What Are Electric Strikes?

An electric strike is an access control device used for door frames. It is used instead of the fixed strike faceplate used with a latch or keeper. An electric strike has a ramped or bevelled surface connected to the locking latch to allow the door to close and latch in the same manner a fixed strike would. However, the ramped surface of electric strikes can move out of the way when the door is in the locked position, and the door is opened, allowing the user to pull/push the door to open it without using a mechanical lock or a mechanical key. Once the door is opened past the latch, it returns to its standard position and re-locks as power is removed or applied, depending upon the strike’s configuration.

Types of Electric strikes

Electric strikes are usually available in three configurations. They are as under:


Also known as fail-locked configuration, in this case, applying electric current to the strike will cause it to unlock. In this configuration, the strike would stay locked in case of a power failure. However, the mechanical lock can be used to open the door from the inside for egress from the secure side. These units can run on alternating current, which will cause the unit to buzz, or on DC power, which has a silent operation, except for a click when the unit is powered.


Also known as fail open, this unit applies electric current to the strike causing it to lock. It functions the same as a magnetic lock would. In case of a power failure, you can push or pull the door to open.

One of the latest trends in strikes is quick reversibility from fail-safe to fail-secure (and back again if required). Some makers will need you to open the solenoids, but others allow the reversing of the function within a few seconds (around 10 seconds) by moving two external screws or a directly accessible mechanical unlocking accessory when the door is open. This works on the same theory as a child safety door lock on car doors.


In this unit, the strike unlocks and remains so until it is used, when an electric current is applied to it. As soon as the strike is used, it returns to the standard locked position. This type of configuration is used in many residential, commercial, and industrial applications because of its ease of usage. The powering and opening of the strike do not need to be synchronised, which makes things easy for the users.

Sometimes, electric strikers come with buzzers that allow someone outside the door to hear when the door is open. The buzzing noise is made by an alternating current to the strike instead of a direct current (DC). However, if using a DC powered strike, you can add a buzzer accessory to create the buzzing noise, if you wish so.

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