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Electric Lock choice

Discussion in 'Security Alarms' started by [email protected], Jul 30, 2005.

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  1. Guest

    We usually use electric strikes when installing electric door locks in
    a commercial installation. We have an upcoming job that has a number
    of double doors, that meet in the middle of the 6' door opening,
    without a center jamb. Therefore, I guess my choices are magnetic
    locks, or a Bolt type lock. Our experiences with the Bolt type lock is
    that it takes a long time for the installation (alighment problems).
    Is it reasonable to assume that for this type job a magnetic lock is
    the better choice? I also understand that if any electric lock is used
    during business hours, that the door must have an auto Passive unlock
    device, and also a "Push to exit" button, to break the circuit. Any
    comments on this will be most appreciated.
  2. Devin

    Devin Guest

    Depends on the jurisdiction you are in with the mag locks. Here it will
    be a frosty day in hell before you can get a permit for one. There are
    door strikes you can get to go into the top of the door frame. We use
    them on double glass doors and they usually work well. Rutherford makes
    em(cant think of part #) but havnt had an issue in years. As for the
    exit there has to be panic hardware(here at least) that release's the
    door if held for 15 seconds.

    hope it helps
  3. Crash Gordon

    Crash Gordon Guest

    ....and when you bid it...double what you think it will take to install. The
    double top maglock are tricky to install. Also you may have to tie into the
    fire system so they will release on fire.
  4. Guest

    Will look at the Rutherford site, to gain some insite on this top mount
    lock. Just a curiousity -- why are the mag locks not accepted in your
    area? Does the Rutherford lock seem to be the best choice? Again,
    thanks for your input (yours & Crash Gordon)
  5. Devin

    Devin Guest

    Alot of it has to with companies not installing them properly and people
    getting caught in a fire. If they dont release during a fire or panic
    situation, you are going to have deaths. So the city here will rarely
    allow them to be installed anymore. Older ones are "grandfathered" and
    can still be used. lots of reasons they wont allow it, and all the red
    tape to get one isnt worth it.

    Rutherford has a decent warranty and are solid products. Von Duprin is
    another we use often, but mainly for heavier commercial installs.
  6. Guest

    Thanks again; could not find anything on the Rutherford site,
    specifically for a double door: is it a bolt type lock, or a strike
  7. J. Sloud

    J. Sloud Guest

    Aside from fire code issues others have , maglocks are, by design,
    fail safe devices. That means that if power to the maglock is lost,
    the door will no longer be locked. Unless steps are taken to ensure
    power cannot be disrupted to the maglock, they really aren't suitable
    for exterior door or high security use. Typical power supplies use
    battery backup that can be used for a few hours. We typically put all
    mags on UPS/ generator power and also monitor the power going to the
    mags with an alarm contact at will alert the end-user if power fails.
    Depending on your location, maglocks will need to be interconnected to
    the building fire alarm and you will have to supply emergency egress
    that can be operated with no prior knowledge. A REX motion detector
    and 2" illuminated timed REX button are accepted around here for
    unsecured egress. For secured agress, you'd need a touch sense bar
    with delayed opening that conforms to NFPA101. It amazes me that you
    need a license in my state to put in a residential burglar alarm, but
    anybody can do access control in a public building and put hundreds of
    lives at risk with no regulation at all.

  8. petem

    petem Guest

    Wow things in the state are very different then here..

    Mags lock are supposed to be unlock if a fire occur or if there is a power

    So mags are only used when there is a entry/exit control of the door..

    if its free egress most of the time there is no mag

    And mag are always working in combination of an electric strike,the strike
    is not subject to the same requirement as the mags,so in power failure and
    in case of fire you just have to turn the knob or push a power bar and you
    are free to go out but the door is still lock from outside

    The electric strike are usually a fail secure type device,so the mags being
    a fail safe device they are a complement to each other..

    If we lock a door to prevent un wanted exit,like in department store,we
    close emergency exit with some mag locks we use a timer device to prevent
    the door ton release before having to push on the panic bar for at least 3
    sec continuous,at this time there is already a buzzer sounding to say that
    the pushing on the panic bar have been detected and after a total of 15 sec
    the door should unlock,of course the door will unlock in case of fire with
    out delay...

    We never (almost never) use mag lock only..just when its for internal
    door..and its pretty rare...cause we still have to make it unlock in case of
    fire or in case of power failure.
  9. J. Sloud

    J. Sloud Guest

    Not so different. Maglocks aren't suited for high security
    applications on exterior doors anywhere. Although it's a common
    practice here. If you have controlled egress (swipe a card to get out
    of a building), then there must be an approved emergency exit device
    such as a touch sense bar or a pressure sensitive maglock that will
    release after an audible alarm sounds for 20 seconds.

