What are Turnstiles and Pedestrian Control Gates?

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Wed, Jan 20, 2016

Turnstiles are a form of gate that allows one person to pass at a time in one direction. Also known as a baffle gate, they can be accessed by payment (coin, token, or card) or are used  simply to count the amount of people passing through and control the amount of people entering through a point. They are often found in amusement parks, airports, or subway terminals. The word “turnstile” is derived from the word “stile”, which is a type of fencing generally used for livestock that is structured in such a way (using steps, ladders, or narrow passages) that allows humans to pass without using a gate and without the risk of livestock escaping. There are three main types of turnstiles: waist-high, optical, and Roto-gates


waist high turnstile, or 'half-height turnstile', is a mechanical turnstile or mechanical gate that is made up of four revolving horizontal arms that are fixed to a vertical post, allowing only one person at a time to pass through. This allows security personnel to have a clear view of each person, and easily isolate potential trouble. They also set the speed in which pedestrians are allowed to pass and thus, are a practical way to control pedestrian traffic. One problem with waist-high turnstiles is that they are easily jumped over or circumvented.

optical turnstyles

Optical turnstiles, also known as 'intelligent admission turnstiles', offer a more hands-free method of pedestrian control. They are waist high gates without the horizontal arms. Instead, optical turnstiles use small lasers – infrared beams – to count persons passing through and recognize anyone entering without a valid pass. They are often used in conjunction with state of the art technology, software, card readers, and controllers in access control systems. By themselves, they do not physically keep people out who don't have a valid entry pass, and therefore may be better suited for entrance situations that simply need a counter and not a whole lot of security. Some models do, however, have the capacity to flash lights and sound alarms when security is breached. These models are still not practical in high trafficked, industrial setting such as stadiums or subways, but work well in office buildings or hotel lobbies where aesthetic are more important.


Roto-gates, also known as 'full-height turnstiles', are seven feet high stainless steel structures and look and operate similarly to a revolving door. HEET (High Entrance/Exit Turnstile) turnstiles can rotate in both directions, in and out, allowing for two-way traffic. Exit-only rotogates are more limiting, however, allowing people to only go in one direction (not in and out), in a single filed manner. Exit only turnstiles are commonly found in subway exits, allowing passengers to pass without permitting entrance by those who haven't paid.

Turnstiles, especially waist-high or full-height turnstiles, pose problems for those in wheelchairs and obese people. To counter this problem, many venues and establishments have manual entrance gates that allow wheelchairs, people with loads of cumbersome luggage, or those with some extra weight around the middle, to pass with the assistance of an attendant. Another solution to this problem are ADA turnstiles which are wider than standard waist-high turnstiles and do not use a mechanical arm which can be heavy and hard to push. Instead they use two lightweight, stainless steel horizontal arms, at least 36 inches (3 feet) long with a rounded end that can easily be pushed open. These turnstiles are ADA-approved (Americans with Disabilities Act) for easy compliance with local handicapped laws.




Topics: Gates, Turnstiles, handicap accessable

Options for Commercial Access Gates and Fence Solutions

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Thu, Jul 03, 2014

A Professional Fence Company should have a variety options for Commercial Gate applications. The gate systems are designed to restrict unwanted entry and ensure the protection of assets and employees. Gate systems are designed to work efficiently with repeated mechanical use in any setting. Hurricane Fence Company offers the latest in Commercial Gate System trends and technology in a plethora of scales and styles. These maneuverable fence barriers can be engineered to meet the needs of everything from small Residential Secured Access to the most complex structural demands.

The following are a few examples of routinely offered Commercial Gate Systems.  

Swing Arm Gates

swing arm gate

Swing Arms are motorized barriers that raise a steel or aluminum arm from a horizontal position to a vertical position. They give you the ability to control pedestrian and/or vehicle traffic on roadways up to 38'. These gates can have an assortment of automatic controls, such as card readers, vehicle detectors/counters, reversing logic, which causes the arm to re-open should it strike an object, and anti tailgating devices, which keep multiple vehicles from pulling through on a single cycle. A switch in a security office can also be set up to control these gates.

