These days, a mechanical locking system is not enough to protect your home. They are susceptible to security issues such as faulty door mechanisms and keys stuck or broken inside the lock. They are also easy to break into as the internal mechanical components are small and sensitive. If you are looking for a security upgrade for your house, you might come across an electric strike.
But what does an electric strike system do? Is it more secure than other options such as magnetic locks? How different is it from electronic lock systems? Can it protect your office?
This article will introduce you to an electric strike, its components, and how the system works. Furthermore, it also outlines different types of electric strikes, which will help you determine the most appropriate for your home or building. If you are still not convinced, do not miss the key benefits of installing an electric strike down below.
Before discussing what an electric strike is, it is important to know what a strike plate is. A strike plate, or a door strike, is a metal plate secured to a door jamb with a hole for the bolt. The bolt extends into the hole in the door strike and keeps the door closed. It also protects the jamb from the friction caused by the bolt, especially if the jamb is made of soft material such as wood.
An electric strike system is an upgrade to the conventional strike plate. It is an electromechanical locking device that is used in conjunction with other access control devices and lockset. Also, it includes more components than a mechanical strike plate.
The components may vary depending on the type of system. Yet, a system is composed of the following parts that work together to ensure security to your entryway:
It is similar to mechanical strike plates with additional components. These parts are connected to and activated by the exit device inside the door and the access control reader outside. When an electric current is applied, the mechanisms lock or unlock, depending on the configuration, without the need for mechanical operation. It is composed of three basic parts:
Strike plate - It affixes the entire mechanism to the frame. It is also responsible for the proper alignment of the strike to the locking hardware on the door.
Keeper - It is a movable part of the strike that is responsible for locking and unlocking the door. The keeper is rigid when locked, which serves as a positive stop that prevents the latch from opening the door. It swings out of the way when unlocked.
Strike box - It contains the internal parts to the strike, which sits inside the frame. Typically, it contains the solenoids that drive the strike via a geared carriage inside.
It opens the door from within the building, such as Mortise, Cylindrical, Deadbolt, and Rim Panic Exit devices. Essentially, they provide convenience when opening the door from the inside. These devices operate mechanically, which means you do not need access cards or pin combinations when opening from the inside.
These devices are installed outside the building and improve the overall security. Popular access control devices use access cards, such as those in hotels or electronic keypads, where combinations can be entered. It activates the electric strike and unlocks the door when the right combination or access card is used.
the power supply is the source of power for the access control and electric strike system. In most cases, the electric strike only needs power when the door needs to be open; the reader/exit device gives a signal to the electric strike to open. If there is an access control system installed then the signal would come directly from that system.
The power supply is what keeps the access control system/reader or any other device powered, so when the time is right, it can give the electric strike the signal.
Electric strikes allow you to release the lock bolt or latch on a door from the outside using a keypad, access card, or remote access device. The door can be opened from the inside using a panic bar or other mechanical or manual release device.
Similar to a fixed strike, it comes with a beveled surface to the locking latch, which allows the door to close and latch. However, the ramped surface in the electric strike can pivot out of the way on command. This allows the person to push or pull the door to open without having to use a mechanical key.
After the door is opened past the keeper, it returns to its standard position. The door is then re-locked when the power is applied or removed, depending on the configuration of the system.
Your door remains locked from the outside at all times. Its mechanism is designed to lock automatically every time it is shut.
An electric strike system comes in various configurations. The most common are as follows:
Fail-secure - In this system, the strike will unlock when an electric current is applied. As such, the strike will remain locked in case of a power outage. However, the mechanical lock remains operable from the inside. Such systems can be powered by an AC power, which will cause it to buzz. Or a DC power, which is generally more silent except for the click of the locking mechanism. It is considered the safer configuration as it will keep your home or building secure and will not allow entry when the power goes out.
Fail-safe - In this configuration, the strike will lock when an electric current is applied. It is very much similar to the mechanism of a magnetic lock. The door can be opened even when there’s a power failure which allows anyone free access. This is the reason why experts often recommend fail-secure electric strikes over fail-safe options.
Hold-open -The strike unlocks, and will remain unlocked when an electric current is applied. The strike will go back to the standard locked position as soon as the strike is used. The hold-open configuration is often used in residential and commercial applications as opening the strike and powering the strike do not need to be synchronized
Electric strikes can be found in many residential and commercial places such as offices, hotels, schools, universities, and more. They are popular for a reason, here are some of them:
Added layer of security - Electric strikes add another layer of security since they can only be activated with the right pin combination, key card, or remote device. The door also latches easily, preventing you from forgetting to close or lock the door. It will remain locked from the outside unless the security access is activated.
Affordable security upgrade - It is a decent alternative if you are looking to increase your home’s security without breaking the bank. While home security systems that include electronic locks are the ideal solution, electric strikes provide a crucial security enhancement to your entryway on a smaller price tag.
Quick and easy installation - Its installation is much quicker and simpler compared to an electronic lock. Electric strikes are only mounted on the frame, which means it only needs cutting at the frame. Meanwhile, electronic locks need preparation and can be complicated depending on its configuration or system. However, you should contact a professional to ensure that the electric strike is properly installed and functioning.
Convenient - If you have an electric strike that opens using a pin code, you never have to worry about losing your key anymore. Furthermore, systems that can be opened remotely are convenient if you want to let someone in from the comfort of your room. It also eliminates issues that you normally experience when using mechanical locking systems, such as breaking a key inside the keyhole.
Control foot traffic in commercial buildings - Entryways or access points are the weakest part of any building, especially those used commercially. As such, is it important to control the foot traffic in these areas. Since your door remains locked from the outside, only authorized people with key access can gain entry to the building.
Prevent unwanted visitors - It is usually difficult to control who enters residential buildings due to the number of people living in it. You do not want unwanted visitors that may compromise the safety of the homeowners. Electric strikes prevent these individuals from gaining access without the proper access credentials. At the same time, it does not affect the entry of the residents or their visitors.
Great complement for intercom systems - Businesses such as law firms, offices, and other operations that need a high-level of security can install electric strikes to work with their intercom systems. The set-up will allow you to screen visitors through the intercom and open the door from inside the building or at the reception desk through its remote access device.
An electric strike system is a great initial investment when you want to upgrade the overall security of your home. It replaces your standard mechanical strike without you having to deal with complicated home security systems.
Overall, an electric strike is relatively easy to install and much more affordable than other locking systems. Furthermore, it provides convenience by adding additional ways to unlock the door from the outside, such as using an access card, a pin combination, or even remotely.
Now that you are ready to upgrade your home security, immediately contact [company] through [contact details]. Our experts are ready to answer your questions should you need more information about different electric strike options for your home.