In the overall history of door locks, electronic locks or maglocks are a relatively new development, having been invented just over 20 years ago. Seco-Larm electronic locks are well-suited for many types of door/gate applications that allow you to take advantage of the benefits that these mechanisms provide. Electronic locks are now a vital component to any access control security applications.....
How Electronic Locks Work
Electronic locks, such as the ones developed by Seco-Larm, take advantage of electromagnetism to secure a door or gate. The lock itself consists of two major components: an electromagnet and an armature plate. Both parts are generally installed on the interior side of the door to prevent tampering from outside with the armature plate attached to the door and the electromagnet attached to the door frame.
When current passes through the electromagnet, it creates a force that causes it to stick to the armature plate, thus holding the door closed with a force usually well beyond human strength. Typically, the doors are locked at a set time each day as a store closes or after normal business hours. When the door is to be unlocked, current to the electromagnet is shut off, leaving no residual magnetism that would improperly leave the door locked.
This two-piece locking mechanism is typically controlled by an access control system, which could be a number of different devices such as card or 'fob' readers, keypads or fingerprint scanners. The access control system eliminates the need for traditional mechanical key security, which is much more vulnerable to tampering and subject to the inconvenience of keeping track of who has keys or having to change locks to secure a facility from a disgruntled ex-employee.
Depending on the access control system, it is relatively simple to deny or allow access to someone, by simply changing that person's access using a computer or the device's built-in configuration program. If an employee is terminated or loses a card, disabling their card and/or issuing a replacement is quick and easy.
One of the disadvantages of these locks is that they need power to operate, so a power failure could mean the facility is no longer secured. Developing a backup energy plan along with proper security procedures are a necessary step in the process of using electronic locks. Such policies have to weigh the importance of allowing people to exit during a blackout against the importance of securing the property.
What Kind of Lock Do I Buy?
There is no 'one size fits all' solution to electronic locks since what kind of door needs to be locked and where that door is vary greatly. There are several types of Seco-Larm electronic locks to handle many of these situations. The following are a few examples of the different models they offer:
The E-942FC-600 maglock has 600 pounds of holding force and is designed for automatic sliding or swinging doors. Its waterproof and vandalism resistant housing make it a great choice for retail operations. If you like a stronger lock, the E-942FC-1300 is basically the same lock, but with a holding force of 1,300 pounds.
The E-941SA-1200 is a powerful maglock for use in places where water exposure and vandalism are less of a concern. The powerful lock has a holding force of 1,200 pounds.
Many commercial facilities use double doors at their entrances. The best option for securing these types of doors is the E-941DA-1K2Q, with 1,200 pounds holding force. The electromagnet component actually has two magnets built into one housing, with two individual armature plates, one for each door.
There is about a 10% cost savings for using this model compared to using two separate individual maglocks on a given double door entrance. Another consideration for using a double door maglock is if you use an access control system that has a limit on the number of locks you can secure, this would only use one lock towards that limit instead of two.
Maglocks have passed the test of time, allowing many businesses and home owners a simple way to manage access to doors that traditional mechanical lock and key systems cannot deliver. Seco-Larm electronic locks give you several options for taking advantage of this technology to secure your facility, without the process becoming a big hassle.
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