Electronic Locks for Access Control Systems

You get a door installed but then it dooms on you that you might need an electric lock. There is a big difference from consumer grade smart locks vs business grade locks. Typically the latter are electronically wired with low voltage cabling, are built for frequent use, endure a certain force and come with advanced fire ratings and certificates, etc.

The typical set up for your door is: Door, cabling, locks and readers. Keeping in mind for locks is that they come in two configurations:

  • Fail safe: When activated power is taken away from the lock and the lock unlocks
  • Fail secure: When activated power is given to the lock and the lock unlocks

The reason for differentiating this is that some companies have specific doors which need to unlock or keep shut during emergencies like power outages.

Aside from this technical differentiation, you might see them being supplied in different voltages. Common power supply rating for electronic door locks are:

  • 12V - 2A
  • 24V - 1A

In the end you can think of locks as four different categories. All of those are compatible with electronic keyless access systems.

There are many more details to understand about door access readers (or commonly called "proximity readers") but if you take away one thing from this guide about readers it should be how readers are categorized.

Here are details about the four types of proximity readers in more depth:

Electronic Lock Types

1) Electric Strikes / Electronic Latches

Electric strikes (like this example from Seco-larm) are compatible with most metal or wood doors. Plus the great news is that it's most likely compatible with the lock you already use and you can keep using it (unless you have a deadbolt). To understand how an electric strike works, just think about your door buzzer in the apartment building. That's exactly what it is! 

Kisi's opinion: Electric door strikes are probably the default option for metal or wood doors. They are also typically the most affordable option in terms of door security hardware. 
HES 1006 industrial electric strike / heavy duty latch is a common electric strike combined with Kisi access control systems.

HES 1006 industrial electric strike / heavy duty latch is a common electric strike combined with Kisi access control systems.

Here is an example of how the access controller would be wired to an electric strike

Kisi connection to electric strike

Kisi connection to electric strike

 

2) Magnetic Locks

Magnetic locks might be the standard for the modern office. The simple reason: Many architects go with elegant glass doors which are in return not compatible with physical locks. To get around that "little" problem magnetic locks have been developed. They differentiate by how much force they can withhold, e.g. standards are 600lb lock while if you have a bigger door you might choose a lock that holds 1200lb. 

Kisi's opinion: Magnetic locks are widely used and facilitate a great office atmosphere because they are used with glass doors. Be aware of motion sensors and backup batteries that might be required for the install- definitely not the cheapest option!
Assa Abloy Magnetic Lock called "magnalock" by Securitron

Assa Abloy Magnetic Lock called "magnalock" by Securitron

Here is an example of how the Kisi Controller is wired to a magnetic lock

Kisi access control panel connected to magnetic lock

Kisi access control panel connected to magnetic lock

 

3) Electrified Pushbars / Electronic Exit Bars

Electrified pushbars are typically used to comply with fire code. You can unlock the door from outside and it's locked by default. But in case of fire there can't be anything electric or mechanic hindering a fast exit from the building. That's why in some cases or some laws require the use of push-bars. You'll often see those on side entrance doors of street facing doors in large buildings. When there is a fire, people run down the staircase and push the bar to get out quick. There are conversion kits to convert an analog pushbar to an electrified version. 

Kisi's opinion: Electrified pushbars are a great hybrid for when fire code is required but you want to have a modern access control system connected to that door as well.
Electrified pushbar by Adams Rite or Sargent Exit Devices

Electrified pushbar by Adams Rite or Sargent Exit Devices

 

4) Electrified Mortise Locks / Wired Mortise Locks

Wired mortise locks are amazing - personally my favorite of all the options. The reason? They look almost like a regular lock! The only difference is that there is a power cable connecting the lock with the power supply. Now the tricky part about wired mortise locks is that the wire goes through the door itself and is wired back to the main wall. There are two options to achieve this - either you use electrified door hinges or you use on-wall cabling.

Kisi's opinion: A wired mortise lock is definitely the most elegant, since many architectural designs and styles are possible. The only problem: It doesn't work with glass doors!

Wiring guide for fail secure vs fail safe electric locks

 

How to set up Kisi with fail safe locks - using a power supply directly wired to the fail safe strikes

How to set up Kisi with fail safe locks - using a power supply directly wired to the fail safe strikes

How to set up Kisi with a fail secure electronic lock - wiring directly from the access control board to the door

How to set up Kisi with a fail secure electronic lock - wiring directly from the access control board to the door

 

Still there? In-depth section for electric door locks

These locks work in conjunction with an access control security system, allowing you to do away with old school keys when unlocking your door.

