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Entry standard

Installing LPS 1175-compliant security portals is the best way to prevent forced entry to commercial buildings, argues Martin Washby, Technical Services Manager at Meesons AI

Damage caused by unauthorised entry into commercial buildings can be far-reaching, not just in terms of theft but also for the safety of staff. Owners and managers have a duty of care to ensure that only those people who should be in the building gain access.

Criminals will always try to get in through the building’s weakest point, which in most cases is the entrance. Thieves know there is safety in numbers and will often try to ‘tailgate’ their way in unnoticed, closely following the person in front as they pass through the physical entry barrier. An easy way to prevent this is to specify a security portal or speed gate that is fitted with anti-tailgating features.

Choosing the right anti-tailgating system depends on a number of factors. The starting point is usually an assessment of the overall level of security risk; this will determine the kind of physical entry access needed, and with it the level of anti-tailgating technology. This is influenced by factors such as whether the entry point is monitored by security staff and the number of people entering and exiting the building.

Speed gates are often chosen for buildings where there is a medium to high volume of traffic because they provide the optimum combination of performance, throughput and aesthetics, while preventing tailgaters. Buildings that require more specific entry control measures may well find that a security portal offers the best solution.

Security portals only allow one person to transit through the interlock at any one time, and only after they have presented their ID badge, card, biometrics or Pin. Our APD ultrasonic sensors, for example, scan inside the portal to ensure that only one person has entered. If more than one person is detected – indicating someone is trying to tailgate their way into the building – the internal doors remain closed, preventing the transit. In these situations, security portals provide a round-the-clock unmanned secure entrance solution, allowing access to authorised users day or night.

Security portals are also effective because they create an enclosed, physical barrier at the point of entry. When enhanced security is required – meaning a criminal may use force to gain entry – a security portal that achieves LPS 1175 security ratings S1, S2 and S3 is a good choice. Compliance with LPS 1175 means the portal will provide resistance to determined attempts at forced entry using a range of techniques, including the creation of noise. Bullet-resistant glazing may be an option where extreme levels of force may be used. Buyers should look for Secured by Design (SBD) accreditation – the national police initiative that seeks to ‘design out’ crime through the use of high-quality, innovative products and processes.

Because LPS 1175-approved security portals are able to withstand forced entry attempts, the standard is now a requirement on projects in many different sectors including education, finance, healthcare, manufacturing, the public sector, residential, retail and utilities.

When choosing an LPS 1175 security portal, it’s preferable to specify a product that incorporates large glazed areas and has minimal framework. This will offer high transparency, making it a secure alternative to revolving doors. This type of portal also prevents the building entrance from appearing fortress-like and intimidating to staff and customers. That makes them suitable for architects looking for a secure but stylish solution.

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