Perimeter fence with coils of barbed wire

How can access control create a secure environment, without it feeling like a prison?

Controlling access into buildings and safeguarding people, assets and information has rapidly risen up the agenda for property owners, businesses, employees and tenants alike. In the past, when people thought of high security measures to prevent unauthorised access, images of hostile-looking, full height turnstiles, perimeter fences and rigorous, frustrating security screening processes might have come to mind. Now, aesthetics and user experience need not be compromised in order to provide the required level of security, meaning that users have the assurance of being safe without feeling like they’re entering a fortress.

“During a panel discussion we took part in, an audience member from a large web-based global retailer asked a question about how they could secure their offices without making employees feel like they were working in a maximum-security prison,” comments Tony Smith, Major Accounts & Marketing Manager at Integrated Design Limited. “Our Fastlane turnstiles range – blending quick throughput, elegant design, integration capability and high security – are ideal to meet this kind of brief.”

Providing confidence and free movement to authorised personnel

Successful security systems provide users with confidence that a threat will be thwarted, but they don’t prohibit the free movement of authorised individuals. When a new system is installed, to obtain fast user acceptance there has to be a minimal delay between the person presenting their credentials and access being granted. All Fastlane products are designed with the latest optical technology, enabling optimum throughput of authorised users with minimum intrusion in their daily lives.

Tony continues. “Behind the beautiful exterior of our Fastlane range, the infrared matrix that drives the decision to authorise entry makes thousands of calculations per second based on luggage being carried or pulled, tailgating, unauthorised passages and much more. This intelligent technology is capable of processing up to 60 people per minute, one at a time, meaning that users don’t feel that their lives are being inconvenienced or disrupted by security.”

Whilst there isn’t a lot you can do to improve on our technology, there are a number of ways in which we can make bespoke units to blend into any environment.

Complementing architecture and interior design

Working closely with architects over the past 30 years, we understand the importance of great design. We’ve also noticed that architects are increasingly considering access control solutions during the building design stages, with how a solution fits within the building’s architectural style an essential factor. This is why even our standard units are developed with elegance in mind, to ensure that they complement the environments they are protecting and aren’t obtrusive.

For those looking for a turnstile that is unique to them and blends seamlessly into their environment – for example, the Angel Building, London – we also offer bespoke finishes. Whether the requirement is for corporate discretion or colourful expression, if security measures are considered during the design phase and built in from the outset, then the solution will generally be far more aesthetically pleasing, reducing the chances of creating a hostile, ‘fortress-like’ environment for those that use it on a regular basis.

Integrated technologies minimise inconvenience to the user

When it comes to pedestrian entrance control, the security process needs to be as easy and simple to use as possible. We’ve already mentioned the importance of speed of throughput, but another consideration is how integrating access control turnstiles with other technologies can heighten the user experience. For example, fusing biometric and analytical technologies – including facial recognition and body behaviour analytics – can provide high security access control without users having to fumble around for misplaced ID cards. All they need to gain entry is themselves – their retina, fingerprint, gait.

Another integration which improves traffic flow and helps users is pairing the individual’s profile with the floor he/she works or lives on. When an individual presents his/her card or biometric credentials to the turnstile, a lift is automatically called from the bank and the individual is guided to the car which is going to deliver the quickest journey. This capability also provides added value across building management systems such as HVAC. You can read more about delivering time and space efficiencies with integrated lift destination controls here.

Sleek high security solutions

Choosing the right product to meet the security need is essential. If you’re just looking to monitor passage in and out of a building, an Optical turnstile offers a barrier-free and unobtrusive solution. If you need to physically prevent unauthorised access beyond a certain point, you may wish to consider a higher security alternative, such as the Glassgate 400, which offers the highest level of physical deterrent available in the Fastlane range.

Optical turnstile – Clearstyle 400

Even if your requirement is for high security, you still want the chosen solution to complement the environment it is protecting. When the Fastlane Glassgate 400 was first launched, some believed that the full height design – featuring 1.8m of toughened safety glass barriers and now with an optional locking brake – would be too intrusive to be well received by the market and there would be resistance from end users, who might view it as unnecessarily robust. However, this perception has been shown to be incorrect, with the high level of security provided combined with its modern, sleek design, making it one of our best-selling products.

Glassgate 400

A balance between welcoming and secure

In order for security to heighten user experience, rather than cause inconvenience and make people feel like they’re entering a maximum-security prison, a balance between welcoming and secure needs to be achieved. Fastlane continues to evolve its product development to meet the changing requirements from the industry, reflecting the growing concerns about threat and the increasing demand for more prominent security to give confidence to users, provide a psychological barrier to intruders, as well as physically preventing them from gaining unauthorised access, whilst still maintaining elegant design to complement a building’s aesthetic.

To find out how Fastlane’s innovative entrance control solutions can help your organisation to protect its people, assets and operations with style, please contact our team on +44 (0)20 8890 5550 or email