The Locks With a Magnetic Personality: Are Mag Locks Really the Easy Way Out?

Electromagnetic locks are sometimes regarded as an “idiot-proof locking solution” for unskilled installers or for use on problem doors.


But electromagnetic locks can be adapted for virtually any type of door. When a non-standard installation is planned for an electromagnetic lock, even more attention should be paid to the life-safety and security aspects of the installation. This is because even if an electromagnetic lock can be made to physically mount on an opening, the resulting installation may not offer the life safety or security characteristics required.

Sometimes a ‘non-standard’ installation can offer a substantial enhancement to the security and safety of an opening. One example is the vertical mounted electromagnetic lock. These installations deploy one or two electromagnetic locks vertically in the opening of an out swinging door resulting in a highly secure result. These arrangements overcome a known drawback of the top jamb installation, which will frequently result in warped doors, and reduced security due to flexing of the door which is being held shut from a single point at the top.

Electromagnetic locks can also be adapted for Herculite doors, sliding doors, overhead doors or gates.

Functions: Electromagnetic locks are available with many convenient functions built in. Some electromagnets allow field selection of operating voltage, can monitor door position, lock status, can time the unlock time, or can signal they are unlocked audibly or visually with integral enunciators or auxiliary contact outputs.

Integrated Systems: Many electromagnetic locks are actually complete systems. One popular configuration is the Delayed Egress system, which requires only power to operate. Electromagnetic locks are also offered with integral REX motion sensors, and even wireless receivers to permit remote unlocking. Besides simplifying the installation, integrated locks may be tested, approved, and listed as systems; which means the LAHJ will like them.

We Recommend