Magnetic Locks

What is Magnetic Lock? How does a Magnetic Lock work?

A magnetic lock (also maglock) works exactly as advertised; it utilises a powerful electromagnetic lock to clamp your door shut, just like two piece of magnets. The electromagnet is attached to the top door frame at the corner, and a corresponding metal plate is installed on the door itself. The door is locked when the electromagnet is powered and the two pieces come in contact with each other.

When an unlock is triggered (using a keypad or some other electronic key), the electric power running through the magnet will be disconnected, thus releasing the metal plate on the door and allowing it to open. When the maglock is not powered, the door will be allowed to open freely. It is thus necessary to power a maglock at all times to ensure it stays locked.

Magnetic locks are almost always installed with a electronic security access control system, which requires some form of authentication for users to enter. They usually come with a keypad, as well as a key card or key fob reader. Most maglocks are installed on glass doors, though they work well with wooden or metal doors too.

How much power is it required to power a maglock?

A typical maglock requires only 12 or 24V to power up; this means that a US-standard power socket is enough to power your maglock. All maglocks run on a DC current.

Just because all maglocks are set to fail-safe does not mean that they are safe during a fire emergency (fail-safe means they need a constant source of current to remain unlocked). This is because the fire and smoke cannot be contained in the enclosed space during a fire, and risk spreading to other parts of the building. Even if the power to the locks fail to cut when the fire alarms are triggered, occupants without means of unlocking a maglock will be trapped inside the space.

Do maglocks comply with fire safety regulations and standards?

 

Just because all maglocks are set to fail-safe does not mean that they are safe during a fire emergency (fail-safe means they need a constant source of current to remain unlocked). This is because the fire and smoke cannot be contained in the enclosed space during a fire, and risk spreading to other parts of the building. Even if the power to the locks fail to cut when the fire alarms are triggered, occupants without means of unlocking a maglock will be trapped inside the space.

 

What is Magnetic Lock? How does a Magnetic Lock work?

A magnetic lock (also maglock) works exactly as advertised; it utilises a powerful electromagnetic lock to clamp your door shut, just like two piece of magnets. The electromagnet is attached to the top door frame at the corner, and a corresponding metal plate is installed on the door itself. The door is locked when the electromagnet is powered and the two pieces come in contact with each other.

When an unlock is triggered (using a keypad or some other electronic key), the electric power running through the magnet will be disconnected, thus releasing the metal plate on the door and allowing it to open. When the maglock is not powered, the door will be allowed to open freely. It is thus necessary to power a maglock at all times to ensure it stays locked.

As such, many states have strict regulations requiring maglock doors to be installed with a free-egress; this refers to a manual override option that allows the door to be opened from the inside. An example is a panic bar, which you can see here on the left. In some cities like San Francisco, maglocks are almost completely disallowed unless they pass some very strict regulatory guidelines.

 

How to Install a Magnetic Lock (without keypads and/or motion sensors)

The tools needed for installing a magnetic lock:

  • EM Lock from Access Pro

  • Rulers & pencil to mark position of locks

  • Screwdriver

  • Screw

Locks come in two halves: thick (electromagnetic itself - connected to power supply and has wires) and thin metal plate (attaches to the door)

  1. Mark out location where you want the thin plate to be installed on the door.

  2. Drill the holes, then mount the thin plate to the door with screwdriver and screws.

  3. Close the door to double check the fitting of the lock before you do so.

  4. EM Lock installed on door frame.

  5. Guarantee correct alignment and line + mark EM lock with thin plate.

  6. Account for wiring by drilling appropriate holes + tighten mount in place with screws.

Since most maglocks come with keypads and motion sensors, be sure to read the instruction on your maglock installation carefully before proceeding.

For more information:

http://www.sdcsecurity.com/docs/eblasts/whitepapers_emlocks.pdf

http://www.locksmithledger.com/article/10611828/code-requirements-for-electromagnetic-locks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzaUG8qokLo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEW-5Hq_waw

Electronic Mortise Locks

What is a Mortise Lock? How does a Mortise Lock work?

