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Access Control | Security Terms

In an Access Control System, What is Fail-Safe?

June 29th, 2023 | 1 min. read

Isabel Leckie

Isabel Leckie

Isabel is a Marketing Specialist at DGA.

In access control, fail-safe is a locking method that defaults to the unlocked or open position when power is removed or interrupted. Access systems are universally required by code to revert the locking methods to the fail-safe position upon a fire alarm activation to ensure a safe, fast exit for those inside the premises.

This is often done with an electromagnetic lock (mag lock). This locking method consists of a powerful electromagnet and an armature (a metal plate). It is typically used in building entry doors or glass doors where the electromagnet is installed on or in the door frame and the armature is attached to the door. When electrified, the electromagnet keeps the door in a locked position. When a mag lock’s electromagnet loses power, the door will remain unlocked.

Overall, fail-safe locking systems are crucial in ensuring safety and reliability, and they are essential for your fire safety compliant access control system.