How Tripod Turnstiles Detect and Prevent Unauthorized Access

August 27, 2019

Most often, you can find tripod turnstiles on entry points that lead to restricted areas. That’s why they are common in high-level security buildings. But, a tripod turnstile itself isn’t smart enough to filter unauthorized people. So, it has to come with some kind of access control device.

Depending on the level of security you need, you can choose between different devices. Some are more advanced, while others are great for simple access control.

Biometric devices

Biometric readers are by far the most reliable devices for preventing unauthorized access. They use facial features, fingerprints, and the like to grant access. It’s difficult to cheat them since no two people are entirely identical.

All you would have to do is create digital templates of authorized people and store them in a database. When someone puts their finger on the scanner, the system would check the database. If the person is in the system, the turnstile will open to allow them to enter.

But, you will need to connect your turnstile to a network or an integrated security system.

RFID Readers

RFID card readers are popular access control devices for tripod turnstiles. They are easy to install and effective in the long run. The way they work is also rather simple.

First, you’ll have to create a database of authorized IDs. Then, you’ll have to give authorized people corresponding RFID cards. They will have to scan the cards before entry. If the ID is in the system, the tripod turnstile will unlock and allow passage.

However, it’s easy to trick RFID readers if an unauthorized person gets a hold of someone’s card. In case of theft or loss, you can simply deactivate it to prevent unauthorized entry in the future.

Combination of RFID reader and Face Detection

You can combine different systems to prevent people from misusing their RFID cards. But, you’ll need to hire a security officer.

Simply, when a person scans their RFID card, his or her photo will show up on the security officer’s computer. If they match, the turnstile will allow passage. The job of the security officer is to make sure that the right person is using the card.

Key Fob Reader

Key fobs and RFID cards are practically identical. The only difference between the two types is the design. Besides, key fobs might be more practical since it’s harder to lose them. You can keep your key fob on your keychain.

Infrared and Pressure Sensors

Tripod turnstiles can be fitted with infrared sensors to prevent unauthorized entry. If the sensors detect two people trying to enter at the same time, the turnstile will lock itself or trigger an alarm.

Also, some models have pressure sensors that can detect people trying to climb over them. That way, only the people that actually have clearance will be able to pass through the gate freely.


Tripod turnstiles prevent unauthorized access by locking after entry. That’s the most basic feature. When an authorized person passes through the gate, further entry is disabled. But you can override the locking system in case of an emergency.

The fastest way to disable a tripod turnstile is to cut the power. When that happens, the barrier arms will fall down, allowing for free passage.

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