How to select the suitable security turnstile for your project?

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Turnstile access control system is designed to avoid overcrowding and make the passages convenient for everyone and they have become an important and effective entrance control solutions for large large spaces whether the follow of people is high and safety is a primary concern. However, there are so many different types of electronic turnstiles which comes with different features and performance for different applications. Usually, certain turnstiles and gates are great for one application but are not the best choice for others. Understanding that all turnstiles are not created equal is a crucial realization when specifying products for an installation.

In general, the different turnstiles carry different features to fit different project requirement, some of below points should be emphasize

Height: In general, selecting turnstile will be the best for a project based on the level of security required. If a project requires high level of security, full height turnstiles are the best option, Contrarily, if a project calls for waist high levels of security, waist high turnstiles and optical turnstiles are ideal choice

Handicap Access: some projects usually require handicap access to provide equal access to those with physical disabilities (pedestrians using wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, etc.), you will need ADA turnstile product incorporated into your access control system to remain compliant with ADA guidelines. Most projects employ a series of regular turnstiles paired with one ADA compliant gate to provide access to both able bodied and handicapped entrants.

Aesthetics: Some turnstiles and handicap accessible turnstiles are designed primarily with aesthetics while others are designed to be rugged and tamper proof, paying little attention to aesthetically pleasing design. Still others fall in that happy medium area on the aesthetics spectrum with an emphasis on both design and functionality. Factors like complexity of design, materials used, finish, and sophistication all play into whether a turnstile will be aesthetically pleasing or not. It is best to choose a product that will blend in with its surroundings. Whether those surroundings are in a posh high rise office building or a gritty construction site, there is always a turnstile with the level of aesthetics to match.

Security: One of the most important factors when specifying an access control project, level of security is dictated by many factors like turnstile height, tamper-proof capabilities, physical barrier locking capabilities, and more. Products offered range from full height turnstiles that offer unparalleled security to barrier free optical turnstiles that merely sense when people pass through rather than physically stopping them. It is important to assess your security needs before choosing a turnstile or gate for your job because there are many options ranging from high to low security.

Before you choose a turnstile, you must make sure your project situation and the special requirements as follows

1. What are the turnstiles and where are they used?

A turnstiles is an electro-mechanical access barrier, it’s purpose is to protect secure areas from unauthorized access and, where necessary, to identify and log each person entering and exiting. The turnstile controls access, and at the same time can keep track of employees’ times of attendance and cumulative working hours.It is necessary to understand what level of security is required, if it is just individualization they need without any authenticating the identity of the person, a manually rotating tripod turnstile or for a more secured entry point like full height turnstile.

2. What environment are for the turnstile?
Some turnstiles are suitable for indoor or outdoor applications, and others are designed with a specific application, so it is very important to know the environmental conditions of your project before finalize the turnstile type.

3. Will your turnstile be located in a corrosive environment? (snow, wind, rain, salt, etc.)
If so, then a model made in 316 stainless steel will likely provide the best protection against corrosive surroundings.

4. Is ADA access necessary?
Some projects need ADA access control for the disables and the pedestrian with large baggage, while some projects have no such requirement, so please check with your project manager in advance. Some of our turnstiles can either be combined with a full-size ADA passage gate, come in an ADA-compliant model, or can provide flexible-width passage lanes to accommodate this type of traffic. This common compliance requirement is an important consideration.

5. How many people need to pass through the entry point in what amount of time?
Picking the right model and the right quantity are important factors to consider when determining what will eventually become a successful crowd management solution. Realistically, five seconds is a fair approximation/average on how long it takes for a person with an ID to go through a turnstile.

6. What are the ways to control the turnstile?
There are several ways to control the turnstile:
Manually – which will require an operator – ie: a security guard or a receptionist;
Automatically – automatic control is achieved by means of identification – ie: access control proximity cards, keypads or RFID tags.
Biometric access systems – innovative control technologies that identify the person using biometrics (fingerprint readers, retina scans, facial recognition devices etc.).

7. What are the turnstile functions?

Turnstile functions can be varied. There are the basic models that only assist in orderly access through an entrance in business or leisure facilities, where a receptionist or security guard manually allows employees/visitors in after viewing their identity card. Also there are quite complex and multifunctional solutions that identify an entering person by reading a card or biometric features. These can automatically enter the time of arrival and departure into a database, including providing automated accounting of the attendance patterns of employees or visito

The types of  Access Control Turnstile Gates

 

Optical Turnstiles

Optical turnstiles come with or without an entry barrier like an arm or a swing gate. They primarily use infrared sensors to detect whether or not the person passing through is authorized. Audio and visual interfaces like alarms and security cameras identify intruders. Optical turnstiles are often used indoors where aesthetics matter.

