How turnstiles crack down on tailgating and intrusion in office buildings

How turnstiles crack down on tailgating and intrusion in office buildings

Visitor entry control is a critical part of the security implementation of an office building, which is eyeing to keep premises safe and secure from intruders or worse, terrorists. Key to visitor entry control to any office building is the lobby area turnstile, which separates outsiders from authorized users who can gain further access into the building.

For a long time, the security guard at the building served that purpose, keeping track of who can access the building and who should be kept out. But, as buildings get more complex and are used by hundreds if not thousands of workers, it has become increasingly unfeasible for security guards to perform that task. That’s where the turnstiles come in – to reduce the burden on reception staff by finding a more effective way to keep intruders at bay.

“Prevention of tailgating and piggybacking is the number one objective,” said Mark Perkins, Enterprise Accounts Sales Manager at Boon Edam. “The overall goal is to allow authorized users to enter, while controlling unauthorized users from passing undetected.”

Sensing mechanisms such as infrared beams are employed on modern turnstiles to detect tailgating, piggybacking, or other forms of unauthorized entry such as turnstile-jumping, which is easy with turnstiles 1.2 meters in height. Once such activity is detected, an alarm is sent to the command center or to the security guard who can then check what is going on.

For the authenticating device, that depends on the system employed by the office building. Proximity readers were used in the beginning and have given way to smart card readers and now to biometrics, such as fingerprint.

In certain countries, office building turnstiles are integrated with facial recognition-enabled video cameras, which can tell whether the individual passing through right now indeed belongs to the organization. 3D facial recognition software, which allows entry to anyone with a 60-70 percent match, carries the additional benefit of fast passage. But these solutions are quite expensive and are less commonly installed.

Besides anti-intrusion features, turnstiles also have mechanisms to allow easy evacuation for office building employees in the event of emergency. EU directives, for example, require that all turnstiles be switched to the open mode in the event of fire or power outages, which may indicate a fire. This is another way for turnstiles to keep buildings and premises secure.

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