Most burglaries occur during the day through unlocked doors or windows, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reports. A locking device is one of the most effective products in preventing entry.


Security hardware exhibits staying power extraordinaire––often part of an integrated access control and camera surveillance and recording system or other high-tech crime-fighting solution. In addition, smaller size and concealed mounting capabilities improve these products’ aesthetics.

The superior strength of security hardware helps property owners and others keep valuables in their place and intruders out. It includes electromagnetic locks with 1,200 pounds of holding power or more and units with “delayed egress” functions, which keep doors secure yet allow for easy access during a fire or emergency evacuation.

You’re an electrical contractor who runs wire. If you want a natural extension of that electrical work, adding security hardware to your list of turnkey offerings makes perfect sense. Many manufacturers, distributors, and associations offer training in security hardware installation as well. For example, traditional burglar and fire alarm equipment manufacturers such as Ademco and Ademco Distribution Inc. (ADI) offer training.

Other offerings include training from the National Alarm Association of America, Baraboo, Wis., and the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association, Silver Spring, Md. For fire specialists, don’t overlook educational sessions by the National Fire Protection Association, Quincy, Ma., or the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies, Alexandria, Va.

Security hardware can include a range of traditional locksets, deadbolts, mortise strikes, and much more. But the electrical security hardware products most accurately and appropriately fit the electrical contracting market.

Electromagnetic locks and exit control systems incorporate a wide range of special options, such as delaying an alarm, providing audible and visual displays and annunciation, and allowing free exit in an emergency. These options may allow these devices to meet life safety code building exit rules mandated by the National Fire Protection Association and other code authorities.

Areas of security hardware protection include securing airports and transportation facilities, corporate campuses, schools and institutions, and healthcare facilities. Storeowners who are concerned about a loss through a back door or sabotage may also take advantage of these products.

In nursing homes, healthcare centers, and facilities with Alzheimer patients, the potential for wandering is often addressed with electromagnetic locks and delayed egress devices. Case in point is an installation at the Aliso Laguna Center in Aliso Laguna, Calif., a multi-story in-patient facility home to Alzheimer patients. The 200-plus-room facility included the installation of state-of-the-art delayed egress devices at about 24 doors throughout the center.

To curb patient wandering, the residents have transmitters and when they approach alarmed doors, a warning annunciator alerts medical personnel. If a patient pushes on a door continuously, a 15-second delay kicks in and the audible and visual annunciation continues. The system can also integrate with card access or card “less” proximity control.

Delayed egress product enhancements are able to give a voice command countdown and state that the door will open in a predetermined number of seconds. For the most part, delayed egress denies access through a door for 15 to 30 seconds. A signal from the fire/life safety system releases the lock for unobstructed egress in an actual building emergency. Self-contained units have annunciation, light-emitting diodes, and reset switches, and other electronics built into the push bar of these devices in one complete package. (Be aware that the subject of delayed egress and whether or not the Authority Having Jurisdiction over the installation will allow to delay the opening of a door to exit is subject to interpretation by your local official.)

Locked or unlocked isn’t the only option for door control. Secured with electromagnetic locking devices and integrated with delayed egress, access control, timers, nuisance alarm functions and more, security hardware is integral to property protection.

Jobs for security hardware

Electromagnetic locks and/or delayed egress for customers may include medical facilities, airports and transportation facilities, museums, art galleries, warehouses, technology companies, drug rehabilitation centers, wholesale stores, educational campuses, government/military, commercial/retail and hospitality. EC

O’MARA is the owner of DLO Communications Inc. in Park Ridge, Ill. She may be reached at (847) 384-1916 or domara@flash.net.