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Electromagnetic Locks


Electromagnetic locks, also known as mag locks, are locking devices that consist of an electromagnet in a housing that is mounted on the door frame and a steel armature plate that is mounted on the door. When power is applied, the magnet is energized; it bonds against the steel armature and locks the door.  When the power is cut, the magnetic bond is momentarily interupted and the door is released.


Looking for more information? Connect with an Allegion team member for help.


By nature, mag locks are simple locking devices with few moving parts which make them highly reliable and easy to maintain.   To allow access or egress, a momentary switch must be provided to de-energize the magnet; examples include motion sensors or panic hardware with an integral switch.  Mag locks are designed to "fail safe" meaning that in the event of an emergency or power outage, the magnet will release and the door will remain unlocked.   Electromagnetic locks can be used as part of an electronic access control (EAC) system or can stand alone in certain applications when code compliance permits. 

  • Designed to fail safe in the event of a power outage
  • Easy to install and maintain with few interconnected or moving parts
  • Highly durable and reliable; less wear and tear than other electromechanical options
  • Relatively low cost to operate
  • Quick to release when power is momentarily released
  • Can be integrated with electronic access control as well as fire alarm systems
  • Can be released remotely by activating a switch to cut power
  • Can be used on a variety of door types including swinging (single and double), glass, sliding, and gates
  • Mag locks require a constant power source in order to be secure, if power is removed the electromagnetic lock will release
  • Mag locks are not intended to be used in applications which require the door to fail secure in the event of a power outage; when power is cut the door is not secure
  • To meet model codes, mag locks require additional hardware such as a motion sensor with push button, or a push bar to enable free egress from the inside
  • We recommend that you check with your local code expert to confirm that the specific application of a mag lock is permitted by the adopted code in the project's jurisdiction
  • Watch Decoded: Code Requirements for Electromagnetic Locks to learn more about the model code requirements

Model Codes:

  • NFPA 101 - Life Safety Code
  • IBC - International Building Code
  • IFC - International Fire Code


We recommend that you check with your Allegion Code Expert (ACE) to confirm that the specific application of a mag lock is permitted by code

  • Authority Having Juristriction (AHJ) has the final say at the local level
  • Contact the Allegion Code Expert (ACE) in your state


For more information on building codes related to mag locks, please visit to read the FAQ's or the article on Special Locking Arrangements vs. Normal Locking Arrangements.

  • Standard: Direct pull for swinging doors with a range of hold force options depending on application; these can be used on single or double doors, as well as glass doors
  • Gate: Weather resistant mag lock designed for use on all types of sliding and swinging gates
  • Delayed Egress: Direct pull for swinging doors with a built-in delayed egress timer and audible alarm
  • Shear: Low profile surface mounted for inswinging or outswinging doors or mortised mounted for top and bottom door or rail installation; rated to 3,000 lbs. of hold force for maximum security
  • Sliding:  Mortise mounted compact design for use on sliding doors
  • Retrofit:  Designed to retrofit a Locknetics M390 model with no additional prep
  • Model codes: It is important to understand the model code requirements for fire and life safety
  • Local codes: We recommend that you check with your local code expert to confirm the mag lock application is permitted
  • Certifications: These include UL10C standard for positive pressure fire tests of door assemblies, UL1034 standard for safety - burglary-resistant electric locking mechanisms,  UL294 standard for safety - access control applications
  • Industry standards:  A156.23 is the standard for electromagnetic locks
  • Hold force: The hold force should correlate to the type of application.  For example, choose 500 lbs. for traffic control, 1,000 lbs. for high security, or 1,500 lbs. for maximum security
  • Industry standards:  A156.23 is the standard for electromagnetic locks
  • Shear Lock: alignment of magnet and armature is critical for proper operation of mag lock
  • Mode of egress:  To ensure free egress there are two types of systems allowed by code for mag locks.  One addresses electrified locks released by a sensor that detects an approaching occupant, and the other covers electrified locks released by a switch in the door-mounted hardware.  To learn more, please read this article
  • Features: A variety of standard and optional features are available depending on the application; integration with electronic access control and fire alarm systems may require optional features
  • Type of door:  Options are available to address single and double swinging doors, sliding doors, gates, and doors that require delayed egress

