Door Detective securing internal office door

Why take a layered approach to enhancing building security?

In an era where security threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated, the need for a robust and multi-faceted approach to physical security for buildings has never been more critical. A layered approach involves implementing multiple security measures at different levels to create a comprehensive defence system. One key component of this layered security strategy is the use of entrance control turnstiles, which play a pivotal role in regulating access and strengthening a building’s perimeter.

If entrance control turnstiles serve as the first line of defence, effectively managing and monitoring the flow of individuals into a building and keeping unauthorised individuals out, why do you need additional layers of security?

Several reasons might be identified for this. Most obviously, a number of different security goals might exist in the same building. If you have an onsite server room or executive suite, for example, you might want to limit who can gain access to those particular areas, with only individuals with the highest security clearance permitted entry.

It’s also worth noting that turnstiles are not just physical security barriers, they can be integrated with intelligent access control systems and other building management systems to enhance security without compromising convenience, as well as gather insights about the use of a building.

Let’s explore how a layered approach, incorporating entrance control turnstiles, can significantly improve building security as well as offer additional benefits.

Creating a visible deterrent

When you enter a lobby, entrance control turnstiles act as a visible deterrent to potential threats. The presence of these barriers sends a message that people coming and going are being monitored, and access is restricted. These turnstiles don’t have to be physically imposing, and can be customised to complement a building’s aesthetic, but the psychological impact of a physical barrier can sometimes be enough to discourage unauthorised individuals from even attempting to breach the security perimeter.

Monitor and control the flow of people

If these turnstiles are integrated with a state-of-the-art access control system using advanced biometric scanners, RFID card readers, or keypad systems, they ensure that only authorised personnel gain entry beyond the lobby. As previously mentioned, this strict access control acts as a first line of defence, and significantly reduces the risk of threats from intruders outside of the organisation.

As well as ensuring only authorised individuals make it inside the building, an integrated system can facilitate the efficient flow of individuals, which is crucial in high-footfall areas such as office buildings, airports, and government facilities. As well as preventing overcrowding and frustration during peak hours, when working together entrance control and access control can also ensure the right people access the right parts of a building.

Let’s revisit the previous examples of an onsite server room or executive suite. While implementing a physical security measure at your main entrance effectively prevents unknown individuals from entering the building undetected beyond the reception area, it may not suffice in preventing authorised individuals within your organisation – or approved external visitors – from accessing more sensitive areas once inside. Therefore, it becomes imperative to consider applying additional layers of security to specific interior doors within your building.

The Fastlane Door Detective range reinforces access control systems and provides an extra layer of security and detection by monitoring the throughput of internal access-controlled doorways, corridors and passageways and ensuring that the ‘one person one door access’ rule is met.

Another common scenario involves a large, multiple occupancy office building, housing various companies. In the morning, upon entering the building, users approach the turnstiles and present their credentials, let’s say an ID card. The access control and Destination Control System (DCS) directs the user to the most suitable lift to access their floor. This not only lowers energy costs and shortens lift wait times – offering a quicker journey and improving user experience – it also enhances the overall security of the building by ensuring that people can only access the floors relevant to them.

Integration with surveillance systems

Taking security a step further, to create an interconnected security ecosystem, entrance control turnstiles can be integrated with surveillance systems too. CCTV cameras placed near entrances controlled by turnstiles can provide real-time video footage. In the event of an alarm and suspected breach, security personnel can review footage captured around the entry points and determine whether the individual causing the alarm is a friend or foe.

This integration enhances situational awareness and enables the most appropriate rapid response. If an employee has accidentally caused the breach, a reduced response may be appropriate. If an unknown individual is detected, this may need escalating and involve locking surrounding doors or deploying on-site security guards.

Safety should go hand in hand with security

A well-rounded security strategy must also account for emergency situations. Entrance control turnstiles are designed to allow quick and unimpeded egress in the event of an emergency, ensuring the safety of building occupants. This feature is critical for compliance with safety regulations and ensures that security measures do not compromise the well-being of individuals within the building.

How do I approach thinking about layered security?

Whether you are planning a single-layer system or complex multi-layered solution, it’s worth really considering what you’re protecting – people, property or data. Perhaps it’s all these things. This can inform another question: to what degree can you accept detection (knowing there has been a breach and being able to determine the best course of action) versus prevention (making sure there isn’t a breach in the first place)?

A layered approach to physical security, with entrance control turnstiles as a key component, provides a comprehensive and effective defence against a wide range of threats. By combining access control, deterrence, traffic flow management, integration with surveillance systems and emergency egress considerations, these turnstiles contribute significantly to creating a secure environment for both personnel and assets within a building.

As security challenges continue to evolve, embracing a layered approach with cutting-edge technologies like entrance control turnstiles is essential for staying ahead of potential threats.

To get help on this or any other aspect of your layered security solution, please get in touch by calling +44 (0)208 890 5550 or emailing