    I don't discuss techniques to compromise security systems here, so
    suffice to say, maglocks on exterior doors aren't a good idea. The
    practice is so bad here, that some companies actually mount the
    maglock on the unsecured side of an inswinging door because they are
    too stupid or too lazy to know what a Z bracket is.
  10. Jackcsg

    Jackcsg Guest

    I disagree with that statement. If you said electric strikes, I would agree.
    Strikes offer NO, NONE, ZIP NOTTA, form of Access Control, period.
    Physically dis-allowing access to a door, is what access control is all
    about. Now I agree that there are very few individuals, and companies that
    know how to correctly install a mag lock, but I also blame the AHJ's who
    also have no clue about Maglocks either, or their correct disconnect means.
    Anything, and I mean anything, that is electronically driven to de-energize
    a maglock is incorrect right off the bat. Including touch bars, REX motions,
    Timers, etc., anything that is powered to work, period. Only a manual
    physical means of disconnect will be 100%, in 100% of any application.
    (Along with an FACP interface).

    Although it's a common
    That can fail to work. This is were companies get in trouble. Don't relie on
    anything electronically powered to always work correctly, period.
    You said it: Too Stupid.
  11. J. Sloud

    J. Sloud Guest

    How do you figure? I normally wouldn't post this but you've got some
    bad information:
    Maglocks can easily be defeated. Pull the fire alarm and the doors
    open. Slip a piece of paper through the crack around the door and wave
    it in front of the REX motion and the doors open. Cut power to a
    facility and wait until the batteries drain, the doors open. Take a
    sawsall and cut through the door frame where you know the powers going
    to the maglock, the doors open. Door strikes are locked until
    energized. They are fail secure and a much better choice for security
    and life safety. How could you defeat a properly installed strike?
    Maglocks are installed because they are easy and cheap.
    Read NFPA101 for the approved method. The commonly installed pull
    station that cuts power to the mag is fine and good, but doesn't meet
    code since it requires previous knowledge that it is there. To meet
    Life Safety Code you need two REX deives including a 2" button at the
    door that says push to exit. It's in the code in black and white.
    Actually, I've stated the only approved method according to NFPA101
    Life Safety Code for allowing maglocks on non-free egress exits. .
    I've done several applications that require emergency egress into
    securd areas. Think fire door that opens into a SIDA area where only
    badged personnel are normally allowed.
  12. Jackcsg

    Jackcsg Guest

    How could you defeat a properly installed strike?

    Put a key in the lock. Open the door.
    Then tell me who accessed the door? No Key Control= No Access Control.
    And offer true access control. Physically.
    What? Previous knowledge? It's a big Blue Pull Station Marked "Emergency
    Door Release"

    To meet
    First of all, you're drifting. NFPA, NEC, or what ever 3 letter word, or 4
    letter word for that matter you want to state is simply a guideline. A
    Manual Pull Station marked "Emergency Door Release" meets that code,
    (Guideline). I've never been in a situation, and explained, and or
    illustrated to an AHJ that hasn't approved it's intention. Timmers can fail,
    as any electronically operated device, other than a manual release, which
    works under ANY circumstance.
    Yeah, then tell me the Government follows NFPA101 in that instance? They're
    all just guidelines.

    Relax J, I know well enough you're capable of understanding the
    circumstance(s). I was a little hot from your blanket statement about
    Maglocks. I wasn't trying to start a war over this issue, just voicing my
    opinion. If you can't control keys, you have no access control. I wish it
    were as simple as eliminating the fears of Maglocks, verses installing a
    strike to be safe (or free from liability), but a strike offers no audit
    trail for controlling access. Magnetic locks are very safe when installed
    P.S. I liked the "cut the power to the building and wait".....bit....
  13. J. Sloud

    J. Sloud Guest


    My point was to caution the original poster about improper use of
    mags. I know you know your stuff, but we see it all the time, and I
    get a little pissed off when I see a potentially life-threatening
    situation. I've also seen too many instances where power been lost to
    a maglock and critical doors are left to flap open in the breeze.
    I've also watched a smart-ass engineer slide a pice of paper through a
    crack between the door and frame to activate a Rex motion and open a
    mag. We install a lot of mags, but we're careful where they go and
    what their limitations are. Same with strikes. I've seen those
    mounted on the unsecured side, open to tampering, way too many times
    as well. I've seen customers bypass them with a key. Of course a
    good IDS with DPS at least lets you know when the doors been
    They actually insisted on it in their specs since this facility serves
    the general public (airport). The maglocks are a Locknetics UL models
    with a built in sounder/ timer that automatically releases after 15
    seconds of someone pushing on the door: Egress and Sensor Locks .pdf
    see page F17 of above for the relevant code section if you're

