Turnstiles for Secure Entry

Security is a rising concern in the world today. From hackers accessing valuable information, to intruders threatening the safety of people and property, companies are recognising the need for better security. To improve the physical security of buildings and facilities, one of the best options is often the use of turnstiles to control employee and visitor access.

A turnstile is a mechanism that allows a location to have control over entry and exit. Most consist of a horizontal arm that extends from a post and allows people to pass through, given the condition has been met. To pass through  it might be necessary to present an authorised identification or to make payment. Other similar structures keep a count of individuals that pass through. Turnstiles provide security, control crowds, prevent loss control, and control admission and/or access.

Places that commonly use turnstiles include amusement parks, public transportation, airports, and sporting events. The design allows only one person to pass through at a time. Their initial function was for farmers, but not animals, to be allowed to pass through. Another use is to maintain pedestrian traffic in a single direction. Most modern turnstiles are mechanical, which allows the arm to be rotated one direction but not the other. Many are electronic, and some operate with optical sensors that can scan tickets or badges. If the sensor does not recognise the ticket or badge, an audible alarm sounds.

Types of Turnstiles

Turnstiles fall into three primary categories: optical, full height, and waist high. The type needed is dependent on the application it is being used for. Choosing the right turnstile requires consideration of many different factors, including whether it is for indoor our outdoor use, the desired level of security, budget, features needed, and aesthetic preferences.

Full Height

Full height turnstiles consist of rotating barriers that extend from the floor to top of the turnstile, creating a full height barrier that looks similar to a revolving door. These can come as a single unit or as a tandem unit, which combines two turnstiles within a smaller footprint.

Full height turnstiles are best suited for situations that require higher levels of security, especially in unmanned locations. Common users are military bases, nuclear and energy facilities, distribution warehouses and manufacturing facilities. For perimeter control, fence line security and parking lot access there is no better option than a full height turnstile.

Waist High

Waist high turnstiles consist of a tripod barrier arm installed at waist height that rotates to allow entry. Sturdy construction and mechanics allow these to last for decades, even under extreme use.

Waist high turnstiles are frequently used in public access locations, such as theme parks and stadiums, to manage the large crowds of people entering the facility. Other common uses include lobby areas, warehouses, manufacturing facilities and employee cafeterias. Typical applications include employee access control and visitor management.

Do I need more than one?

This depends on the amount of foot traffic you experience. On average, if all goes smoothly, the crossing capacity in free access mode can offer 60 users per minute or a crossing capacity in single access mode, of 25 people per minute. This can differ depending on who you have entering and what they need to enter.

This flow rate will work well for many business properties, however, if you have incredibly busy time periods then you should consider investing in multiple turnstiles. Ideally, you want to keep your foot traffic flowing smoothly preventing people from having to wait and causing issues in this regard.

Installation of Turnstiles

The layout, size, number of users and traffic patterns of the installation area determine the number of turnstiles necessary. In smaller areas, one or two may suffice; however, high-traffic areas may require a larger number of turnstiles to accommodate the needs of the facility. Contractors and installers should be aware that not all turnstiles are created equal. Generally, manufacturers use durable materials, such as stainless steel and acrylics that require little maintenance and withstand prolonged use.

However, quality, and specific features can differ greatly between manufacturers. Depending on the manufacturer, turnstiles may ship fully assembled and ready to install, or may require substantial assembly on site. Knowing this information beforehand can save time and resources during the installation process. Contact a member of our team to learn more.

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