Electronic Door Hardware: Security 101

August 5th, 2010 | Security 101

Electronic door hardware enables doors to be locked and unlocked by a peripheral device. The device may be a simple electric push button or a motion sensor, or may be an elaborate access control device such as a card reader or digital keypad.

Two important terms to remember when dealing with electronic door hardware are fail safe and fail secure. Both terms are usually addressed in regard to fire/life safety codes and pertain to doors in the path of egress from an occupied space or during a fire emergency. Local fire codes vary by municipality. Security professionals should refer to the authority having jurisdiction when specifying any door locking mechanisms.

A lock for a door that normally provides free egress by simply turning a handle or depressing the exit bar from the secure side does not need to be fail safe. For instance, an electrified crashbar (panic bar) will mechanically unlock its door when pushed regardless of whether the lock is electrically energized or not.

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