Electromagnetic locks were first introduced in the United States in 1970 and has gained considerable popularity since then. These locks are popular part of access control systems throughout the world. Electromagnetic locks are mostly used to secure emergency exit doors. When connected to a fire alarm system, the lock’s power source is automatically disconnected when the fire alarm is activated allowing door to open so people can exit quickly.
What are Electromagnetic Lock
An electromagnetic lock is a device used to control the access through a door. It consists of an electromagnet mounted in or on the door frame and a matching plate that is affixed to the door. When energized, the electro-magnet holds the plate with a retention force that may exceed 1000 lbs., thus effectively locking the door.
They are typically controlled through security systems, keypads, key switches, card access systems, “PUSH TO EXIT” buttons, and/or by special devices worn by persons whose safety could be compromised by uncontrolled egress.
Many people have fear about electromagnetic locks is power failure. What happens if there is sudden power failure or if a burglar cuts the wire connecting the power source to the lock?. Electromagnetic locks are generally installed with a standby batteries to provide continued power in such cases. Also, the electromagnetic locks can’t be tampered with from outside the door because it is installed entirely inside the door. No part of the lock or power supply wires is exposed from outside the door.
Advantages of Electromagnetic Locks
Electromagnetic locks are easy to install compare than other mechanical locks since there are no interconnecting parts.
Electromagnetic locks unlock instantly when the power is cut, allowing for quick release in comparison to other locks.
Electromagnetic are stronger and provide high security, when attack or forced open with a crowbar, it will often do little or no damage to the door or lock.
Disadvantages of Electromagnetic Locks
More expensive compare to mechanical locks
Requires power source
Many people think it’s less attractive
Typical electromagnetic locks installation needs additional pieces of hardware to be also installed to comply with building fire codes. These fire codes are used throughout the United States. The code states the following: There must be a minimum of two devices used to release the electromagnetic lock. One device must be a manual release button that has the words “PUSH TO EXIT” labeled. This push button must provide a 30-second time delay when pushed, and the time delay must act independently of the access control system. Another device can either be a PIR motion detector
or an electrified exit release bar system, so the lock unlocks automatically during a fire alarm. The door must also release upon the loss of main electrical power.