Commercial locks vary to serve different needs. And that’s the most important factor to consider when it’s time to choose locks for your business. It always has to do with the security requirements, traffic, type of door, and convenience. Get started by considering if this is going to be a lock to a main entry point or to an interior door. And even if this is an interior door, are there any security requirements and access restrictions? How important is it for you to control access? And do you want locks that operate with keys or not?
If you think about it, there are tens of questions to ask a commercial locksmith and even more things to take into account before you buy commercial locks. That’s because there are plenty of risks when it comes to businesses. No wonder ANSI/BHMA grade I door locks mainly involve commercial locks. They are considered the most trusted high-security locks since they have been tested for their resistance to force and all forms of attacks repeatedly.
The locks must be strong, resistant, and dependable but also the best match to your particular security needs. So, let’s take a look at the most popular commercial locking systems to help you select the best product for each part of your business.
Keyless entry systems
As their name implies, such systems work without physical keys but with a PIN. Different types of keyless entry locks involve those with a touchscreen or keypad, digital deadbolts that lock/unlock with a Bluetooth device, and smart locks that function with smartphones from any place.
The advantage of keyless systems? You don’t have to hand keys to employees and suffer the consequences of lost keys or broken keys. Each employee may have an access code that can be changed or erased. This allows you to give access and restrict access as you see fit.
Magnetic locks work with electricity. A metal armature plate is placed on the door and an electromagnet is put on the doorframe. They may be ‘fail-safe’ or ‘fail-secure’. What’s the difference? With the former, the door unlocks when the power fails – that’s usually in the event of an emergency. Magnetic locks demand one more device used for their operation – just like it happens with electric strikes. Doors equipped with magnetic locks can be unlocked with codes or cards. They are great if you want to check who is entering before you let them in.
Speaking of electric strikes, they are too an excellent locking system if you want to check who is at the door to let them in or not. Visitors usually push a button to ask for access and owners use a card or keypad. Electric strikes actually replace the mechanical door strike. These ones work with electricity and are also found in ‘fail-safe’ and ‘safe-secure’ types.
Biometrics are some of the most advanced types of locks since they require a fingerprint, face, or eye to grant access instead of a physical key or a PIN. These locking systems are excellent for buildings and entry points, where high security and access control are both extremely important.
Mortise & cylindrical locks
In spite of the differences between mortise and cylindrical locks, they are both good choices for nearly all doors. They provide good security but are considered old school by those who have left physical keys behind them a long time ago. You may not want them at main entrances but they are great for interior security.
Key card door locks
Key card door locks involve a card, which is programmed to be recognized by the system and unlock the door when the card is swiped. These systems use RFID technology – the door lock reads the information on the user’s card and lets them in. Today, cards may be fobs too.
Panic bar exit devices
Such systems are ideal for emergency exits, where there’s a need for a push bar door that can lock from the outside and easily push open from the inside. Push bar systems are also useful in parts of businesses where you need easy come-and-go, like distribution centers.
Master key lock systems
Although such systems use keys, they are excellent for good access control. The design of such systems varies to meet the convenience and security needs of the specific business. It always involves one grand master key and may have several master keys and several individual keys – look at it as a map of key hierarchies with the grand master key being the chief. This system may serve various departments within a firm since some employees will be allowed to use this but not that door.
Access control systems
Access control systems are, in a way, the next step of master key systems since they involve no keys but still provide high security and easy, yet controlled access. Such systems vary enough to meet all kinds of needs and involve security cameras, electric strikes, biometrics, keypads – anything that would require credentials to let someone in, and so they let you control access and increase security.