What Is an Electric Strike: Electric Strike Locks for Commercial Premises

Fatima Buzdar

June 12, 2023

A wooden door with a metal handle and an electronic key card lock system, expertly installed by a locksmith. The lock features a black slot for inserting the key card and a small symbol indicating card access. The door appears to be closed.

Are you wondering what’s an electric strike and whether it’s worth switching your security to this system?

Electric strikes are electronic locks that are a popular choice for access control systems in commercial settings. This modern locking system not only ensures the safety and security of your premises, but also offers convenience. With electric strikes, you can enhance the overall security of your commercial space and enjoy the ease of access control.

If you’re curious to learn more about electric strikes, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll delve into how does an electric strike work and how it can benefit the security of your commercial premise, so that you can make an informed choice for the security system!

What Is an Electric Strike?

So what’s an electric strike?

It’s a lock powered by electricity, as indicated by its name. Electric strike door hardware consists of a strike, which’s metal plate or assembly. The metal plate is installed into or onto the door frame. In addition, the hardware comes with an electric motor and cables, all mounted within the door and frame.

When the door is closed, the latch or bolt aligns with the strike plate on the frame, holding the door closed and secure.

How Does an Electric Strike Lock Work?

To answer how does an electric strike work, we first need to go over how these locks operate.

Electric door strikes operate in two modes: fail-safe and fail-secure. Fail-secure means that even during a power outage, the door remains locked, as the door gets unlocked through an electric signal. In contrast, fail-safe entails the door unlocking when power is cut, as power is constantly required to keep it locked.

Most electric strikes are designed to be fail-secure because the constant power can cause the strike body to heat up. Fail-secure electric strikes must be used in conjunction with an exit device like a panic bar, enabling emergency building exit in case of a power outage.

Note that on fire-rated doors, only fail-secure electric strikes should be used, as they offer latching support that fail-safe electric strikes do not. The positive latching mechanism automatically engages when the door is closed, ensuring that in the event of a fire, the door remains latched to suppress the spread of fire.

The electric strike is activated by triggering a signal through the means such as keypads, biometric recognition, card readers, etc. The motor, which controls the electricity in the system, receives the signal and transmits it to the strike. As a result, the strike moves away, releasing the latch and unlocking the door.

Electric strikes secure only one direction and are therefore only locked from the outside, making it convenient to unlock the door from the inside simply by turning the door handle. Additionally, they automatically lock when closed.

Benefits of Electric Strikes Door Locks


Electric strikes offer a convenient alternative to traditional key management. Instead of dealing with keys, electric strikes can be operated through means such as keypads or card readers, making entry hassle-free. This eliminates the inconvenience of rekeying locks when keys are lost or stolen, as well as the risk of unauthorized key duplication.

Moreover, by integrating electric strikes with a remote access system, you can allow someone entry from the comfort of your desk or anywhere else through a smartphone app. This adds an extra layer of convenience and flexibility to access control.

Enhanced Security

Operating through a power source, electric strikes eliminate common lock tampering techniques such as picking or bumping. With a robust strike in place, they provide excellent security and effectively resist forceful break-in attempts. By using an electric strike, you can enhance the overall security of your premises.


The installation of electric strikes tends to be an affordable procedure. Additionally, they consume a low amount of energy, which contributes to their cost efficiency over time.

Electric Strikes vs. Magnetic Locks

Though both types of locks are powered by electricity, magnetic locks and electric strikes offer distinct features and considerations.

In terms of operation, an electric strike is activated through an electric signal to unlock the door, while magnetic locks rely on a continuous power supply for the magnetic bond to keep the door locked.

When it comes to power modes, electric strikes can operate in both fail-secure and fail-safe modes, allowing for secure locking even during power outages. Magnetic locks, however, only operate in fail-safe mode.

In terms of security, both options provide robust protection. Electric strikes can withstand forceful break-in attempts and maintain a locked status during power outages. Magnetic locks offer adjustable retention force but require constant power and necessitate a backup power source to prevent vulnerabilities in the event of a power outage.

Considering costs, electric strikes are generally more affordable, while magnetic locks can be costlier due to constant power consumption and the need for backup power systems. Ultimately, the choice between magnetic locks and electric strikes depends on specific requirements and budget considerations.

A locksmith installing door lock hardware

Install an Electric Strike Door Lock for Your Commercial Premise Now

In this article, we went over what’s an electric strike and how an electric strike works.

Electric strikes are a valuable addition to modern security systems powered by electricity. Whether it’s for residential, commercial, or institutional purposes, electric strikes contribute to a safer and more secure environment, keeping unauthorized individuals out while granting access to authorized personnel with ease.

Ready to switch to an electric strike system for your property? Get in touch with us now! Our Pickering locksmiths have extensive experience with serving all locking needs of commercial premises for over 5 years. We can provide electric strike installation services and ensure that your premises have a robust and compliant system in accordance with your AHJ (authority having jurisdiction).

Safeguard your property with our expert locksmith solutions. Get in touch with our approachable, knowledgeable team.