Get Effective Access Control Using Security Turnstiles

Written By Arman Zulhajar on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 | 1:07 AM

By Sebastian Stert

Despite them being effective, turnstiles are considered among the most under-used tools for access control. When you think about the simplicity behind the concept of security turnstiles, this is quite surprising. This concept is to either create a pathway that allows people to access one direction or allow access for a person at a time. This is used to either keep tabs on the number of people going in or out of establishments or to limit access only to authorized people. If you're considering using turnstiles in your business, you need to learn more about it first.

First of all, there are three turnstile categories you can choose from. These categories are mechanical, video and optical turnstiles. Mechanical turnstiles are used for physical access restriction. Video turnstiles on the other hand take note of people going in and out of establishments. Optical turnstiles in turn, provide assistance and guidance to security staff and receptionists.

To choose the type of turnstile you'd invest in, you have to learn what you can about them. First, a mechanical security turnstile is built with ratchet mechanisms that allow turnstiles to turn in one direction only. Also, this type of turnstile only works after people insert either coins or swipe/insert access cards.

This kind of mechanical turnstile is commonly used in train stations while those that only keep track of the number of people going in or out are commonly found in theme parks. Video turnstiles are commonly used in airports or places where security is a little stricter, apart from counting the numbers of people passing through gates or doors, these stiles also record videos of people that go in and out of establishments as they pass through gates. Then there is the optical turnstile. This uses the basic concept of turnstiles but adds a little technology twist.

The thing that sets optical turnstiles from the rest is there is no physical mechanism that restricts a person's access. In truth, an optical turnstile is but a lane that people with authorized must pass through. Authorized individuals are identified and granted access by swiping pre-programmed access cards or fingerprint identification. If a person tries to pass through these stiles without proper identification, alarms will sound, alerting security personnel.

As long as you consider your needs and budget, you won't have difficulty finding turnstiles you can invest in. There are plenty of security firms to buy these turnstiles from. But you need to be very careful when choosing firms to work with. Comparison-shop between two or three of these firms, taking your time doing some research on each of them before deciding which one to buy from.

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