Types of Electronic Locks

Types of electronic locks

An electronic lock is controlled by a reader, such as a keypad, card reader or biometric terminal. If the user has the right personal identification number (PIN), card or biometric, the door unlocks. There are two main types of electronic locks: standalone and networked.

Standalone locks/readers: Standalone electronic locks use the same credential (card, code, etc) as networked locks. However, they are not connected to access control software, so they require the user to physically go to each lock to administer access rights and retrieve tracking information.

Networked locks: Networked electronic locks are connected to an access control system. They allow the system manager to easily change access rights and track movement throughout the facility from anywhere they are connected to the network.

Credentials are key

Credentials are the tools that give you access. Although modern security systems use dfferent types of credentials, a key is the most widely recognized. When they are lost, new ones must be duplicated and, frequently, locks must be rekeyed.

Patented key management system. With a patent- protected key management system, keys are only available to authorized individuals through professional locksmith channels to prevent unauthorized key duplication.

Cards as keys. These credentials overcome the costs and security challenges of key turnover. Options include smart, proximity and magnetic stripe credentials, each with varying levels of security. If a card is lost, its number is simply erased from the system, and the user receives a new card and number.

Biometrics as keys. A biometric reader uses your body as identi cation. Your hand, for instance, can be placed on a reader. If it matches the template created when you enrolled, you get access. Biometrics provide the highest security and greatest convenience.


Just as a key is a
lock, a card or biometric requiresliberty logo
a reader, which is typically
located next to a door. In some
cases, the lock and reader are
combined into one unit. When
purchasing a card reader, it should have the capacity to
read all types of cards: smart, proximity and mag stripe.
Purchasing a multi-technology reader can eliminate the
expense of installing new readers should credentials change down the road.

Exit devices get people out

An exit device (also called a crash bar, panic bar, panic device, panic hardware or push bar) allows the exterior side of the door to be locked, while ensuring that
people can always exit from the interior.

Consisting of a spring-loaded metal bar or touchpad mechanism xed horizontally to the inside of an outward-
opening door, it activates a mechanism which unlatches the door, allowing occupants to leave quickly when the lever is either pushed or depressed. Panic hardware is required for doors which lock or latch, serving assembly and educational occupancies with an occupant load of 50 people or more (100 people or more for some codes), and also for high hazard occupancies.


Crossbar exit devices may be used for doors with large glass lites, or where there is an aesthetic preference for the crossbar style. Available in both wide and narrow stiles, they are ideal for
environments that demand a traditional look that’s durable enough to withstand rugged applications.


Touchpad exit devices are mounted on the inside.


Recessed exit devices are embedded into the door to maintain a low profile with sloped end caps that detect objects away from the door and are close to being  totally flush with the door when depressed.

Rods vs. cables

Vertical rod exit devices have historically been manufactured with rods and latches that secure the door at the top and bottom. More recently, exit devices have been introduced that use a concealed vertical cables instead of rods. Concealed vertical cable exit devices are more aesthetic and easier to install and maintain than traditional vertical rod exit devices.

And it has dogging?

Dogging is a feature used in exit devices to hold the touchpad or crossbar in a retracted position, thus allowing a door to operate in push/pull mode without latching. Mechanical dogging is not allowed for re doors, so re exit hardware will not have the ability to be mechanically dogged. Fire doors may be dogged electrically, as long as the latches project upon re alarm to positively latch the door.

Door ClosersControl the door

Door closers are aptly named

A door closer closes the door after it is opened manually, but it also controls the door to avoid slamming and to meet the requirements of the accessibility standards. There
are both manual and electronic door closers. Choosing a door closer involves considering a variety of criteria. In addition to the closer’s performance in re situations, other criteria may include resistance to opening forces (including heavy duty models for areas with high winds), control over the rate of closing, safety, durability, risk of vandalism and aesthetics. There are ve basic types of door closers.

Surface-mounted closers

These closers mount at the top of the door and frame—either parallel arm mount (push side), regular arm mount (pull side) or top jamb mount •(push side).


Concealed closers

Concealed closers are mounted in the frame head, or in the top rail of the door, when aesthetics are a concern.

High-security closers

High-security closers feature a vandal-resistant design for use where closers may be exposed to abuse or vandalism.

Electronic closers: Fire doors may not be held open mechanically, but electronic closers may be used on re doors to hold the door open and automatically close the door when a signal is received from the re alarm or smoke detector. A door with this type of closer is called automatic- closing, while a door that closes each time it’s opened is called self-closing.

Automatic operators provide easy access

Low energy automatic operators are used where a “knowing act,” such as a push button, is used to automatically open the door. They are required by code to open the door slowly and with a limited amount of force. Therefore they do not require the safety sensors and rails required for full-powered operators like the operators seen on a grocery store entrance.

Electro-hydraulic systems

These are designed for manual opening applications where there is occasional need for automating the door to meet ADA requirements. Electro- hydraulic operators combine a conventional heavy-duty door closer with a low-energy automatic operator.

Electro-mechanical systems

Designed for more frequent automatic use, these automatic operators are often used on cross-corridor doors and other frequently used openings in hospitals. These operators are designed for applications where automatic operation is the primary need.

Pneumatically powered systems

These are great for use in areas where electrically operated devices are not convenient or permitted. The pneumatic operator consists of a heavy- duty door closer for manual operation and a pneumatic automatic operator to power the door when required. Power for the operator comes from the in-house air supply or a compressor furnished with the operators. These operators are silent when the compressor is installed in a remote location, making them ideal for use in libraries, churches, hospitals and laboratories.

This is an excerpt from Allegian Locks.

For more information call Liberty Locksmiths at 407-260-2727. We have the locks and will be happy to install them for you.