Magnetic Door Holder: Enhancing Security and Convenience in Modern Homes

magnetic door holder

Magnetic door holders are a practical and innovative solution for maintaining open doors within a home, office, or commercial environment. They serve to prevent doors from closing due to drafts or air conditioning effects. A magnetic door holder consists of two components: a magnetic base that attaches to the wall or floor, and a metal plate or counterpiece that secures to the door itself. When aligned and brought into proximity, the magnetism efficiently holds the door in an open position.

Diverse types and styles of magnetic door holders are available to match different door configurations and aesthetic preferences. These devices vary in holding strength, materials, and installation methods. The most common materials include stainless steel, brushed nickel, black, and white finishes which offer both functionality and decorative value. They are particularly beneficial in high-traffic areas where doors need to remain open for accessibility or ventilation purposes.

In addition to standard versions, some magnetic door holders are integrated with stopping mechanisms that provide dual functionality: holding the door open while also preventing it from slamming shut. More advanced models, such as electromagnetic door holders, are typically connected to fire alarm systems and automatically release in the event of a fire, ensuring compliance with safety regulations. These systems are often employed in public buildings and are essential for maintaining clear evacuation routes.

Fundamentals of Magnetic Door Holders

Magnetic door holders are devices that utilize an electromagnetic force to maintain doors in an open position. They operate by creating a magnetic field when energized, which exerts an attractive force on a metal plate or armature attached to the door, effectively keeping it open. Their functionality is especially critical in managing fire doors or security doors within buildings.

The basic components of these devices include:

  • Magnet box: Contains the electromagnet.
  • Armature plate: Attaches to the door and aligns with the magnet box when the door is open.
  • Power source: Typically 24VAC/VDC or 120VAC.
  • Manual release: Allows for the door to be closed without de-energizing the magnet.

In terms of installation, users have options between:

  • Surface-mount: Attached externally on the door and wall.
  • Flush-mount: Installed within the door or wall for a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.

Upon receiving a signal, such as from a fire alarm or smoke detector, the device is designed to release, allowing the door to close automatically. This function ensures safety by preventing the spread of smoke and fire.

The holding force of magnetic door holders, often measured in pounds or kilograms, should meet the specific requirements of the environment they are used in. Link to further specifics can be found under descriptions of SECO-LARM Magnetic Door Holders.

For more diverse applications, including commercial and public areas, products tailored to these settings are elaborated on in ADI PRO’s magnetic door holder literature.

Types of Magnetic Door Holders

Magnetic door holders come in two main types: electromagnetic and permanent magnet. Each serves a distinct function and is chosen based on the specific needs of a building’s door control system.

Electromagnetic Door Holders

Electromagnetic door holders are activated by an electric current, which creates a magnetic force to hold doors open. They’re compatible with fire alarm systems and can release doors automatically in case of an emergency. A common application can be found in fire/smoke barrier doors, which must release when an alarm or smoke detector is triggered.

Permanent Magnet Door Holders

Permanent magnet door holders use a permanent magnet to maintain a door’s open position. They don’t require electrical power to operate, making them a simple and cost-effective solution for holding doors open. However, they don’t automatically disconnect when an alarm sounds, which would require manual intervention or a separate mechanism integrated into the building’s security system.

Installation Guidelines

Installing a magnetic door holder requires attention to detail, adherence to safety standards, and a clear understanding of the installation process. Proper installation ensures reliable operation and adherence to safety codes.

Safety Precautions

Before beginning the installation, it is crucial to turn off the power at the circuit breaker to prevent electrical shock. One should refer to the manufacturer’s safety instructions for the specific door holder being installed. Personal protective equipment, like gloves and safety glasses, is recommended.

Step-by-Step Instructions

The process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Positioning: Determine the precise location for the door holder on the door and the floor or wall. Use a manufacturer-provided template for marking screw holes.
  2. Mounting: Drill pilot holes at the marked spots. Secure the magnetic door holder to the door and mount the armature plate to the floor or wall using provided screws.
  3. Wiring: Connect the electrical wires from the door holder to the power source following local electrical codes. The wiring must be conducted safely and correctly to ensure proper operation.
  4. Testing: After installation, test the magnetic door holder to ensure it engages and releases as intended.

