We’ve all seen security gates at the mall that stop people from entering a closed store, but facilities and security managers should also install indoor and outdoor security gates in several other types of facilities, including restaurants, concession stands, arenas, hotels, parking garages, schools, museums, colleges, healthcare facilities, and airports.
Additionally, security gates should be designed for the organization they’re protecting.
Here are four reasons your facility should install security gates:
1. Limit Access
Security gates limit facility access to authorized personnel only. Having appropriate access control measures can also complement other security measures such as video cameras.
Roll-up security gates are helpful for retail and restaurant employees who must stay past closing to count money and perform cleanup procedures.
Moreover, when there’s an after-hours school event, such as a game, play, or concert, roll-up security gates limit where the public can go. Keep in mind that many of these events take place in the auditorium, cafeteria, or gymnasium, so install gates outside those common areas.
Permanent perimeter security gates should be considered for facilities like military installations, airports, and stadiums and can stop vehicles and pedestrians from entering except at entrances that are guarded by security personnel.
Interior portable security gates can easily be moved and adjusted to block people from entering restricted areas in large venues, as well as pop-up shops and booths, when hosting indoor special events.
2. Theft and Vandalism Protection
Breaking through, or trying to climb, a security gate can be a difficult and noisy task. As a result, police usually arrive before criminals can gain access, and therefore, criminals tend to hit easier targets.
After looters at the riots in 2020 broke into several Minneapolis businesses, the Star Tribune reported that car-repair shops, liquor stores, banks, and police stations installed security gates and shutters over their doors and windows that cost up to $40,000. They believed the cost was worth it to prevent their facilities from getting destroyed in future riots.
Organizations should consider installing scissor-style folding security gates for windows to protect against glass breakage. These types of gates can also be installed on back entrances and loading docks.
Fixed security gates can be added to regular doors, usually in outdoor locations, as well as driveways. Additionally, security bars can be added to windows.
Insurance companies look at an organization’s level of security and usually set a lower monthly rate for ones that implement security measures, as these properties are less likely to file insurance claims.
3. Threat Protection
It’s important to have proper perimeter security for your property by using locked exterior security gates. These gates can be used to keep active shooters out of your facility or trapped in a specific zone, for example.
Some security companies sell motorized roll-up security gates that can go down in hallways when a hostile event alarm is sounded and would prevent an intruder from moving to a different area.
These “hallway separations” are a recommended building design feature in the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) K-12 School Security Guide of 2022.
During an active shooter situation, retailers can pull down these gates to protect staff and customers from threats from outside their business.
If a motorized roll-up security gate is in a hallway, the fire alarm can force the gate to open, allowing the facility to meet fire code regulations so occupants can safely leave.
4. Improve Aesthetics
Interior and exterior security gates can be attractive if you choose the right materials and colors, preferably to mimic the building.
Think about installing interior security gates of the same color as the hallways with holes allowing light to shine through so the end of the hallway isn’t dark.
Cities like New York require streetside businesses to have open-grille security gates with 70% transparency, which allow interior lights to shine on the sidewalk, making the street more appealing and easy for window-shopping. Solid-panel security gates tend to attract graffiti and make an area appear less safe.
For outdoor gates, consider using steel, cast iron, reinforced concrete, granite, and other stones as recommended by Designing and Testing of Perimeter Security Elements: The National Capital Urban Design and Security Plan by the National Capital Planning Commission.
Also, consider implementing landscaping with security gates, which can include shrubs, flowers, and trees. Lighting features can be added to highlight pathways, gates, and architectural elements.
Facilities managers need to work with security managers to be successful in providing the proper security gates based on facility type. Security gates should limit access, provide protection from theft and vandalism, provide threat protection, and improve the aesthetics of the area.