Electric strikes is the term given to access control devices that are able to be operated with traditional mechanical locks in order to allow for the opening of a door regardless of whether the mechanical lock is itself locked or unlocked. The electric strike is a replacement for the fixed strike faceplate that can be found on standard door frames.
How electric strikes work
As is the case with fixed strike faceplates, electric strikes present a ramped surface that the mechanical latch can close against. When the door closes, the latchbolt momentarily retracts in order to be able to accommodate that latched surface, and will then return in order to once more extend into the latch pocket after the door has been completely closed. The rear of that ramped surface, referred to as a latch keeper, is responsible for keeping the latch in place.
However the electric strike has something that a conventional fixed strike faceplate does not – a solenoid that is responsible for controlling the latch keeper’s position. The latch keeper is fixed in its quiescent state, as with a fixed strike faceplate keeper, but the activation of the solenoid allows the latch keeper to swing aside, enabling a space where the extended latch can open along with the door.
Electric strikes come in AC and DC versions. AC versions have a “buzz” when they are operated, while DC versions are almost completely quiet save for a click upon the release of the lock. DC electric strikes may sometimes also come equipped with a buzzer in order to notify the person outside that the strike has been opened.
Advantages of electric strikes
Electric strike locks are ideal for use in areas that require a particularly high level of security, or in cases where other locks have already been broken into.
Electric strike locks can be used with a wide range of different locks, including traditional mortise locks and cylinder locks, which can be used as a source of power for an alarm system.
When looking for these particular types of locks, it is important to take into consideration the best locking mechanism style to accompany it, including the likes of the cylinder locks, though combination locks can be more difficult to make use of with this system.
Electric strike locks are a secure system in and of themselves but can also be used in conjunction with a fitted alarm or light that signals when the door has been locked securely.
Electric strikes can be more economical than a number of other types of locks, including magnetic locks, and are also able to provide a greater degree of security in the event of a power outage by ensuring that the door is kept firmly locked even in the absence of power.
Installing an electric strike lock is also very quick, simple and cost-efficient, making it a very effective solution to keeping a property safe. It is advisable to make use of an experienced licensed professional to install an electric strike lock.