01/19/2007

Which Optical Turnstile is Right for Your Building?

Automated entrance security increases the safety of both building occupants and building assets

 

Judging an Optical Turnstile

  • Detection capabilities. How far does a tailgater need to be before the turnstile can detect him? Can it detect direction accurately
  • False-alarm resistance. Does it contain state-of-the-art intelligence to minimize false alarms, annoying to users and guards alike?
  • Throughput. How fast can people pass through?
  • Safety. Is there an adequate number of safety beams to operate the barrier safely?
  • Emergency egress. Does the barrier provide egress-compliance features?
  • Aesthetics/dimensions. Are its dimensions sleek or bulky? What aesthetic options are available to suit the lobby design?
  • References. Will customers vouch for the system?

 

Access control is an essential part of securing a building, but it is only as good as the entrance control system that enforces it.

Being the building’s first line of defense, optical turnstiles and door-entry controls are options that more and more buildings are turning to for guarding their entrances. Optical turnstiles assure that only one person enters per authorization. Some refer to this “one-card, one-person” control as tailgate or piggyback detection, which is a hallmark of the best optical systems.

Though the premise of turnstiles started with three-pronged, push-through stadium turnstiles, entrance technology has come a long way. Optical infrared beams now detect authorized entrants, people trying to follow authorized entrants (tailgaters), and the direction people are going. Today’s turnstiles come in a myriad of styles and modes of operation, including:

  • Optical Turnstiles - Infrared beams detect people without any barriers. The focus is purely on detecting intruders. Best for low- to medium-security applications (high-profile, well-managed lobbies where aesthetics, speed of throughput, and ease of use are of equal value to security).
  • Optical/Barrier Turnstiles - Infrared beams detect people while physical barriers visually deter or physically impede entry to intruders. Best for medium-security concerns (high-profile and guarded lobbies where there is still an interest in aesthetics, but security takes a slightly higher priority to ease-of-use concerns).

Today’s barrier styles are also available in many styles and modes of operation, including:

  • Rising/Retracting Arms - The vertically rising arm is better able to physically impede an intruder than a swinging barrier style. Because of its quick response, it can operate in a “normally closed” mode that retracts to allow authorized people to enter or a “normally open” mode where the “open lane” normally retracted arms rise only if alarmed to an intrusion. Choosing a mode of operation depends, in part, on whether free egress is desired
  • Sliding/Retracting Barriers - The vertically sliding barrier, mostly made from glass, is usually fast-acting and can better physically impede intruders than the swinging barrier style. The barriers come in one-half- and full-height sizes. Sliding glass barriers dually provide physical security with an open, accessible atmosphere.
  • Swinging Barriers - The swinging “door-like” glass barrier style (pictured) is slower in operation and acts as a visual deterrent. Both the familiarity with the “door-like” motion and open-glass view provide an accommodating environment to users.
  • Anti-Tailgate Door Devices - Basically door-mounted optical turnstiles, infrared beams cross an access-controlled doorway to detect whether people are following authorized users or trying to enter when authorized people exit through the doorway. The focus is on detecting intruders and should be integrated with CCTV cameras for unmanned entries. Best for doors that lead into secured buildings or areas with sensitive data and assets.

Depending on the flow of traffic and entrance, turnstiles also often reduce the number of guards needed. No matter which style of optical entrance security you choose, your assets - both human and material - will be more secure.

Jeff Brown is president at Smarter Security Systems (www.smartersecurity.com), Austin, TX.

 


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

 


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

Replace core drilling with Connectrac In-Carpet and On-Floor Wireways, the proven connectivity solution in open interior spaces of all kinds. These elegant low-profile wireways are great for AV / telecom connectivity wherever it’s needed.

 

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com


 
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