Many Fence Contractors also offer High Speed Swing Arm Gates that will open in less than two seconds, using either 8 or 12' arms. Heavy duty gates, with arms up to 24', are also available if gate specifications require them.

Slide Gates   

sliding gate 

Sliding Gates are often the best solution for commercial premises with busy access points. You must have room set aside for the gate in the open position. Installers can customize slide gates to accommodate a wide range of commercial applications. Many different styles of slide gates are available of which the most common is a two-rail slide gate.

There are three rail slide gates that will allow the use of almost any material you wish to face the gate. For this the commonly used materials are plastic, wood, or metal. A well set up fence supplier can also custom fabricate a slide gate to match a wide range of already existing gate styles. 

Cantilever Gates

cantaliever gate cantaliever gate

Automation of a cantilever slide gate involves the addition of a slide gate operator that can be pad or post mounted. This provides a means to open or close the gate and the addition of safety devices such as safety loops, gate edges or photo eyes. Gate operators can be added to existing gates as well as new ones and integrated into any existing access control system.

The gate itself does not touch the ground and is supported by rollers, which are attached to two large side posts.

The gate will have a tail that is used to support itself when it is in the open position. One thing to keep in mind when considering the installation of a cantilever gate is that you must have adequate overhead clearance to ensure that the gate can open fully.

Cantilever Gate Systems can be constructed with nearly any fencing material, but the distance of the opening will play an important role in determining which type of materials you can use when constructing your Commercial Gate. Lighter fabrication materials should be considered when spanning wide opening, which will make the overall weight of the gate lighter.   

See Commercial Gate Fabrication in action on Hurricane Fence Company's Youtube channel.Commercial Gates, Commercial Gates Richmond, Gate Fabrication Richmond, gates richmond, gates norfolk, gates williamsburg, gates va beach, gate making richmond

Topics: Military Fence Installations, Military Fence, Government Fence, Fence Design, Perimeter Security, Gates, Specifications, High Security Fence, Ornamental Aluminum, Commercial Fence, Steel Slide Gates, Historical Fence, Fence Permit, Regulations, Maximum Security Fence, Fence Maintenance, Richmond Fence, fence regulations, Maintenance, Aluminum Fence, Comparison, codes, Military Fence Virginia

The 1st Monument: Iron Fence preserves America's earliest history.

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Sun, Dec 08, 2013

Boundary Stone in Patrick Henry Apartments  Arlington Boundary Stones

The Boundary Markers of the Original District of Columbia are the 40 milestones that mark the four lines forming the boundaries between the states of Maryland and Virginia and the square of 100 square miles (259 km²) of federal territory that became the District of Columbia in 1801.While abandoned long ago, these structures are actually our nations first perimeter marker.

The Residence Act of July 16, 1790, as amended March 3, 1791, authorized President George Washington to select a 100-square-mile site for the national capital on the Potomac River between Alexandria, Virginia, and Williamsport, Maryland.

President Washington selected the southernmost location within these limits, so that the capital would include all of present-day Old Town Alexandria, then one of the four busiest ports in the country. Acting on instructions from Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, Major Andrew Ellicott began surveying the ten-mile square on February 12, 1791.  

The stones had all but disappeared but were recovered by volunteers from the Maryland Society of Surveyors while working on a resurvey of the D.C. line. David R. Doyle of Silver Spring, Maryland, placed the marker in his garage in 1991. Just south of Washington DC in Arlington, A survey team in 1791 led by Major Andrew Ellicott placed these fenced in markers. A humbly sit 39 milestones that mark the four lines forming the boundaries between the states of Maryland and Virginia and the square of 100 square miles (259 km²) of federal territory that became the District of Columbia in 1801.

