Fail Safe vs. Fail Secure Locks Tutorial

By Brian Rhodes, Published Sep 13, 2022, 10:33am EDT (Info+)

Few terms carry greater importance—or cause more confusion—in access control than 'fail safe' and 'fail secure.'

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Access control professionals must know how these concepts apply and how to select appropriate locks.

In this tutorial, IPVM examines:

  • The difference between 'fail safe' and 'fail secure' locks
  • Why free egress is important
  • Controlling entry is the goal
  • Mechanical overrides for fail secure
  • When to use fail secure hardware
  • Typical access locks for fail safe and fail secure
  • Proper application of maglocks and strikes for 'fail safe' and 'fail secure'

Fail ****/**** ****** *******

***** ***** **** * ******** ******* for **** ********. ******** ***** ********* are ***** ** ************** ** **** passages, **** ****:

  • **** ****: **** ***** ** *********** (fails), *** ********** ******* ****** ** released (********).
  • **** ******: **** ***** ** *********** (fails), *** ********** ******* ****** ** secured (******).

***** ********* *** ****** ******** ****** and ****** ******* *************, ** ****** the ********** ***** **** ** **** is **** *********.

Free ****** ******

*** ************* ** ***** ***** ********* which **** ** *** **** **** apply.

'**** ******' *** '**** ****' *********** generally ******* ** ***** ******* ****, meaning ****** ****** ** ************ ********* ******* ******* ** *** *****. ** an *********, ******* ****** ****** ****** (or ****) **** * ********.

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******* ** ******** **** ***** **** resulted ** ******** *********, *** **** codes **** *** ***** ***** ** complicate *******.

**** ***** **** **** ***** **** always ** ******** **** ********** ***** to ******** *********** ***** (*.*., ***** bars ** **** *******), *** ** electrified ******** ****** ** **** '**** safe,' ** ****** ** ****.

'Fail ****' ********* ********, **** '**** ******' **********

** **** *****, **** ***** *** required ** ** '**** ****.'

*******, ** ******** ************, '**** ******' is ******** ** ****. *** **** common ***** ***** **** ** *** case:

Fire *****

***** ***** ******* ********** ******** ** the ****** ** ***** ****** * building **** *** *** ****** ******** of **** ******* ******, ***** * closed **** ** **** ** **** off * ******* ** * *********. It ** ********** ********* *** * fire **** ** ****** ****** ** a ****, *** ******** ******** '**** secure' ******** ** ***** ********* ** ensure * ******** ****, ********** ** power.

Ground ***** ********* *****

** **** ******** ***********, ****** ***** stairwells *** ****** ** ***** **** the ******* ** **** ********** ****** leads ******* *** *** *********** **** harm ******. **** ******* *** ** the **** ******** *** *********** ****** of ****, **** **** **** ********* over *** ***** ********* ** ********* among ****.

*********, ************, *** ***** ********* ********** could ** ****** *** ** ** area ** ** ** *** ******** configured ** '**** ****'. ** *** other ****, ********* ***** ************* **** a **** ****, ******** ********* ********* parts ** * ******** ** '**** secure' ** *** ******** ***********.

**** ****** ***********, **** *****, *******, mental ****** **** **********, ** ******* homes, *** *** **** ****** ****** exclusively. *** ***** *** ******* *********, and ***** ******* ** **** ********* egress *** ***** ********.

Mechanical *********

***** '**** ******' ******** ** ****, local********* ******* * ********** ********. ** the **** ** *******, *** ******** lever **** ** **** ****** ******** this ********, *** ***** ***** ** electrified ******** *** ******* ********** '********** key ********' **********.

*** *******, ** *** ***** *****, the **** ****** ****** ****** **** egress **** *** ******, *** * keyed ***** ****** ******* ****** **** if *** ****** ** ********** ***** 'fails ******':

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*** ********** ******** ** **** * source ** ******* ** **** ******-********** doors. ** ******* ***** ***** ***** a ***, ****** ** ******* ******* the '******' **** ** *** *** entered.

********* ********* ******* ***********, ********** ********* ****** in '**** ******' ****** ** ****** control **** *** ****** *** ****** recording ********** ******.

** * ******, *** *** ** Mechanical ******** **** ** ***** **** only ** ** ********* ***** **** relatively *** ********** - ** ******, these *********** ************ *** ***** *** complex *** **** ***-***** ** *****.

