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Security gates

In a way, security gates serve as filters. They allow people, materials or vehicles to be checked and thus reduce the risk potential associated with them.

Such systems are used in nuclear power plants, research and data centres or other potentially vulnerable buildings. In everyday life, we are familiar with such gates at banks and airports.

Once we’ve clarified the question as to who is allowed to enter certain buildings, areas or rooms and who is not, the next step is to focus on how visitors are handled, and on how bags, backpacks, cameras, smartphones and laptops brought by visitors should be checked. As mentioned above, not only people, but also goods and materials as well as vehicles can be checked and directed using security gates.


Personnel interlocks 
Personnel interlocks prevent unauthorised persons from entering a room or area. It is thus possible to control each individual person. In this way, only those who are actually authorised to do so can enter a building. Personnel interlocks are cabins with two access doors and are usually designed in such a way that only one person at a time can enter the interlocks. This measure can also be combined with biometric methods.

Material locks
Material locks ensure that a material enters a safety zone separately from the respective personnel. The personnel reach the safety zone via a personnel separation system / personnel interlock and take charge of the material in question on the other side of the interlock. Depending on type and location, material locks consist of a chamber that’s accessible via two or more interlock doors. Material locks are familiar to us from the process of screening luggage for suspicious objects and materials at airports. Here, too, people and materials, such as luggage, enter via separate routes.

Security zones
In the event of high security risks, large-scale interlocks are set up in different zones, such as at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, which is considered the most secure in the world. Here, the checks already begin four kilometres before the actual approaches to the terminal on roads that are already designed to accommodate a possible deployment of security forces. The G7 summit at Schloss Elmau in 2015 still followed this maxim too: a secluded location, secured by means of different zones.

Vehicle security gates
In addition to mobile personnel interlocks, vehicle security gates are also used, in which entire vehicles are screened. Vehicle gates are used at prisons or high security institutions, such as the premises of the German Federal Intelligence Service in Berlin. In such cases, they form the only connection between the forecourt and the inside of the prison or building, usually in combination with a personnel interlock. They are usually located at the gate guard.

In addition, vehicle security gates regulate coordinated access to the grounds, for example for the emergency services in the event of a fire or emergency. Security gates are often combined with other access control and perimeter security measures, as in the cases described.

Would you like to retrofit security interlocks into your existing security concept? Are you constructing a new building and want to ensure that the organisational and technical aspects work together optimally? Contact us – we’re happy to provide detailed advice.


Stefan Müller
Authorized signatory
Area Manager Security Planning

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