Before the surveyors stepped in, the relics of our nation's infant stage had been ignored and were largely unknown, even by those who live a few feet from them. No one has been quite sure what to do with them for more than 200 years. 
Only one, the boundary stone in is a National Landmark. The other 39 are on the National Register of Historic Places, but receive no federal preservation money and no maintainence.
Some of the stones are all but gone, some have been moved to accommodate road and building construction and others have been stolen or lost, according to the Nation’s Capital Boundary Stones Committee’s Boundarystones.org site. All 10 stones within Arlington’s limits are authentic originals. They are at the following locations: 

  1. North side of Walter Reed Parkway 100+ feet east of intersection with King Street. Only the stump of this stone remains. Its current condition is consistent with Woodward's 1908 report that the "stone is broken, and the top seems to be lost. The entire base, with a few inches of the finished portion, was found lying on the ground in approximately the same spot where it had originally been placed." This stone is now nearly 45 feet from its original position and is enclosed by wrought iron fencing structures that protect and preserve them. 5000 block, Old Dominion Drive (private residence)
  2. 3000 block, N. Powhatan Street (private residence)Andrew Ellicott Park, 2824 N. Arizona Street
  3. Benjamin Banneker Park, 1701 N. Van Buren Street
  4. In the parking lot of Patrick Henry Apartments Complex, the 6000 block of Wilson Blvd
  5. Carlin Springs Elementary School parking lot
  6. The median on the 1000 block of S. Jefferson Street
  7. The north side of the 2700 block of S. Walter Reed Drive
  8. Fairlington Village, King Street, between S. Wakefield Street and I-395 
Four of the forty original boundary markers were not in or near their original locations in 2006. Three of these had been replaced with protective gate markers. Below, summaries of some of the most intriguing stones and their current locations.

Southwest No. 2 Boundary Marker

7 Russell Road: east side of Russell Road just north of King Street. This is neither the original stone nor the original location. Baker and Woodward reported the original stone to be missing as of the late 1800s, and DAR records show that the current stone was placed at this location in 1920. The original stone was located about 0.35 northwest of this replacement. According to Woodward, the original "stone was evidently placed on the east side, and very close to, [King Street], on the eastern side of Shuter's Hill, in a subdivision" now called Rosemont.  
SW Boundnary stone  Southwest Boundary Stone  

Southeast No. 4 Boundary Marker

Adjacent to Fairlington Village at the edge of east side of King Street between S. Wakefield Street and Route 395. According to Woodward, farm plows had destroyed the top of this stone by the early 1900s. After being repositioned when the highway was widened, the remaining portion of the stone has sunk very low into the ground but is still safe from vandalism or street traffic thanks to an ornamental fence enclosure.

Southwest No. 5 Boundary Marker

North side of Walter Reed Parkway 100+ feet east of intersection with King Street. Only the stump of this stone remains. Its current condition is consistent with Woodward's 1908 report that the "stone is broken, and the top seems to be lost. The entire base, with a few inches of the finished portion, was found lying on the ground in approximately the same spot where it had originally been placed." This stone is now nearly 45 feet from its original position and secured by a specialty fence Specialty Fence.

Topics: Fence Design, Perimeter Security, Gates, Specialty Fence, Commercial Fence, Historical Fence, Historical Fence, Code, Fence Permit, Regulation, Fence Maintenance, Maintenance, Cast Iron Fencing

How Can I Make My Gate Areas ATFP Compliant?

Posted by Kristen Fugere on Wed, Sep 26, 2012

Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection (AT-FP) is generally defined as a federal security program formed to protect personnel, information, and critical resources from outside attacks. These attacks could be attempted by the use of Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG), truck bombs, or any means of weighted attack force. Areas of planned security could include law enforcement buildings, intelligence and training facilities.

Data Center ATFP GateAT/FP Entry Systems or Gate Systems are created by using passive and/or non-passive barriers.  These gate access systems are specifically designed to reach a level of protection that the facility mandates. These mandates are found in the projects specification section and are designed by highly qualified engineers.

Passive Barriers allow the passage of entering vehicles at all times. This can be achieved by placing jersey wall barriers in away that creates a maze for the vehicle to maneuver.  This effectively forces the vehicle to slow down while permitting access.  This is only one example of this type of passive barrier.

