For your office complex, your home, or your apartment’s main door, and electric door strike is one of several accessories that can help you improve security, lock out unwanted guests, and keep your living space safe and sound. Known as ‘door releases’ by some, electric door strikes are some of the most common security accessories found on modern buildings, homes, and city office complexes.
So what is an electric door strike? Simply put, it’s the small locking mechanism that holds your door shut when an electrical signal isn’t present. Most employees know of these devices as the lock on an office entry door or complex’s main door. When a keycard or other low-current device is held to the lock, the electric door strike weakens its locking mechanism and allows the door to swing open.
It’s one of the simplest locking and security mechanisms out there, and it’s also one of the world’s most secure and reliable. Electric door strikes have been used in millions of buildings in hundreds of different countries, gaining a reputation for simple security in the process. We’ve looked at what makes a good electric door strike, how they can help improve your security, and their quality levels.
Firstly, electric door strikes aren’t sold as a single unit. Instead, they’re generally a two-piece kit, in which one piece is responsible for locking and securing the door, and another responsible for small electrical signals which can control the lock. The first part of this system is known as the strike kit, and the second as the electrical signal controller system – or to some, the ‘swipe card’ controller.
The first piece – the electric door strike itself – locks into the door in a similar manner to the usual door deadbolt or manual locking mechanism. When the controller is not served by a small current, the door itself is held in place by a locking bolt or a field of magnetic or mechanical resistance. If a keycard is used to activate the controller, the locks ease and people can enter or exit the building.
In terms of construction and size, the average electric door strike locking unit is no bigger and no different than a standard door lock. This allows them to be installed fairly easily in buildings that aren’t fitted with modern doors or specialist auto-opening doors. It also allows homeowners, even those that live in older homes, to quickly add electric door strike locks to their exterior doors.
The second part of an electric door strike – the controller – is the part that’s interacted with the most by door users and authorized people. There are two primary types of electric lock controllers. One is the field-based lock, which controls the door lock’s strength based on the presence of a low-voltage electrical device such as a keycard, a small electronic door key, or a one-button opening device.
These controllers are some of the most common, and are generally found in office complexes and a variety of parking areas. Authorized people are issued with a keycard or small electronic chip which can be used to open the electric door strikes in question. Due to their limited cost, these controllers are found in a wide variety of different buildings, parking and storage areas, and office complexes.
The second type if the keypad-based controller, which is frequently found on exterior door locks or in residential complexes. These controllers use a simple numerical keypad to control the door’s lock, which can be activated – or, in many cases, deactivated – by the entry of a PIN code. These control units seem to be used almost exclusively in residential areas, particularly urban apartment buildings.
While the vast majority of electric door strikes are used to protect external entry points and outdoor doors, there’s no reason for them not to be used internally. Many office buildings use electric strikes to limit access to certain areas and high-security zones. Other buildings may be fitted with strikes to prevent young children and other unauthorized people from accessing potentially dangerous areas.
Finally, electric control systems are frequently fitted to areas other than doors and entry points. Take the common electronically-controlled parking barrier, for example, which uses the same control unit as most interior or exterior door lock controllers. Even home garage doors use similar controller to a standard door, right down to the type of remote device or keycards used to activate and open them.
It’s important that you purchase the right type of electric door strike for your building. Consider the type of electrical access that your building has – some strikes can operate using a backup electricity source – and how important security is. There are hundreds of different electric door strikes, and it’s important that you pick the lock and control model that’s most appropriate for your home or office.