    With a door strike, you are assuming that the door lever set can be
    operated with a key. Eliminate the operability with the key, and you
    fix the strike issue. Maglocks just seem to have more potential
    issues. Of course, we have many doors with in and out readers, and in
    those instances, door strikes have the same (if not worse) life
    safety issues as mags since there is no free egress.
  14. petem

    petem Guest

    Someone that have a key to the door is supposed to be in full control of the
    place..what's the use of access control system if any one have keys?

    Pretty thin as an example come with better stuff...

    And by the way it is a pretty good idea that people in power should have
    keys to come in if there is a malfunction in the system...
  15. Jackcsg

    Jackcsg Guest

    I hear ya'. I have yet to even come accross one, in combination with a
    system, installed correctly. Knowing the door status is key. Knowing
    security is even more important. REX motions have their place....I think
    I've installed about 5 in the last 20 years, most of which just to shunt a
    door contact, rather than release a lock. Some people just feel safer
    installing door strikes, and their attributes than providing access control.
    Each has it's place.
    The US Holocaust building has them all over the place. I used to change out
    2 or three a year do to failures. Their junk IMO, and I would never delay
    egress for any reason. But hey, where would we all be without some wonderful
    engineers sitting behind a desk.
    I can't off hand think of any issues I've ever encountered with a Maglock
    I've installed, but I've heard some good stories from a few AHJ's over the
    years on how people install them incorrectly.
    FYI. Next time you look at an install, a maglock, look at the STI 2400 Pull
    Station. It is DPDT with one contact NC for the lock power, and one side NO.
    Tie in the NO side to a zone, and actually monitor the disconnect for
    supervision. Since I've been using this device, I have not had one single
    issue, or dance with an AHJ. And it works everytime, under any circumstance.
    Something to consider....
  16. Jackcsg

    Jackcsg Guest

    That's what access control means.....
    I always have a way in....but that's a secret......
  17. Guest

    So, back to the original post: We have double doors, meeting in the
    center of the opening, without a center post. So if I don't use mag
    locks, what type of lock would be my best choice? I would like to use
    a good quality strike (such as the securitron Unlatch motorized strike)
    but again, there is not a center post. The two doors meet at the
    center of the opening, and actually touch each other with their felt
    weather strips. Your input will be most appreciated. Thanks again . .
  18. Frank Olson

    Frank Olson Guest

    Go with mag locks. Clear the installation with the local AHJ. If security
    is an issue then power the locks from a stand-by power supply. I'm not a
    huge fan of motion activated door releases like the "T-Rex", particularily
    where "security" is a concern. I know if I was walking up to a glass door
    to leave my residence and saw a rather unsavory character lurking about
    outside, I wouldn't want the door to open unless *I* was the one making that
    decision (ie. use a request to exit button). A "T-Rex" takes that choice
    away from you as soon as you approach the door. This is an issue that we've
    actually managed to get variances on from the AHJ, but you have to talk to
    them and clear it first!! Most AHJ's won't "bend" on the issue of
    connecting the lock to the fire alarm so that the doors open in a fire
    emergency though, so don't even try. :))
  19. J. Sloud

    J. Sloud Guest

    How about this scenario: You've got an airport terminal that has
    access controlled doors that open outside to the tarmac. Normally,
    only authorized employees are allowed access through these doors
    using a SIDA badge. However, in the event of an emergency, these
    doors must be used for egress by the general public. What do you do?
    Without delayed egress, you could have a situation where someone pulls
    your emergency egress devices and waltzes out onto an airport runway.
    The delayed egress is tied into the airport security and CCTV systems
    to notify security and swing a PTZ around to view/ record whats going
    on, and allows them 15 seconds to at see who's about to go through
    that door. That's where these locks have there place.
  20. J. Sloud

    J. Sloud Guest

    You have three choices: mag locks, electric bolt type locks, or some
    type of specialized electric strike designed for these doors (if there
    is one). Maglocks are fine in most applications, but beware of their
    limitations. You can usually surface mount an electric bolt type
    setup to these doors and avoid maglocks if necessary.
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