There are a number of steps that need to be taken in order to fit electric strikes safely.
Aligning the door and the frame
One of the most important steps that need to be taken prior to installing electric strikes is to make sure the door and its frame are correctly aligned. Failure to check that the door and frame are well adjusted and aligned can have serious consequences. The frame should be squarely installed and the door hung on the hinges correctly. It is also a good idea to check that the door remains fully flush within the frame even when closed.
Preparing the strike box
Cutting the frame to ensure that the strike will actually fit is the next step. Frame modification is usually required even when making use of “zero cutting” surface-mount strikes for surface hardware and is guaranteed when mortise mount strikes are used.
With factory notched frames less work is required because the door frame factory had it notched to work with a particular strike, but even these frames will need sharp edges to be filed down and the mounting tabs to be bent or adjusted in order to avoid them interfering with the electric strike.
Field notched frames on the other hand are not manufactured for the purpose of working with strikes so more drastic modifications may be required, such as cutting out the existing strike box to replace it with the electric strike. Specific instructions in the installation manual of the strike will need to be followed when the frame is modified.
Preparing the strike
Once the frame has been made ready the next step is to fine-tune the electric strike for installation. Most electric strikes can be adjusted for power failures, with the majority using a “fail-safe” position no matter where the installation is located, and that will be the default position.
With sloppy cut-outs that may be a little oversized or unsightly, the majority of mortise strikes come with optional trim pieces that will hide the cut-out. There is no operational or security benefit to this trim, but it serves as a cosmetic enhancement to make sloppy preparation work look better.
A number of other electric strikes come as Dual Voltage compatible, which means they will work with either 24 or 12 VDC supplies. The strike can be configured after the available supply voltage has been confirmed.
The majority of the work will have been completed at this point and there are just a couple more checks to make when the electric strike is installed. Strikes usually come with a couple of faceplates, and it is important to choose the right one. Other features such as a deadlatch require a positive surface that it can rest on, which the faceplate can provide.
Power cabling should go to rather than from the strike, and the strike body then needs inserting into the strike box. This should be easy providing proper preparation has been done. The faceplate then needs to be sandwiched on top of the electric strike and a visual confirmation is made that the strike is aligned with the lock.
The successful installation of electric strike sensors is achieved via good preparation, and when performed correctly will result in years of problem-free use.
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