Door hardware 101: A basic jargon primer
Access control begins with door hardware. And with that comes a world of confusing nomenclature that can be intimidating. Welcome to Door Hardware 101, a guide to help you understand and talk about mechanical and electrified hardware.
There are four main steps to specifying door hardware:
(1) hang the door, (2) secure the door, (3) control the door and (4) protect the door. This guide will explain some of the key terms used in each of these four steps.
Cylindrical: Sometimes called
bored locks, cylindrical locks are
sturdier and considered more
secure than tubular locks. The
latchbolt assembly interlocks with
one side of the lock chassis, making
it easier to install, replace and rekey.
Cylindrical locks are also available in di erent formats that provide various levels of security, all of which use the same type of key. This allows like-keyed and master-keyed systems that use a wide variety of locks. Cylindrical locks are vulnerable to security threats that use force to break them in two pieces- known as lock snapping or cylinder snapping.
Mortise: Mortise locks are considered even more secure than cylindrical locks.
They require a pocket—the mortise—to be cut
into the door where the lock is tted.
The mortise assembly includes the following:
Lock body (the part installed inside the mortise cut-out in the door)
Lock trim, which is typically available
in various knob, lever, handle set and pull designs
Keyed cylinder to operate the locking/unlocking function of the lock body
Hang the door
Hinges or pivots?
Typically hinges are used to hang the door. There are a few basic types. Five-knuckle or three-knuckle are common choices.
Continuous hinges run the entire length of the door and are often used on exterior doors.
Pivots are used to hang the door when the door is heavy, the design of the door/frame requires pivots or because of an aesthetic preference.
Secure the door
Mechanical locks: There are many types of mechanical locks: tubular, cylindrical, mortise, interconnected and deadbolt. Below are the pros and cons of each type.
Tubular: Tubular locks have a center spindle assembly that extends through the center of the lock body and latch, allowing for retraction of the latch when the lever or knob is rotated. While this type of lock is very common on interior doors and in residential applications, they are considered the least secure lock type.
Mortise locks are stronger and heavier duty than cylindrical locks,
making them ideal for use in hospitals and schools. They are heavy enough to support ornate and solid cast knobs and levers. Mortise locks also provide a wide variety of choices
for function, trim, keying systems and nishes, allowing for architectural conformity with the design of the building or locks and door hardware already on site.
Interconnected: An interconnected lock is comprised of two locks that are connected together so operating the lever handle will retract both the latchbolt and deadbolt simultaneously. The latchset is either a cylindrical or tubular lock, and there is a deadbolt above. These locks are most commonly used on dwelling unit entrance doors in multifamily residential buildings.
Deadbolt: Deadbolts, also called deadlocks, are available with a single cylinder or a double cylinder. The single cylinder deadbolt operates by a key on the outside and a thumbturn on the inside. A double cylinder deadbolt requires a key for unlocking on both sides of the door, but it must only be used where speci cally allowed by the applicable code. With the exception of residential dwelling units, deadbolts are typically not allowed to be used on a door with another lock or latch installed, as the egress code requirements mandate one motion to unlatch an egress door.
Electrified hardware: Fail safe or fail secure
Electri ed hardware uses power to control the locking and unlocking of the door. Most electri ed hardware is available in one of two functions: fail safe or fail secure. Fail safe and fail secure refers to the status of the secure side (key side, outside) of the door. Most electrified hardware allows free egress from the egress side (inside) of the door.
Basic definitions: Fail safe: Power o = Unlocked Fail secure: Power o = Locked
An electric strike replaces the regular strike for a lockset or panic hardware. It is used as part of an access control system to provide added security and convenience such as tra c control and remote release. An electric strike is typically paired with a storeroom function lockset or panic hardware, so access is controlled by the electric strike.
An electromechanical lock is a lockset that has been electrified so that it can be controlled by a card reader, remote release or other access control device. Most electromechanical locksets allow free egress at all times.
An electromagnetic lock is an electromagnet that mounts on the frame, with a steel armature
mounted on the door. When
power is applied to the magnet, it
bonds to the armature, securing
the door. Electromagnetic locks
are only available fail safe. When
you remove power, the electromagnetic lock unlocks.
Upon re-alarm or power failure.
Fail safe electric strikes can’t be used for stairwell re-entry, because re door assemblies require fail secure electric strikes for positive latching. (Fire doors do not require fail secure electric locks—only fail secure electric strikes.)
Be aware that when a fail safe product is used, the door will be unlocked whenever there is a re alarm or power failure, which is an obvious security risk.
Electromagnetic locks are only available fail safe.
Electric latch retraction panic hardware is only available fail secure.
Fail secure products are more common than fail safe due to security concerns. Fail secure products provide security when there is no power applied.
Most electrified products, with the exception of electromagnetic locks, allow free egress at all times, regardless of whether they are fail safe or fail secure.
Liberty Locksmiths can provide you with all the latest locks and the installation. Give us a call at 407-260-2727 for a consultation. Serving Orlando . Florida
and surrounding area. Visit our Commercial Door services website.