Information about Electric Strikes and Installation

Information about Electric Strikes and Installation

Posted by on Jun 20, 2015 in Locksmith

Information about Electric Strikes and Installation

Information about Electric Strikes and Installation

A popular access control device for doors is the electric strike. Designed to replace a fixed strike plate, this device is commonly used in conjunction with a latch bar. Typically, an electric strike has a ramped surface to the latch that allows the door to close and then latch. However, because of the surface, this type of strike can also pivot out of the way when the door’s lock is in a locked position when commanded.

When a door is open, an electric strike makes it possible for you to open the door without the mechanical lock being used or without the need for a key. Once the door opens beyond the latch bar, the bar goes back to its normal position. When power is applied or removed, the door will relock.

Unique Configurations

For electric strikes, there are two unique configurations:

  • Fail Safe

    – Sometimes referred to as “fail open,” when an electric current is applied to the strike, the door locks in much the same way as with a magnetic lock. With this configuration, if power were ever disrupted you could open the door simply by pushing or pulling. This configuration needs a direct current for operation.

  • Fail Secure

    – This configuration is also referred to as “fail lock.” In this case, a door will unlock whenever an electric current to the strike is applied. If you experience a power failure, the door will remain locked, but it can easily be opened from the inside by using the mechanical lock. As far as power, a fail secure configuration depends on alternating current or DC power.

In some instances, an electric strike is equipped with buzzers so if you were on the exterior of the door, the buzzing sound indicates the door is open. In comparison, if the strike plate is operated with DC power, rather than a buzzing noise, you would hear a click when the door opens.

Electric Strike Installation


Because the installation of electric strikes is relatively easy, this can be a do-it-yourself project, but if help is ever needed, a professional locksmith can assist. For installation, any existing strike plate would be removed simply by unscrewing it. Next, the hole will need to be enlarged slightly using a drill since electric strikes are typically larger than fixed strikes. Just be sure that the outside perimeter and depth are the appropriate sizes.

From there, you can drill a small space in the wall space to retrieve wires or create a notch out of the frame to run the wires through to the inside. While there are different options for powering an electric strike, the easiest is with a long power wire, which consists of two wires that are connected.

The electronic strike plate is then placed inside the newly created hole and secured with the same screws you took out of the fixed plate. Of course, if those screws were damaged in any way, new screws can be purchased at any hardware or home improvement store. You will then check that everything is flush with the frame by opening and closing the door.

For the final step, the electric strike needs to be tested. Simply have another individual open the door with the lock enacted and again after the release has been activated. As mentioned, if you run into a problem in the installation process, a qualified locksmith can be called.

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