The Mortise lock is a very popular locking hardware for residential units. They comprise 2 locking mechanisms on the lockset itself: one for the latch bolt and another for the deadbolt. A handle will control the latchbolt, and the keyhole (on the outside) and deadbolt knob (on the inside) controls the deadbolt. The reason why the Mortise is a common feature in residential doors has largely to do with the double lock function on the lockset, allowing a user to adjust the convenience of access into the secured space.

Types of Mortise Locks and How It Works

Electric Mortise locks are usually installed on the same type of doors as with electric strikes, with one key difference: the electricity runs directly to your door latch, and not to the strike on the door frame. An electrified Mortise lock will allow you to control the bolts on the lockset using an electric signal, and this signal can either (A) remotely retract your latchbolt, or (B) control and turn your deadbolt knob, depending on the model on the lockset.

For type (A), when power is not supplied to a Mortise lock, the door latch will stay put and not slide into the door, and you will not be able to push open the door. Once power is supplied, the door latch will retract into the strike plate and you can simply push it open without turning the handle.

Type (B) is a sturdier solution that slides the deadbolt into the lockset slot. The electric signal automatically turns the deadbolt knob, and turns it back once the unlock is complete and door is closed. Such a solution still requires you to turn the handle after the deadbolt has retracted, so a handle has to be installed on both sides of the door.

Fail-Safe vs. Fail-Secure Mortise Locks

As with eletric strikes and magnetic locks, mortise locks are wired either fail-safe or fail-secure at any one point in time. Each configuration describes the default state of the electronic door lock when no power is being fed to it. A fail-safe door is left unlocked when no power is being fed to the lock; it requires a constant stream of electricity for the door to remain locked. On the other hand, a fail-secure door is locked by default when the power is switched off. As a result, you will need to feed electricity into the system before an unlock can be activated. Some higher-end mortise locks have settings that allow it to switch between fail-safe and fail-secure; be sure to check with a locksmith about these settings before proceeding with the installation of your electrified Mortise lock.

For more information:

http://www.locksmiths.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Handout-for-BII-presentation-v2.pdf

http://locknet.com/lockbytes/excerpts/whats-the-difference-mortise-vs-cylindrical-locks/

http://www.jade1.com/jadecc/courses/UNIVERSAL/NEC05.php?imDif=6244.0

Panic / Crash Bars

What is a Panic Bar? How does a Panic Bar work?

Panic bars (also known as crash bars) are exit devices found on the interior of a door. Unlike most doors, users just need to push a bar in order to effect an exit from the building; most other doors require you to at least turn a handle or activate an electronic signal (like sensors and/or key fobs). These usually come in a rectangular form with a horizontal push bar for stairwells, or work with a metal pole which you then push downward.

Why use a Panic Bar?

Panic and crash bars are a must-have for fire-safety approved buildings. Always found at emergency exits, these are installed to help manage a stampede of occupants escaping a building during a fire. This scenario pretty much explains how the panic bar was thus named: panicked occupants just need to crash into the emergency door to evacuate. They have thus far proven to be very effective in preventing a situation where mobs of people were trapped while trying to escape from a burning building.

Types of Panic Bars

While most panic bars are not strictly electronic locks by themselves, they can be combined with an electric strike so as to enable access from the exterior. This is necessary for offices where the door serves the dual function of being a fire escape point and the front entrance. Since these types of bars are manually powered without any electricity, all you have to do is install a surface-mounted electric strike on your door that will allow it to swing outwards when the strike is powered.

An alternative is to install an electrified panic bar. Such bars can either use an electric signal to retract the latch on the panic bar itself, or deactivate the lever handle unit (i.e. the push bar) so that allows the door to swing freely.

Either type of panic bars will require a lever to be installed on the outer side of the door.

 

For more information:

http://www.stanleysecuritysolutions.com/products-services/mechanical-access-solutions/panic-hardware

http://www.gvlock.com/faqs/crash-bar-panic-bar

http://idighardware.com/2015/04/where-is-panic-hardware-required-by-code/

 

original posts

http://pages.getkisi.com/access-control/locks/magnetic-locks/

http://pages.getkisi.com/access-control/locks/electric-mortise-locks/

http://pages.getkisi.com/access-control/locks/panic-crash-bars/


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Components

Credits

Written by Bernhard Mehl - edit suggestions? email support"at"getkisi.com


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