5 Things to Consider before Installing a Full Height Turnstile

August 13, 2019

All said and done, it is important that every business allocates an adequate budget to ensuring stringent security measures in their office/factory premises. This is necessary for the safety of their employees, assets, and property.

Installing full-height turnstile gates can go a long way in making sure your establishment’s access points are secured and protected from unauthorized entry/exit as well as infringement.

Here are a few factors to consider before installing such an access control system.

1. The Number of Turnstiles to Be Installed

Typically, the number of turnstiles to be installed depends on the size of the entrance of your establishment. A bigger entrance will mean more turnstiles. Further, you need to take into account the throughput and peak traffic at the entrance. Installing more turnstiles will increase the throughput speed as more turnstile lanes will enable more people to pass through them per minute.

Compliance to ADA should also be considered before deciding on the number of turnstile gates. Typically, every access point at your facility should have at least one convenient entryway for those using wheelchairs, walkers, or other forms of disability-related aids.

2. Configuration of the System

It is crucial to configure your turnstiles to meet your premise’s unique needs. Begin by deciding on whether your turnstile gates should spin in one or both directions.

For example, single-direction movement is suitable for entry/exit-only access points, while bi-directional movement will be better for access points that grant entry as well as exit.

You also need to consider the turnstile handedness. In full height turnstiles, this is determined by the rotation direction at the time of entry. The arms will rotate either clockwise or anticlockwise, and users can be taken through the turnstile cage to either the left or the right of the center post. Depending on your needs, you can decide on a left or a right-handed turnstile.

Another factor to consider is whether the turnstile should be locked on entry, exit, both, or neither. You can configure any combination of locked and unlocked for entry and exit.

For example, you may want the turnstiles to check for user credentials only upon entry and allow free exit. Here, a locked-entry, free-exit bidirectional turnstile gate will be ideal.

Check if the turnstiles use admission counters to record the number of rotations for counting the entries, exits, or both. Also, it helps if the turnstiles are embedded with a range of readers than can read information from different credential-containing devices/cards to grant access.

3. Certifications and Built-in Safety

It is necessary to ensure that the turnstiles you install are tested and certified by UL, and that they conform with both, UL and CSA standards.

Apart from this, turnstiles should also come with built-in speed controls for arm rotation. This helps the arm rotation speed to automatically adjust to the user’s pushing force. So, even if the user pushes the turnstile arms with great vigor, their speed will be controlled.

Having this control in place improves safety by reducing the likelihood of a rapidly spinning rotating section that may harm users. It also decreases the possibility of the rotating section moving back towards the user at the end of the rotation. Instead, the rotation section will return back to its home position and lock in place, ready to allow access to the next user.

4. Integration with Existing Security System

Your full height turnstile should be able to easily integrate with your existing access control system and accommodate a wide range of credential readers. For example, it should be able to work in tandem with your security cameras, fire alarms, and so on to alert concerned authorities while counting the footfalls in the turnstile lanes.

It should also be able to consider a number of entry input methods and operate with cards, keypads, and biometric entry systems.

5. Maintenance and Upgradation

Before you decide on a turnstile, ask about the terms and conditions for upgrades and replacements, along with the warranty and service period. Your access control system should evolve with your business’s needs and improve with technological advancements. It should also be able to withstand constant wear and tear in high traffic. Only then can it be considered reliable for the long term.


Full height turnstiles enable high-level security to competently avert potential trouble by restricting prohibited people and/or material from entering secured premises.

Installing these gates requires careful consideration of several factors to ensure that the right access control system is in place. The above pointers should help in this regard.