Tools Required

The installation will typically require the following tools:

  • Drill with drill bits
  • Screwdriver set
  • Wire strippers
  • Electrical tape
  • Multimeter (for testing electrical connections)

Each tool should be in good condition and suitable for the type of door holder being installed.

Operational Mechanism

Magnetic door holders utilize specific operational processes to ensure doors remain open or securely closed when necessary.

Electromagnetic Principles

A magnetic door holder employs an electromagnet to create a magnetic field when energized, which exerts an attractive force on a metal armature plate attached to the door. This force keeps the door open by counteracting the door’s tendency to close, usually due to a spring or its own weight. The strength of the magnetic field is directly proportional to the current flowing through the electromagnet, making it a reliable and adjustable means of holding a door.

Release Mechanism

The release mechanism is activated by cutting the power supply to the electromagnet. This interruption is often initiated by a fire alarm or a manual switch, allowing the magnetic field to collapse and the door to close, either under its own weight or with the assistance of a spring mechanism. The rapid deactivation is crucial in emergency situations to prevent the spread of fire and smoke.

Design Considerations

When integrating magnetic door holders into a building’s design, architects and builders must evaluate how they blend with the environment and ensure longevity.


The visual appeal of magnetic door holders is crucial as they often become a part of the interior design. They should complement the door’s style and the surrounding architecture. Choices range from unobtrusive, flush-mounted options to more prominent, feature-like designs. The finish and color can be selected to match or contrast with the door and wall finishes, effectively integrating into the overall aesthetic.


Magnetic door holders must be robust to withstand daily use and potential wear in high traffic areas. They are typically constructed from strong materials such as stainless steel or reinforced plastics. It is crucial to ensure that the magnetic door holders have endurance features such as resistance to dust, moisture, and tampering. The quality and warranty of these devices, for example warrantied for 2 years for defects, can serve as indicators of their durability and reliability.

Use Cases

Magnetic door holders serve as robust solutions for controlling access and improving safety in various settings. Their integration with fire alarm systems makes them particularly valuable in maintaining orderly evacuation routes and securing areas as needed.

Commercial Buildings

In commercial spaces such as office complexes and retail stores, magnetic door holders ensure doors stay open during business hours to facilitate traffic flow. They are commonly used with fire alarm systems, which, upon activation, release the doors to close automatically, helping to contain fire and smoke.

Residential Applications

For residential use, magnetic door holders provide convenience by holding doors open—ideal for home offices or patios. They offer an elegant solution for homeowners looking for hands-free passage between rooms or when carrying items, without compromising on home safety standards.

Healthcare Facilities

In healthcare facilities, such as hospitals and clinics, these devices are essential for maintaining barrier-free environments while also meeting stringent safety requirements. Electromagnetic door holders ensure that doors remain open for bedridden patients’ easy transportation, yet allow for immediate closing in emergency situations to prevent the spread of fire and smoke.

Regulation and Standards

Regulations and standards for electromagnetic door holders are essential for ensuring safety and compliance in building construction and maintenance. They dictate how and when doors should release in cases of emergency such as fires or power failures.

Fire and Smoke Safety: For fire/smoke barrier doors, it’s mandatory under safety regulations that electromagnetic door holders release automatically when tripped by an alarm or smoke detector. These devices must work in tandem with closure mechanisms to maintain the integrity of fire-resistant zones.

Building Codes: Building codes vary by region but often include clear instructions on the installation and operation of electromagnetic locks. For instance, specific code requirements for electromagnetic locks may allow for a door-mounted release device instead of a sensor and emergency push button, noting that the magnetic lock should not necessarily release upon fire alarm or sprinkler system activation if such a device is present.

  • NFPA Standards: The NFPA 80 standard defines procedures and limits for modifying fire door assemblies. Under these guidelines, only certain alterations are permissible, such as installing surface-applied hardware or preparing for mortise locks.
  • Accessibility:
    • Must not prevent egress
    • Door-mounted release devices or switches must be installed to enable unlocking from the inside

In summary, industry professionals must adhere to local building codes, national safety standards, and accessibility requirements when handling electromagnetic door holder installations or maintenance, ensuring the safety and compliance of the door release systems within buildings.

Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Regular maintenance and effective troubleshooting are essential for the longevity and reliability of magnetic door holders. Cleaning practices ensure the device remains free of debris that can affect performance, while understanding common faults and their solutions helps maintain security and functionality.

Cleaning Practices

Routine Cleaning: To maintain optimal functionality, magnetic door holders should be cleaned regularly. They must be wiped down with a soft cloth to remove dust and debris, which can interfere with the magnetic force. For the electronic components, a dry cloth is recommended to prevent moisture damage.

Common Faults and Solutions

Power Supply Issues: A common fault in magnetic door holders is a disruption in the power supply. One should check if the device is receiving power by ensuring the connection to the power source is intact and operational. If the power supply appears to be faulty, it may require replacement or repair.

  • Magnetic Malfunction: If the holder fails to maintain its hold, inspect the magnet and armature plate for any signs of damage or excessive wear. Sometimes, realigning or cleaning the contact surfaces can restore full functionality. If damage is observed, parts may need to be replaced.

Mechanical Problems:

  • Misalignment: Adjust the armature plate to ensure proper contact with the magnet.
  • Obstruction: Remove any foreign objects that may be blocking the magnet or armature plate.

By adhering to a schedule of regular cleaning and promptly addressing common faults, the longevity and functionality of magnetic door holders can be significantly improved.

Advancements and Innovations

Magnetic door holders have undergone significant improvements in design and functionality, reflecting advancements in technology and the evolving needs of secure access control systems.

Materials and Durability: Manufacturers have enhanced the durability and longevity of these devices. KENDRION, for instance, has been a leader in this domain, contributing to quality and user-friendliness through continual innovation since the 1960s.

Integration and Control: The ability to integrate with other security systems has become a standard. SDC’s EH series, for example, can be released by a remote switch or a fire life safety command center, demonstrating the versatility of magnetic door holders in emergency situations.

Flexibility and Application: Offering a range of solutions for diverse environments. Camden’s CX-95S-DH is UL-listed and tailored for any remote door release application, be it in apartments, schools, or hospitals, indicating the industry’s push towards adaptable products.

Aesthetics: Contemporary designs focus on blending seamlessly with the environment. The magnetic door catch remains hidden, maintaining the aesthetic appeal of the space while fulfilling its function.

MaterialsImproved durability and strength.
IntegrationCompatible with various control systems for enhanced security.
FlexibilitySuitable for diverse environments and use-cases.
AestheticsLow-profile designs that merge with surroundings.

These innovations represent the industry’s commitment to providing secure, efficient, and convenient magnetic door holding solutions.

Market Trends and Insights

The electromagnetic door holder market is experiencing growth driven by its applications across residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. Recent reports have highlighted the segmentation of the market based on installation type, application, and material, among other factors.

  • Installation Type: The market segments into two primary installation types: wall-mounted and floor-mounted. Each type serves different structural and aesthetic needs.
  • Application: The usage spans across residential, commercial, and industrial spaces, with varying demand dynamics. Commercial applications, especially in healthcare and educational institutions, drive significant demand due to safety regulations and accessibility requirements.
  • Material Consideration: Manufacturers offer these devices in a variety of materials such as stainless steel and brass. The choice of material affects both the durability and the aesthetic appeal of the door holder.
  • Power Source: There’s a distinction between holders powered by alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC), which offers flexibility for different electrical systems.

The market is also characterized by the inclusion of emerging technologies and customized solutions. Providers are focusing on tailoring products to emerging needs, including integration with other security systems.

The key players in the market, such as Honeywell International Inc and Edwards Signaling, are working on enhancing their market strategies to leverage their position. They are likely to continue to innovate, leading to a dynamic and competitive market landscape.

The growth projections for the electromagnetic door holder market are positive, with expectations of an expanding market size and a steady compound annual growth rate (CAGR) heading towards 2028.

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As the founder of MagnetMfg, I have over 15 years in magnet industry. I am an expert in magnet design, magnet manufacturing, and magnet application. Let my knowledge and expertise answer your doubts.Contact me at


Hi, I'm David, the founder of MagnetMfg. You can find out more about me by exploring the about page.

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