The electric locking device is probably the most important component in an access control system. A Falcon electric lock, be it a door lock, electric gate lock, or electric deadbolt lock, is a great solution for doors where access in one direction must be absolutely reliable and carefully monitored. Although we call them electric locks, they are technically electric strikes. This sets them apart from magnetic locks which are electric, too. Electric locks are installed inside the door frame. When triggered, a motor releases the metal piece holding the door in place. Only when the door receives the electric trigger will it allow movement and become operational. The trigger can be initiated by an electronic card reader, a keypad, a key fob or a wireless sensor.
Electric locks only secure one side of the door (generally the exterior). So the door stays unlocked for anyone inside the building but remains locked to those outside. To unlock the door from outside a visitor needs a device programmed to trigger the electrical signal that releases the door strike.
Keep in mind that an electric strike requires another coordinating device, like a lockset or a panic bar. Then, people inside the building can unlock the door if the power goes out.
Some of the benefits of electric strikes include:
- Affordability. Electric strikes usually cost less than magnetic locks.
- Security on only one side of the door. This could be a benefit or a drawback. Generally, keeping one side of a door unlocked is advantageous in doorways that only need to control traffic in one direction.
- Greater security during power outages. Doors with electric locks will remain securely locked during a power outage. People inside the building can unlock the door by pressing the panic bar.
Word of caution: Electric locks are complex. Installing and powering an electric strike requires skill and precision; you’ll need to hire a trusted installer. You also have to make sure that the electric lock or strike you choose works properly with the lock bolt on your door.