Features and options will vary by model; please see the data sheet and support materials section for specific details 

  • Automatic voltage selection: senses the voltage applied to the lock and responds accordingly
  • Field configurable voltage: option to configure in the field
  • Field configurable handing: eliminates the need to know the door handing in advance
  • Magnetic bond sensor: monitors the strength of the bond between the lock and armature so you know the door is secure; with or without LED indicator
  • Door position switch: monitors whether the door is open or closed
  • Relock time delay: provides a relock delay that is adjustable from 1 to 30 seconds
  • Anti-tamper switch: provides an indication that the cover of the magnet is securely fastened to the lock and that the on-board circuitry is secure
  • Variety of armature and brackets: a variety of options are available to suit different door types

We recommend that you check with your Allegion Code Expert to confirm the specific application of a mag lock is permitted by code

  • Mag locks are commonly used for traffic control as well as applications that reqiure the door to fail safe in the event of a power disruption
  • Weather resistant gate models are available
  • Delayed egress models may be used in applications where the intent to exit needs to be momentarily delayed in order to alert staff 

Things to consider when choosing the right mag lock for the application:

  1. Assess the opening and the assets in the space then determine the required mode of operation
  2. Confirm that it is appropriate for the opening to fail safe (unlocked) in the event that power is disrupted to the door
  3. Detail the application:
    • What type of opening is it?  Metal, wood or glass? Single or double door?  
    • How does it open?  Based on how the door opens and where the maglock is to be installed will determine if you need a direct pull or shear type lock
    • What level of hold force is desired?  For standard swinging doors, choose under 1,000 lbs. for traffic control or greater than 1,000 lbs. for high security
    • Is it exposed to the weather? If application is for a gate, choose a model specifically designed for outdoor applications or gates
    • Is this setting where delayed egress is required?  If yes, choose a model specifically designed for delayed egress
    • Do you need intelligent sensing and reporting features for integration with access control or alarm systems?
  4. Determine if additional hardware will be required for free egress.  If it is a retrofit application, does the door have a push bar or exit device already in place for free egress?  If not, then you may need a motion sensor and push-to-exit button on the inside of the door
  5. Visit our electromagnetic lock page to review available options

We recommend that you check with your local code expert to confirm that the specific application of a mag lock is permitted by code.

Please contact us if you need additional information or assistance.

You can contact Allegion Customer Service (Sales Support) or Technical Support (Product Support) by phone or by email.  


To contact by phone: Call 877.671.7011

PRESS Option 1 for Customer Service then select your specific product category:

  • Mechanical Locks & Keying Systems by Schlage, Falcon or Dexter PRESS 1
  • Electronic Locks, System Components, Biometrics, Readers or Credentials PRESS 2


PRESS Option 2 for Technical Support then select your specific product category:

  • Mechanical Locks & Keying Systems by Schlage, Falcon or Dexter PRESS 1
  • Electronic Locking Products AD, CO, NDE, LE, Control, Express, Engage, Multi-Family Solutions, ISONAS Hardware or Pure Access Software PRESS 2
  • For AD, CO, PIM, Express, BE367/FE210 and all legacy related locks like CM and King Cobra, PRESS 1
  • For ENGAGE related products including NDE, LE, Control, CTE and Gateway, PRESS 2
  • For ISONAS Hardware and Pure Access Software, PRESS 3
  • Readers and Credentials, Biometrics or System Components such as Maglocks or key switches by Schlage or Locknetics PRESS 6


PRESS Option 3 to reach your local sales office, you will be directed based upon the area code from which you are calling


To contact by email:

Sales Support (Customer Service for all Product Categories and Regions)  


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