4 Types of Electric Locks
Electric locks are used when additional security as well as added convenience are wanted at the opening. Electrified locks come in various types from bored locks, mortise locks, exit devices, and magnetic locks. Some locks have more options than others. Power supplies and electric power transfers will be needed for all of these locks to operate.
Electric Cylindrical Locks and Mortise Locks
Electric locks are available as cylindrical and mortise locks. They are tied into an access control system. These electric locks will have wiring that must run through the core of the door and through the frame back to the power supply and access control.
Some electric locks are stand alone with built in credential readers or keypads. These electrified cylindrical and mortise locks will run on a battery pack that are replaceable. Other options include latchbolt monitoring and a door position switch.
Cylindrical and Mortise locks that are electrified will have the option of being electrically locked (FSA fail safe) or electrically unlocked (FSE fail secure). The application of one option over the other will be determined by the opening and its location.
One misconception is that electrified cylindrical and mortise locks have electric latch retraction. These locks are only locked and unlocked, the latch is not retracted.
Magnetic locks can be mounted at the head of the door and frame, with a metal piece attached to the door that connects to the magnet attached to the frame. Magnetic locks are electrically energized to hold the door secure immediately. These are often capable of holding the door closed with hundreds of pounds of holding strength.Most magnetic locks will be fail safe, meaning that when power is applied the unit is locked. When power is lost the unit will be left unlocked and unsecured. This can be risky if the magnetic lock is the only unit holding the door closed and secure. These will also be connected to an access control system to control functionality.
Electric Exit Devices
Exit devices are often electrified and have many more electric options available than the other types of electric locks. The trim on the outside of the door can be electrified to lock and unlock by credential reader. Exit trim can also have a stand-alone credential reader or keypad lever that is hardwired or powered by a battery pack.
A popular option for exit device push pads is to add an alarm kit which has a built in horn that sounds an alarm when the push pad is depressed. This can be used to deter use of the opening unless it is an emergency. It can be armed and disarmed with a keyed cylinder.
Delayed Egress is a variation of the alarm kit in that it will delay exit for a period of time. This allows additional control at the door. While a simple alarm kit will sound an alarm and allow immediate egress, a device with delayed egress will sound an alarm and prevent exit until the time has expired.
Electric latch retraction is also very popular on exit devices. The standard option is a mechanism that pops the latch back and allows the door to be pull opened. When sound is an issue, a quiet latch retraction device is used which pulls the latch back more slowly and makes much less noise than the standard option.
When the latch is held in the retracted position this is referred to as electric dogging. This allows the access control system to set a schedule for when the latches will be held retracted and when they will be re-latched.
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