Turnstiles are a basic form of access control. A turnstile is a type of gate that allows only one person to pass through an entrance at a time. The purpose of using a turnstile may be to direct the flow of people traffic in a certain way or to restrict access to only those who meet certain criteria- such as credentialed pass holders. Turnstiles are widely used as a first line of security/screening in commercial and government settings.
An access control system (ACS) is a type of security system that controls who or what is allowed entry into a structure, environment, or facility. An access control system identifies people that have access to an access point based on the validity of their credentials. An ACS usually utilizes credential identification equipment such as card readers and biometric scanners. Access control systems usually consist of multiple individual systems and barriers integrated to work together.
Most optical swing turnstiles come with similar features. But, one of the main differences is in the type of barrier.
Plexiglas or tempered glass barriers are common in corporate buildings. They give the gate a more stylish appeal that blends in well with the corporate interior. Also, support for access control devices is included.
On the flip side, some models come with stainless steel swing barriers. Those models often appear in stores. Stainless steel might not be as appealing as glass, but it gets the job done.
Some models also allow two-way traffic but don’t support access control devices. Instead, they have infrared sensors to allow for automatic opening and closing.
Also, there are two common setup methods for optical swing turnstiles. Two cabinets are suitable for narrow entrances that can handle only one gate. This setup allows one-way or two-way traffic.
A setup involving three cabinets is appropriate in situations when there is a need for two gates. The middle cabinet has two swing flaps — one on the left and one on the right. The side cabinets have one flap each.
In general, all cabinets come with support for access control devices. But, the cabinet that controls the exit might not have that feature because access control isn’t needed while exiting. Still, some models do include it.
Security turnstiles have a wide range of practical uses. They are common in corporate buildings, and you will probably find them in lobbies and banks as well. Their modern design makes them appear more welcoming to visitors, especially if they have glass barriers.
Government buildings and data centers place optical swing turnstiles at low-security entry points. They can even appear at public transit stations or sports stadiums.
All in all, they are perfect alternatives if high-security gates are unnecessary.