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Suite 128,
11180 Coppersmith Place,
Richmond, British Columbia
Canada V7A 5G8

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Telephone: (604) 275-0075
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Fire Safety and Emergency Planning


There are many ways for individuals to limit or control access to key areas of a building whether it's an office, home, or warehouse. The least expensive (and probably the easiest to circumvent) is a passage lock and key. There are locksets that are more difficult to disable (some are even pick-proof), but where controlling access to an area can leave nothing to chance (such as a lost key), only a dedicated security system can provide the answer.

There are a number of solutions available these days. Let's look at some of the components that are common to most access control systems.

  • The door strike - is a device that acts very similar to a normal dead-bolt strike plate, the main difference being that one side (the side that happens to coincide with the way your particular door "swings" open), can be electronically "released". This allows the door to open even though it's "on the latch" or locked. It also permits an easy way of exiting the secured area as most passage sets allow you to open the door without using a key when you're leaving.

  • The magnetic lock - is a device usually in the shape of a plate located at the top of the door along the same side of the frame as the lock. When turned "on", an electrical current activates a magnetic coil that attracts the plate on the door and prevents it from being opened. There are several models available, all with varying "holding power", the most commonly specified is around 3000 lbs. What this means is that a force of 3000 lbs. would have to be exerted against the door to "force" it open. Needless to say you would need a block and tackle or the pushing capacity of a small truck to obtain the force necessary to open a door secured in this manner (ten "SUMO Wrestlers" working in tandem would do the trick, but squeezing ten 350 lb guys into a three and a half foot space would be rather difficult).

There are advantages and disadvantages to both locking systems. They are listed here:


1. They are inexpensive;

2. They are vulnerable to physical force unless some form of shielding is installed to restrict access to the actual locking hardware;

3. They are sold as "fail-locked" or "fail-safe" - in the absence of electrical power (such as a power failure) they can either remain locked or open to allow entry/egress;

4. They are fairly easy to tamper with (the strike plate is readily accessible with the door open which would allow someone to sabotage or circumvent the unit).


1. They are more expensive;

2. They are installed on the "secure" side of the door which doesn't allow anyone to access the unit from the "outside";

3. Unless some provision is made to provide back-up electrical power (a stand-by power supply with battery) the door will become unsecure during a power failure. Even with this measure in place, an extended power failure may compromise the door;

4. There are no moving parts, and all connections are routed through the door's frame which makes tampering with the unit extremely difficult.


The City of Vancouver has adopted a policy with respect to electronic door latching hardware. On commercial and residential buildings only magnetic locks are approved. They must release upon activation of a fire alarm, or by means of a panic bar (located on the inside of the door of course). Please consult your own municipal electrical inspections branch before installing any locks of this type.


The next device "in line" from the door strike or mag lock is a means of legitimately opening or "releasing" the door. In most residential high-rise apartment applications this entails a means of communicating with the occupants of the premise (an intercom system) and positiveily identifying the visitor (a CCTV camera) before allowing them entry. The use of a keypad or touchpad allows authorized persons to punch in an access code which in turn opens the door. Other systems use magnetic swipe cards or special key-fobs instead of a touchpad. In either instance, it is far simpler to control access to the premise utilizing this technology rather than standard house keys which can be copied, lost or stolen. Replacing a code or swipe card is much more cost effective than having to re-key an entire building.


Ace Fire Prevention Ltd. provides service to all makes of access control equipment. Here is a partial list of manufactured access control products which we DO service. We wish to state that all the product manufacturers listed here may no longer produce certain equipment models and it may not be possible to obtain replacement parts. Some manufacturers may not be listed here.

Please contact us if your system is not listed here!





Entry Systems
Sentex, Aiphone, Mircom, Silent Knight, Mirtone, Sentron, Sentech, Cardkey, Cantech, Northern Computer, Cardtrol, Keyscan, IEI, Enterphone, Modern, DSC, Inova
HID, Hughes, Motorolla, Cantech, Cardkey, Keyscan
IEI, HID, DSC, ADI, Huges, Cantech
Locking Hardware
Rutherford, Rofu




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