When you own a business or commercial property, there are many options to consider when it comes to security. Taking the time to choose the most effective kind of locks for your specific property is an important practice, as these systems protect not only your building, but the employees, valuables, and sensitive information located inside.

If you’re unsure about whether a magnetic lock system or an electric strike system is right for your business, you’ve come to the right place! The professionals at Pop-A-Lock have created a guide below to discuss the pros and cons of these devices, helping you make a more informed decision about your commercial security.

Magnetic Locks

Magnetic Locks, or “mag locks,” are devices that use an electromagnet to secure doors. The magnet is attached to the door frame and a metal armature plate. These systems use low-voltage power to keep the lock closed and unlock with a card swipe, key fob or access code.

Mag locks can connect to a variety of access control systems, which can sometimes even be accessed using smartphone applications. If you’re interested in learning more about access control systems, check out our previous blog on the topic, “What is Key Control and Why Should My Business Care?”

If you’re thinking about  implementing mag locks into your access control system, consider the pros and cons of these devices, listed below.

Advantages of Mag Locks

There are many benefits to using a mag lock system for your commercial property:

  • Mag Locks can be extremely strong and durable, lasting a long time
  • Mag Locks be mounted on a wide variety of doors, even glass doors
  • These locks often require less cutting of the door frame during installation
  • Mag Locks eliminate the risk of lost keys/fobs, minimizing security threats
  • These locks are quick to operate after installation
  • Decreased costs over time as you don’t need to cut new keys

Disadvantages of Mag Locks

Just as there are advantages to implementing magnetic locks, there are a few downsides to consider when evaluating the decision to install these locks in your commercial property.

  • Mag Locks are frowned upon by most fire and code officials, due to their completely electronic nature. In the event of an emergency, it’s harder for individuals without a key card, code or fob to exit the building.
  • Doors may become more difficult to open if the maglock is continuously locked
  • Mag Locks need a constant source of power- the door will open if power is lost without a battery backup or if the battery backup goes down
  • Cards or fobs may be misplaced or stolen, allowing unauthorized individuals access to the property
  • Mag Locks can be pricey depending upon the quality and strength of the lock

Electric Locks or “Electric Strikes”

Another kind of system that should be considered for increasing your commercial property’s security is an electric strike. These devices can also be implemented into your access control system, giving you more jurisdiction over which employees can access specific areas of the building.

Electric strikes are  electromechanical devices that provide increased security to the building when used alongside other devices, such as a lock set or panic bar. When electrical power is supplied to the strike, the latch or lock bolt is held in place, keeping the door locked until a release system is activated.

Electric Office Locks

Release systems vary depending on the type of electric strike you install. Generally, when the mechanical part of the lock is activated through an electronic key card, code, release button or fob, the strike releases, opening the door from the outside.

Advantages of Electric Strikes

There are multiple advantages to implementing electric strikes in your commercial property:

  • Electric strikes are favorable to fire and building officials, due to the fact they can still operate with a mechanical release such as a push bar from the inside
  • Electric strikes are available in both fail-safe and fail-secure configurations
  • With electric strikes, the door can remain secure even with a loss of power, if properly configured
  • Decreased costs over time as you don’t need to cut new keys

Disadvantages of Electric Strikes

Although electric strikes have many advantages, there are certainly disadvantages to these systems that are important to consider:

  • Door is susceptible to normal mechanical bypass methods
  • Cards or fobs may be misplaced or stolen, allowing unauthorized individuals access to the property
  • Electric strikes can be difficult to install on door frames made out of materials such as aluminum, as they need thicker door spaces
  • Depending on the quality, they can be more prone to failure because they are more mechanically complex in nature than a magnetic locks

Choosing Your System

The best way to choose which system is better for your business is to have a security professional evaluate your commercial property. Technicians at companies such as Pop-A-Lock have the expertise and training to recommend which systems are most beneficial for your unique situation and can install both electric strikes and magnetic locks efficiently.

We recommend using a combination of both locks, as having both magnetic locks and electronic strikes on exterior doors reduces your risk for a security issue in the future. Although there are strengths and weaknesses to both systems, installing either option (or a combination of both) will increase your property’s overall security. If you prefer not to have two systems in place, we will recommend one or the other based on the door being guarded. This varies place by place.

Contact Your Local Pop-A-Lock Today!

Need help with installing locks on your commercial property? Contact your local Pop-A-Lock today! All of our technicians are certified, experienced, and ready to help you find the best solution for your individual needs. We install, replace, and rekey locks with advanced techniques that will ensure your property is secure as possible.

Founded in Lafayette, Louisiana, Pop-A-Lock has quickly become the largest professional locksmithing franchise in the United States. You can call (800) POP-A-LOCK or contact us online for a quote today!