Field ************ *****

**** ********** ****** ***** *** ** either '**** ****' ** '**** ******'.

*** **** ****** ******* *** *******, where *** ******** ** ****** ** dipswitches ******* *** *** **** ********* when ***** *****:

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Designing ******* **** ****

*** **** ********, *** ******* ******** is ** '**** ****' ****** ********* noted ** ****** *********, ******** ********* (see ***** *****), ** ***** *********** plans ** '**** ****** ********'.

*** ***** ******* ** **** *********** will **** ********* ** *** ******, but ***** *** ******** ** '**** secure' ***** ** *******, **** *** nearly ****** ****** *** ** ** excepting ** ******* ******:

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Maglocks: '**** ****'

** ******, ******** ******* *********** ** operate, ** **** ***** ** *******, they '**** ****' ** *******. *** drop ** ***** ** ***** * condition ** *** **** ***** ****** so **** ** *** **** **** is *********, *** ******** **** ***** simultaneously. **** *** ***** ****** **** building ********, ** ******* ******** ***** are ******** *** *** ** ******** from *** *******, ** ********** ***** are ** ********* ******* ** **** of ***** *****.

********* ****** ***** ** ******** ** not ****** ******* *** **** ********. When ****** ***** ** **** **** maglocks, ** **** ****** **** *** blessing ** *** ***. ****** ** *** ******** **** ******* Power ************* *** **********.

Strikes ***** '**** ******'

******* *** ** ***** ********** *** either '**** ****' ** '**** ******' functions.

************ *** ***** ******** *********** ****** ***-***** *********, *** ***** most '******' ******** ** ******* *** driven ** *********, ******** *** ******* polarity ** *** ******** *** ***** the ****** ** ** ***** ** completely ******** **** *** **** ** power.

***** *** ************* ** ****** ******** is * ****** *******, ******* *** often *** ******* ******* ** ******* 'fail ******' *************. ***** *** ********** hardware ** *** **** ******* ******* mechanical ******, ******* *** ****** ********* to *** ********** ******* ** ******* this *******.

***** ********: ***** *** **** ***** '**** secure' ******** ******* *********, ********* ********** deadbolts, ****** *****, *** *********** *****. However, *** ******** *** *** ** this ******** *** *** ****** **** codes ******** ** ********* ****** ***** and *** *** ******** **** ** fail ****** **************.

****

*******, ***** *******,**** *** * ******** ****.

Comments (2)

******* ******* ****, ***** *** ******* points **** *** ********** ** ****. The **** ********* ** **** *********:

"** ** ********** ********* *** * fire **** ** ****** ****** ** a ****, *** ******** ******** '**** secure' ******** ** ***** ********* ** ensure * ******** ****, ********** ** power."

******** ******** *** **** ****** **** zero ** ** **** **** *****. That *********** ** ***% *********. **** becomes ********** *********** **** ********** ******** strikes **** ** **** ***** ******** - ************ ***** ******. ***** **** safe ******** ******* ** * ***** tower ** ***% * **** *********. NFPA ** ******** ******** ********. *** means ** ****** ******* ** *** building ***** ********* ****** **** **-***** where ***** *** ** *********** ******** used *** ****** ******* ** * stair ***** (***** ***** *********).

*** **** ******* "** **** *****, door ***** *** ******** ** ** 'fail ****.'". ***** ***** **** ******** that? * **** *** ** *** that ***********. ** ****, * ***** argue **** ** **** ********* ***** will ********** ** **** ****** ****** there ** * ******** *********** *** a **** **** *********** (**** ** the ***** ***** ********). *** *******, and *** ******* ******* **** *********** early **, **** **** *** **** secure **** ******* ** ** **** egress. ** *** *** ***** * particular **** ** *********** ******** **** may ******* **** ******, ***** *** code ******** ***** ******* ***** ************.

**** *** ** * ******* ********** topic **** ********** ******** ******* ************. It ** ***** ******** ** **** and ****** **** ******* ** *** access ******* *** ************* ******** **********.

Agree
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****** ****! *'** ******* **** ******** so **** ***** ***** '********' ** not ******** **** '*******'.

*** ******** ******* ** **** **** also *** * ******* ******** *** I **** ******* ****.

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