Feb 16, 2019 Last Updated 2:53 PM, Feb 5, 2019

Tips from Meesons A.I. on how to eradicate the issue in your institution

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Iain Entwistle, Product Marketing Manager at Meesons A.I., looks at the problems that can arise as a result of tailgating in restricted areas of a building, and how it can be prevented.


Building security can take a number of forms, ranging from CCTV and manned patrols through to physical access control and intruder alarms; all of which provide an adequate level of deterrence to intruders. However, in buildings with highly restricted areas, it is important to ensure the physical entrance barrier is effective in preventing tailgating and unauthorised access.

Tailgating is where a person gains entry into a building or restricted area without presenting a valid security credential such as an ID card or badge. It is one of the most common causes of unauthorised entry and can occur at any entrance or exit. In the majority of cases, tailgating is carried out by authorised personnel unwittingly. For example, when someone follows a colleague through a security entrance without using their own pass, or when someone holds the door for another person, which people are inclined to do. In strict access controlled environments, however, this can cause major problems as it allows would-be intruders to gain easy entry by stealth into sensitive and restricted parts of the building.

Despite, in most cases, tailgating occurring innocently, it can put the company’s assets and the safety of people in the building at risk, should an intruder with malicious intent gain access this way. In some cases, particularly in buildings such as scientific research centres and public institutes, it could result in sensitive data or even hazardous materials being stolen.

A considerable amount of effort has therefore gone into developing entrance control solutions that prevent tailgating and unauthorised access. These latest devices work by only permitting one person to enter or leave the building at once using an intelligent physical barrier, or electronically by incorporating sensors that detect when an unauthorised person attempts to piggyback their way into the building.

Doubling up

The most commonly chosen solution, particularly for buildings that have highly restricted areas but a high volume of people entering and leaving daily, are speed gates and security portals. Take the Francis Crick Institute, the largest purpose-built biomedical research institute under one roof in Europe. Home to 1500 scientists and staff, the institute is designed to support scientific research goals whilst promoting public engagement.

Encouraging interaction between scientists with an open feel and layout whilst being accessible to the public for lectures, exhibitions and a teaching laboratory for schoolchildren, meant varied levels of building security were required.

Five lanes of high glass speed gates were therefore installed within the main building reception to provide a stylish, quick throughput, controlled access solution. The inclusion of 1800mm-high glass wings also provided an added level of security once within the main entrance.

A higher level of security was required for the main research facility; therefore, security portals were installed in this area to provide a secure line to prevent unauthorised access. In order to maintain the high aesthetics of the building, the security portals were provided in a brushed stainless steel finish, which complement the modern appearance.

The intuitive interlock system enabled unmanned secure access for all staff to freely go about their work, day or night.



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