If you are installing a new access control system in your factory, then you have to work out what will happen if you lose power. If your main door locks rely on a power source, then you have a problem if your power fails.
While some locking mechanisms work on a fail-safe principle, you might find that a fail-secure system is a better alternative. How do these systems work, and what are their advantages?
How Does Fail-Secure Locking Work?
Access control locks work in different ways when they lose their power source. For example, a fail-safe system needs a power supply to lock a door. So, if you have an outage, the system can't stay locked. It defaults to an open position automatically leaving the door unlocked until power is restored.
A fail-secure system works differently. Here, the lock uses power to unlock the door. So, if you lose power, the door stays locked.
Typically, these systems come with an internal panic release mechanism like a bar or button. If the door loses power and locks, you use this mechanism to open the door from the inside.
What Are the Advantages of Fail-Secure Locks?
Some people choose fail-safe locks because they worry about what would happen if the lock stops working when people are still in the building. For example, if you lose power in a fire, then people need easy access through your main entrance and exit points.
However, this system has a serious disadvantage in some scenarios. For example, if someone decided to break into your factory, then they could simply cut the power to your access control system.
An experienced criminal might know that this will open all your external locks. They then get easy access to the building. If any of your employees are in the building, then they could be at risk if someone can simply walk in.
If you install a fail-secure system, then you get more security. If your locks lose power, then your doors stay locked from the outside. So, nobody can simply walk into your building.
However, you don't compromise on keeping your employees safe here. As long as you install panic bars or exit buttons on each door, then they can easily open the door from the inside to get out of the area or building. You get better options on both sides of a door with this system.
For more advice on installing fail-secure access control systems, contact industrial locksmith services like A-A Lock & Alarm Inc.