Pedestrian Sliding Turnstile Gate- High Barrier Optical Turnstile - Optical sliding turnstile

Tripod Turnstile Gates

Tripod turnstile gates, suitable for both indoor and outdoor implementation and offer bidirectional passage, are the most popular solution for access control in schools, not surprising considering their cost and easiness of operation. Tripod turnstiles perfectly deal with unauthorized access, have a large margin of safety and reliability. Important in turnstiles for schools is the speed of student passage. Tripod easily copes with a large flow of people, allowing to pass up to 30 people per minute. The tripod turnstiles can be easily integrated with any conventional access control system to allow free or controlled access. They mostly allow free exit in case of power failure or an emergency, or as required by the administration systems. They offer safe and practical passage at companies, plazas, factories, schools etc.

waist high turnstiles, tripod turnstile gate

Full-Height Turnstile Gates

Full height turnstile gates are physical access control solutions that provide floor to ceiling protection. They are made of durable steel and are virtually impenetrable based on their size and strong construction. These turnstiles are composed of a vertical center post with perpendicular arms protruding out in three directions surrounded by a cage to allow access to only one person at a time. Full height turnstiles are often used for high security engagements and can be found at military bases, correctional facilities, construction sites, and more. As large turnstile with multiple rotating barriers, they are low-maintenance, convenient to use, and designed for facilities where maximum security is required. they offer both one-way & bidirectional passage and can easily be integrated with industry-leading access control systems and widely used in Power Plants, Oil Refineries, Data Centers, Stadiums, Parks & Prisons.

Electric Full Height Turnstile Gate - turnstile access control security system - building turnstiles

Swing Gate Turnstiles 

Swing gate turnstiles are more often used as auxiliary access control mechanisms and have the following features:On receipt of a dedicated signal the gate will open automatically and remain in the open position allowing several users to pass through at once. Such access control turnstiles are not equipped with presence sensors, therefore they do not react to a user in the passageway and safety is achieved by limitation of the static entrapment force of the blade. Swing turnstile gates can have blades of over 900 mm wide and serve as an emergency exit in case of alarm, with the added benefit of allowing access for trolleys and the transport of bulky items.

Turnstile Security System Swing Gate - Securty Turnstile Systems

Speed Gate Turnstiles 

Speed gate turnstiles are a more technological and fashionable solution suitable for universities, private schools and lyceums. They fit perfectly into the interior and manage to organize a large flow of pedestrians. This type of turnstiles can work only indoors. Such turnstiles are best suited for aesthetically demanding spaces like bank headquarters, plazas and office buildings. The speed gate housing comes with built-in electronics that can be easily integrated with conventional access control systems to manage visitors. The speed gate comes with the plexiglass barriers, which comes in sliding and swinging motion or extra high glasses for safety.

Speed Turnstile Gate - Speed Gate Security Turnstile - Entry Control Optical Turnstile

Waist High ADA Gates

Waist high ADA gates are swinging gates that sit at the same height as waist high turnstiles with ADA compliant lane widths to allow for wheelchair access. They have arms or glass barriers that swing open to grant access or stay closed to deny access. Waist high ADA gates are often paired with matching waist high turnstiles to provide a handicap accessible route into or out of a building without fully compromising entrance security. They can be found at stadiums, subway systems, amusement parks, and more.

 

Supermarket Swing Access Gate Turnstile- Slimlane Swing Barrier Gate Turnstile

Full Height ADA Gates

Much like waist high ADA gates, full height ADA gates are often paired with full height turnstiles to provide a complete entry control solution that is both secure and handicap accessible. These gates span from floor to ceiling and often match the look of their full height turnstile counterparts. They are great for maintaining a high level of security while still complying with ADA regulations. Full height gates are often used anywhere a full height turnstile is used like at correctional facilities, construction sites, military bases, and more.

Factors to consider while choosing a turnstile gate

 

Number of turnstiles (lanes)

One of the most asked questions to ask end-users is how many lanes do they require. Basically, you have to look at the number of authorized occupants (cardholders) or the expected number of users to determine the number of lanes required. At the minimum, there will be two lanes for each direction or one lane with turnstile gate opening in both directions. The British Security Industry Association (BSIA), states that the number of turnstiles should be worked out using the following formula:

Passage Directions and Throughput rate 

Most of the optical turnstiles allow passage in both directions once the user authenticates identity via card reader or biometrics etc.

Turnstile gates can be configured to allow access from both directions depending on the client requirement. Another essential factor to look for is the per-minute throughput rate required per lane. For busy transport hubs, you should choose turnstiles that offer more than 40 people/minute.

Fail-Safe functionality 

An important security feature of turnstile gates, the fail-safe operation provides gate unlocking in case of a fire alarm or if the electricity is down. One should also be mindful of the technical specifications of the turnstiles, anti-panic feature for the turnstiles allows free flow in case of power failure or emergency. For tripod turnstiles, an anti-panic barrier arm automatically drops to offer free passage.

Mechanical anti-panic feature 

The mechanical anti-panic arm in the tripod turnstile allows security personnel or users to lower the foldable arm of a tripod in case of an emergency or power failure. Unlike fail-safe features, the anti-panic operation does not have to be integrated with the fire alarm system.

Built-in Sensors 

Through the use of infra-red sensors incorporated within the speed gate turnstile or optionally supplied ones, you can accurately detect a person, when they attempt to follow the person in front.It enables the glass wings to close swiftly in automatic gates. Access control turnstile gates also use these intelligent sensors that detect when an unauthorised person attempts to enter a building. The sensors are installed at two levels on the turnstile pole.

Aesthetics and accessories 

Turnstile is installed considering the surroundings and required level of access control. Creating a bespoke turnstile entrance system is a great way to accentuate the design aspects of the building. Ask your supplier for colour options, bespoke finishing, LED wing, and relay signal option etc.

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