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Automatic Security Barriers: More Safety & Security

Apr 13, 2021
Automatic Security Barriers: More Safety & Security

When looking at your business security, consider thinking about the overall site security rather than the building security. The measures you can put in place should make it hard for intruders to access as much of your site as possible. Every obstacle you put in their way makes them doubt their intentions to attempt a break-in. 

Automatic barriers can be the first line of defence. There are many types of security barriers. Some of them can be automated and grant access at a push of a button. Some can be integrated with your access control system to automate entrance and verify the identity at the same time.

Thus, security barriers can suit a wide variety of applications. For example, residential estates, construction sites, event venues, hotels, shopping centres, car parks and other high-traffic areas employ this security solution.  At the same time this solution can as well benefit a low-traffic neighbourhood and sites.

There are different types of automatic barriers available in the market depending on the desired application and the budget. First of all, we can distinguish between hydraulic motor and electromechanical motor barriers. 

  • A hydraulic unit demonstrates few maintenance issues when properly installed. They are very reliable and act as an effective deterrent in stopping a tailgating vehicle. However, it is not suitable for use in cold weather unless you install a temperature control unit.
  • An electromechanical controller is much quieter compared to the hydraulic unit. Even though this device is slower, it offers more control and allows setting variable speed for how fast the beam should rise. 

Depending on the desired way to grant access to users, there are security barriers with biometrics, swipe card or UHF readers, GSM module, remote controller and switch to exit button. Biometrics readers grant access using biometric-readers such as the face, fingerprint or iris options.

  • Swipe card readers use magnetic, proximity cards or key-chain FOB.
  • GSM module allows opening the barrier remotely by making a call.
  • The remote controller and radio receiver installed in the barrier allow controlling the access.
  • UHF readers and tags allow opening the barrier when a car with authenticated tags approaches the unit.
  • Switch to exit button allows the security personnel to control the to and fro access.


How to choose an appropriate automatic security barrier?

To provide the best level of business security at your premises, you need to understand the application, use frequency and space availability. Answering the following questions will facilitate your shopping experience: 

What is the expected duty cycle?

The duty cycle is the number of times the barrier can close and open without overheating. Residential barriers feature a 40-70 % duty cycle, whereas commercial ones ­- 100%. That means commercial automatic barriers are capable of continuous and intense use. 

What is the height and width of the installation area?

There are booms gates of different sizes and shapes to control your driveway (or other kinds of passage). The length of a beam can be from 2 to 13 meters. Hence, it is possible to suit the needs of the industrial and construction companies with oversized vehicles. 

What additional features are there?

There are some safety features to look for when choosing a decent security barrier, such as:

  • The Anti-crushing sensor stops repeated impact after hitting the object once.
  • Motion sensors are electronic devices that automatically detect obstacles or cars to enable the automatic rising of booms. 
  • Loop detectors are connected to create a magnetic field and detect the vehicle when it enters this field.
  • Battery backup makes sure your barrier can operate even in case of main power failure. 
  • The opening and closing speed for most conventional barriers are within the range of 1.5 seconds to 6 seconds.

International regulations or standards

Make sure your automatic barrier complies with international standards as it is one of the ways to guarantee its safety and quality.

Maintenance cost

When buying a barrier, think about maintenance and operating cost, which can also depend on the availability of its spare parts and qualified technicians.

Anti-panic unit or Anti-vandalism valve

The anti-vandalism valve protects the hydraulic system if the barrier arm is forced, whereas the anti-panic unit allows the manual opening of the beam during the power failure. These two systems cannot be installed together in the same system.


An automatic security barrier is the first line of protection against unauthorised visitors and vehicles. Choosing the most suitable barrier that significantly improves residential or business security is not that easy and straightforward.

To make the best choice you need to consider several factors, such as traffic intensity, types of users and the width of the roadway. For instance, low voltage barriers operated by remote controls are preferable for residential areas or areas with multiple user access. And the best option for heavy traffic areas is a barrier equipped with a magnetic loop system.

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