Adding Electric Strikes to Fire Doors
If you have fire doors, you know that they are important to your safety during a fire. They are built tough and strong but once they are closed, you will still want to make sure no one will be able to go to the other side easily, for their own safety. Adding electric strikes to your doors will help you control the access into the room or building behind the door and will keep the doors closed until help arrives.
Electric strikes will work with several types of mechanical locking systems including card readers, buzzers, and other release systems. Because of this, you must make sure that the door is able to open from the inside out without the mechanical release so that if anyone is trapped in the building they will be able to get out to safety.
Check Your Doors
You must make sure that the electric strike system will work with you doors. Electric strikes are designed to be used with latch-type locks and will not work with bolts. If your doors are made with bolts, you will need to change the bolt system to a latching system before moving on.
Purchase Your Electric Strikes
When purchasing your electric strikes, make sure that you get models that will still work under extreme heat. You will also need to read about each structure to make sure it is the right size for your fire doors.
You will also need to purchase the correct faceplate. This will depend on which type of lock you are using on your door. Most electric strikes makes will come in model sizes and you should find the size you need.
Prepare Frame for Installation
Most frames will need to be modified a little before the electric strikes can be installed and you can do this by using the template that came with the electric strike kit. Using a reciprocating saw, cut the frames to the right dimensions.
Once your frame has been cut, you will need to thread the included wiring through the frame so that the wires are touching the strike. Most models will require two wires: one for power and one to operate the strike. Finish the wiring by pulling the wires through the strike hole and connecting a pigtail connector to the end. Secure the wires.
Crimp the connector and plug it into the strike's correct connecting unit. Make sure that you follow the wiring instructions that were included with your electric strikes.
Select the Fail-Safe Option
After the strikes have been installed, you will need to select one of two options for your electric strikes, either the fail-secure or the fail-safe mode. The fail secure mode will lock the doors in the case of an electric outage whereas a fail-safe mode will allow the door to be opened if the electricity goes out. Though with standard doors, the fail-secure option is usually selected, under extreme heat the power can easily go out and you may want to make sure anyone behind the doors will still be able to escape. Again, the way around this is to allow doors to be opened from the inside out without having the strike activated.
Finish by placing the strike into the pocket of the frame and covering the strike box with the included faceplate. Then test the door to make sure that it operates correctly.