Non-Passive Barriers are actually permanent entry obstacles. These are things like bollards, wedge barricades, drop arms, slide gates and newly designed net systems. These barricades can be used in conjunction with fences and gates or can actually be mounted to fences and gates. They are used more often than passive barriers because they can be moved in and out of their location with ease. This allows instant entry and immediately re-barricaded areas. Pop up bollards and wedge barriers are a favorite among these non-passive barriers for their reliability and relative indestructibility.

To understand the AT/FP entry systems and their requirements, one must also understand the overall perimeter requirements of the system. ATFP passive perimeter security can be accomplished with the use of steel cables or steel guardrails. This can also be setup by any combination of natural and manmade features when natural barriers are not sufficient or present. This can be achieved with ditches and berms, or large bolder (3ft. x 5ft.) placement and forestation. Distance can also be a great ATFP device when used in combination with an uneven or bumpy surface. This will slow down any moving vehicle or a truck bomb that is attempting to implode a building surface. Remember that AT/FP perimeters are specifically intended to stop only vehicle traffic. This perimeter prevents a bomb threat, not theft.  

ATFP Compliant GateIt is easier to implement the AT/FP standards when working on new construction rather than attempting to retrofit the system into an existing environment.  When retrofitting, much of the plan design work will be required to be done onsite and in an emergent way. This can lead to design difficulties and can turn out to be very costly. Conceiving a building or site around AT/FP barrier implements is much easier than situating the AT/FP elements around already existing structures. Imagine attempting to widen the distance between a building and the adjacent road line. It would be simpler to initially plan this rather than propose it at a later point in time.

Another method of obtaining this level of protection is to utilize Engineered K4|K8|K12 Ratings.  These engineered barriers have not undergone the Department of State authorized test, but does meet engineering criteria for equivalent levels of protection. Most Non-DOS Certified systems (other than U.S. Army Corp of Engineers USACE or Military Handbook MIL-HDBK specified) will require an engineer stamp indicating compliance assuring the expected level of protection.

Article contributed By Meagan Stone.

Topics: ATFP, Gates, Maximum Security Fence

What Are The Uses Of A Vertical Lift Gate?

Posted by Kristen Fugere on Thu, May 31, 2012

Vertical lift gate systems are used in situations that do not allow enough room for a simple slide gate or swing gate installation. These gates are adaptable to most limited space and terrain that are present at a site and come in a variety of continuous-duty operational models. Many federal, state, and local governments utilize vertical lift gates as the key form of entry. Mini-storage facilities, residential estates, gated communities use this style of gate as well.

A standard vertical lift gate can vary in length from 24’ to 26’ and in height up to 8’ and come in a wide variety of style choices from Arched Estate to chain link, in steel or aluminum. All of the safety and entry devices available for sliding or swinging gates are also readily available for lift gates. Custom and solar gates are also available, but some limitations - such as gate size and traffic volume - may limit the use of these gates. 

While there are some ostensible drawbacks to vertical lift gate systems – most notably their high initial financial investment, however their reliability and low maintenance costs offset the expenditure over time. Should a vertical lift gate suffer damage from being struck by a vehicle, repairs can be expensive in comparison to dealing with damaged swing or slide gates.

Vertical Lift Gate

Vertical lift gate systems are quite popular where space and terrain are a challenge. They are also in high demand where initial cost is not an issue. All safety features, including Fire and Police Entry systems, work well with these gates. Lift gates can be UL325 rated, and all their access control systems are compatible with vehicle loop detection and safety systems.  Lift gates can also be equipped with various anti-climb materials for security purposes.

As mentioned before, vertical lift gate systems are also popular in residential estates and gated comminutes. These applications are a great fit from a reliability, safety, and speed of operation standpoint. In addition, the low maintenance for this type of gate system makes it hard to pass up when considering the needs of an estate or high volume gated community.

When considering a gate system for individual needs, be sure to consider all the advantages that vertical lift gates bring to the table. If space is at a premium then a vertical lift gate may just be the ideal system to purchase and install.

Article contributed by Michael Fugere.

Topics: Gates

Get Free Widget

Recent Posts