First-time Buyers: What You Need to Know about Fail Safe and Fail Secure Lock Alternatives

As much as security and privacy are vital in a commercial building with heavy pedestrian traffic, safety is equally paramount. Lock and access mechanisms should be efficient at restricting the movement of people into and out of rooms, although that does mean that they should compromise the safety of the occupants. The good thing is that electronic locks come with the fail safe and fail secure alternatives, enabling you to choose what type of lock suits a particular application within the building. If you are buying electronic locks for the first time, the following discussion will help you understand the fail secure and fail safe implications for electronic locks so that you can make the right choice:

Fail Secure Electronic Locks

Fail secure electronic locks are designed such that the latch shifts into the lock position whenever power is removed. Electric power has to be applied to release the latch and allow you to open the door. Fail secure locks are ideal for places that you need to restrict access to in case the power goes out. The focus of the fail secure is on security and privacy rather than the safety of the occupants. This makes them suitable rooms with little to no pedestrian traffic. They are also ideal for rooms whose access is better off limited in the case of an emergency.

Fail Safe Electronic Locks

Fail safe locks are made in a way that a lack of power makes the latch bolt to swing into the "unlock" position, enabling you to open the door. Here, power is only required to lock the door and maintain the "lock" position of the latch bolt. With the fail safe alternative, the emphasis is on the safety of the occupants rather than the privacy of what's in those rooms. They are ideal for rooms with heavy pedestrian traffic, emergency exits and corridors. In case of an emergency, it is easy for the occupants to move in or for rescue personnel to move into the building.

The Access Mechanism

Electronic locks come with various options for restricting access. They range from pass code combinations where you can use digits or letters to biometric identification using fingerprints and palm prints among others. These alternatives rely on computer software. Therefore, you should make sure that you choose an access mechanism whose programming doesn't interfere with the fail safe or fail secure attribute of the lock. During installation, seek clarification about any possible software interferences. For fail safe locks, you can also guarantee safety by going for manual overwrite mechanisms that enable you to open the lock manually in case of a software let-down.

Talk to a locksmith for more information.