Education and Innovation Secure New Business for Maglock Systems

July 1, 2016
With Securitron's Genuine Magnalock Selection Guide, you pick your door type and the guide will determine which magnalock is best for your preferred application.

Even now, after 45 years in the market, some confusion remains about maglocks and how to appropriately – and legally – deploy them in security applications.

Electromagnetic locks have been frowned upon by Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) in certain regions of the country for many years, but recently we’ve seen greater acceptance and openness across the country as more installers and AHJs become educated about maglock codes.

There will always be a need for maglocks in certain applications. The challenges arise when installation standards are not followed and when there is confusion on standards regarding code enforcement for maglocks. Maglock installation standards go back nearly 30 years but we continue to see confusion related to a lack of understanding of which code version is applicable by both code officials and installers. 

When installing magnetic locks, it is crucial to know not only the code requirements, but also which year edition of the code the local jurisdiction follows.

While the code wording could be clearer, the best way to improve the acceptance of maglocks is to continue providing education to all audiences. 

ASSA ABLOY Phoenix offers a program that provides education to code officials and installers on both the older code of 2009 as well as the 2012 code. For example, The City of Houston Fire Prevention team recently allowed over 40 of its inspectors to attend our program to better understand the new codes. Industry feedback has been very positive since the beginning of the program last fall, which has encouraged us to continue providing maglock-focused courses.

Features, Benefits and What’s Next

A main benefit of using a maglock is its durability in high-traffic environments where credential authentication is required. Maglocks are quick to install, quick to operate, incredibly strong, and are becoming increasingly more versatile with the integration of cameras, motion detectors and monitoring features.

Maglocks also operate in true fail-safe operation, eliminating the possibility of latching or binding once power has been removed and ultimately protecting people inside by allowing free egress. Maglocks are also weather resistant and the Securitron line is fully potted, unlike partially potted magnets that are less expensive but more susceptible to outdoor elements. If you’re looking to secure a perimeter fence gate or electrically-operated sliding gate, weather resistance and reliability are critical.

Of course there are some scenarios where a maglock isn’t the ideal choice, but they are particularly good for unique door security solutions required for delayed egress, multiple holding points, glass doors, and unusual mounting locations. There are three specific applications where a maglock is the best choice over alternative solutions:

  • Glass Herculite-style doors
  • Double doors with no center mullion
  • High security doors when installed with another form of latching mechanism across the center of the door
  • Securitron has been a resource for quality electromagnetic locks since 1971.

 Securitron Magnalocks come with a variety of options that enhance the maglock offering, like anti-tamper sensors that connect to alarm panels or access control systems, motion detectors that automatically disengage the lock when traffic approaches, and integrated video surveillance cameras that capture movement around the door opening. The bond sensor monitoring feature sends an alert to the access control system any time movement in the armature’s position beyond the set tolerance occurs.

The latest maglocks Securitron has introduced are the M380 with 600 lbs. of holding force, and the M680 with 1,100 lbs. of holding force. Both have set a new standard for maglocks in terms of aesthetics and functionality with consolidated features like an infrared REX incorporated directly into the maglock that simplifies the installation of multiple devices around the door – but with the same quick and easy installation found with simple ultra-durable maglocks like the Securitron M32 and M62.

Securitron is also working to develop a more sustainable maglock that consumes up to 80 percent less energy compared to current maglocks, while delivering the same 1,100 lb. holding force.

Making the Choice

If you’re interested in a maglock, but not entirely sure where to start, we also offer a Genuine Magnalock Selection Guide, where you pick your door type and can determine which Magnalock is best for your preferred application. For example, with an out-swing glass door in an aluminum frame, the M32 or M380 are the best option. For an in-swing wooden door with high security requirements, the M62F or M68 would be the ideal choice.

In the future, maglocks will continue to be of use particularly in high traffic and specialty applications. As more feature-rich magnets come to market, with better aesthetics, more built-in sensors, new audible and visual alerts – as well as low power consumption models, I believe demand for maglocks will grow and AHJs and installers both will begin to embrace and allow more use in local buildings.

David Corbin is Senior Product Manager for Securitron, an ASSA ABLOY Group brand. He can be reached at [email protected].