pertain to egress doors — doors that provide occupants a way of escape in an emergency. This includes a number of different types of interior doors and exterior doors.

In most cases, door hardware is required to provide for free egress at all times with hardware that is readily openable from the egress side without a key or special knowledge or effort, and may also require the ability to be opened in one action.
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Best electric strike brands:

RCI - RCI electric strikes are available in both fail-safe and fail-secure modes.

Corbin Russwin - easy to service and replace, Corbin Russwin locks are a trusted brand, very popular with schools and other high-traffic institutions.

Folger Adam - a company known for its prison locks and keys, today the Folger Adam company produces security equipment for correctional facilities of all sizes throughout the USA.

HES - A leading manufacturer of electric strikes, currently marketing quality HES electric strikes, accessories and extra heavy-duty commercial grade Folger Adam Electric Door Controls products.

ROFU - ROFU international Corp. is an independent specialty manufacturer located in Lakewood, Washington. They have been producing quality electric strikes, delayed egress, electromagnetic locks and more for 30 years.

Adams Rite - Adams Rite, an ASSA ABLOY Group brand, is known for their innovative designs and locking solutions in the aluminum OEM door hardware market. Manufacturers of doors and door hardware for the commercial, industrial and institutional building construction industry.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

The two most common types of electric door strikes in use today are electric strike locks and magnetic locks.

What is an electric strike on a door?

An electric door strike is a mechanical lock used in conjunction with an electronic device that is fitted to the frame of a door and aligned to the door latch and hold it securely in place. Electric strikes can only be used on single action inward or outward opening doors.

What is the difference between an electric strike and a magnetic lock?

Electric strikes are electromechanical door locking devices that work in combination with a mechanical locking mechanism, such as a lock set or a panic bar.

Magnetic locks are electromagnetic door locking devices that work independently of the mechanical door latch. A magnetic lock consists of a large electromagnet installed along the top of a door frame and a metal plate on the door that lines up with it. An electric current passes through the electromagnet, creating a magnetic charge that attracts the plate and holds it in place against the door frame. This keeps the door securely locked until the power is removed or interrupted. Because magnetic locks require a constant supply of electricity to remain locked, they are fail-safe only — they do not function to keep the door locked from either side when the power is out.

What are electric strikes versus electric locks?

Although these two types of locks operate in the same manner, electric strikes are mounted on the door frame and are typically easier and faster to operate than an electrified lock. For the same reason, electric strikes do not have the same ‘clean’ appearance compared to a built-in electrified lock.

Electric locks are generally more expensive than electric strikes and installation charges will usually be higher.

How do you install an electric door strike?

Electric door strikes are relatively easy to install as they usually just take the place of the existing strike lock. You will need to run wiring through the adjacent walls to a power source. Each door strike will come with its own installation instructions. Other than proper installation, you must be aware of certain compliance issues that might arise with your new lock. Codes differ based on location and the type of building.

What is an electrified mortise lock?

These are simply standard mortise locks equipped with an electromagnet that keeps the latch bolt from retracing. When power to the lock fails, the lock will default to its fail-safe locked mode.

How does an electronic lock work?

Electric locks use magnets, electromagnets or motors to supply or remove power to the lock. The lock can be typically operated by a switch such as intercom release, or by a more complex system, such as an access control system.

How strong are electromagnetic door locks?

When energized, a magnetic lock can generate a retention force greater than 1,000 pounds, making it a very effective lock.

How do you open a magnetic door lock?

The door can be unlocked remotely in one of two ways:  By pushing a buzzer switch  Via an access control system
Electromagnetic locking will automatically unlock if the power fails.

How many amps does a magnetic lock draw?

A magnetic lock needs continuous power to remain locked; usually 5 amps at 12 volts.

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Electric Strike Terminology:

Access control: control, management and monitoring of the entrance and exit of people
Buzz-in door locks: When a button is pressed, the circuit closes and the electromagnet moves a contact arm. The sound of the arm hitting the electromagnet multiple times per second causes the ‘buzz’ sound.
Cylindrical locks: Designed to be installed through the door with a knob or lever that retract when turned or depressed, cylindrical locks are relatively easy to install.
Electric strike body: The electric strike body contains the internal electric and mechanical parts of the electric strike.
Electromagnetic locking: An electric current passes through the electromagnetic plate and holds it in place against the door frame, keeping the door securely locked until power is interrupted.
Exit device: there are various types of exit devices available for access control. Exit devices come in standard sizes and are frequently cut to length to fit a particular door length. An exit device must provide safety and security and be configured to comply with fire regulations.
Fail-secure lockset: Lockset normally unlocked when power is ON and locked when power fails.
Fail-safe door: If power fails, a fail-safe door will automatically lock and not allow entrance, only exit.
Heavy-duty electric strike: A tough, highly durable electric strike mechanism. Some heavy-duty electric strikes can resist over 1,000,000 operations. Excellent for escape routes and in air locks.
Hold-open: Allows the unlocking of the strike through a single electrical pulse. The strike stays unlocked until the door is opened.
Magnetic lock: Door lock made up of an electromagnet, mounted in the doorframe, and a strike plate fitted in the door.
Mortise lock: This is a secure and reliable lock which requires a pocket (the ‘mortise’) for the bolt to slot into. Mortise locks have been used in America in door hardware since the second quarter of the eighteenth century.
Panic bar: Quick-release door lock allowing the door to be opened quickly in the case of an emergency.
Remote release: Remote release, sometimes referred to as ‘hold up,’ allows you to lock or unlock a door from a distance. Although most commonly used with cars, many cutting-edge security providers offer electronic door locks for homes and businesses.
Secure door: Door through which access is controlled or monitored.
Strike plate: The metal plate fixed to a door jamb with a hole to fit the bolt of the door when the door is closed.
Throw latchbolt: or bolt throw is the distance between the bolt handle when fully back and fully forward.
Universal electric strikes: Suitable for all commonly used strike plates, universal electric strikes provide a secure locking solution.

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