EXCLUSIVE: How secured entrances add elegance to banks

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Derek Nilsen, Director of Marketing at Boon Edam reveals how enhanced security measures can reinforce the aesthetics of banks and financial institutions.

Security for banks

The need to implement tighter security controls while maintaining an open and welcoming environment is now a common challenge for a myriad of businesses and organizations.

This is especially true for banks and other financial institutions that are looking to create memorable and repeatable experiences for both customers and employees alike.

In today’s unpredictable environment, the need to control public access in bank lobbies and internal spaces and provide natural fluidity of movement requires the right balance of secured entry solutions to allow freedom of movement, yet help prevent security breaches, reduce potential liabilities and protect employees and patrons.

Aside from the very dangerous threats and financial losses resulting from bank robberies, the list of potential threats that banks face today includes events that can happen in a flash and be just as dangerous.

Too many to mention protests and even violent takeovers of financial institutions protesting various political and social causes have shut down large-scale operations and caused significant harm to the reputations of these companies.

In addition to active shooters and marauding crowds, workplace violence and vagrant intrusions add to the challenges of recruiting and retaining employees.

These risks pose real threats, not just to short-term profitability, but to long-term business continuity and the reputation of your company.

When designing a lobby, architects may incorporate a variety of different aesthetic elements to complement the physical location.

Such elements can range from multi-story atriums with large open areas, including water features, gardens or inviting cafes to create a friendly environment for employees and visitors alike.

When visitors walk into one of these locations, they intuitively respond favorably to environments where they feel comfortable – and safe.

Yet at the same time, financial institutions are challenged with maintaining security in these public facing areas.

Layering security entrances and sensor technologies provides the best way to meet this challenge.

Layering security entrances

Layering is a concept that involves deployment of different classifications of security entrances at different locations throughout the facility.

For example, there are security entrance solutions that work well at public entrances where guards are typically present to help best manage traffic flow and others designed to help prevent unauthorized access at unattended entrances.

The same holds true for internal access/egress points to safe deposit and currency exchange areas, on-site data closets or server rooms, data center terminal or classified document working spaces and so on.

It’s not practical to install a full-scale access control solution for a public entrance that impedes the free flow of traffic.

However, revolving doors can help reduce the vulnerability of lobbies as targets by controlling the speed and flow of access while creating a striking first impression.

For unattended entrances, revolving doors can be outfitted with high security features like card or biometrics readers to limit access to only authorized individuals.

For added security during off hours, external sliding doors can be installed around the drum of the revolving doors (a.k.a. “night locking doors”) to completely enclose these entrances after hours to prevent intrusion and tampering.

Additionally, revolving doors can be outfitted for automatic lockdowns, allowing security personnel to lock a revolving door’s rotation at the push of a remote button should they see suspicious behavior or trouble brewing outside.

This can buy time for the police to arrive and mitigate the problem before it escalates.

Revolving doors can also be outfitted with laminate film for small arms bullet resistance as well as glass breakage due to burglaries, hurricanes and blast.

The result is a strong barrier of glass that protects against active shooters and unauthorized entry and smash-and-grab burglaries while deterring further criminal behavior.

Revolving doors can also be supplemented with overhead sensors that automatically detect when more than one person attempts to enter the same revolving door compartment in an access-controlled environment, thus preventing a common tactic for unauthorized entry aptly named “piggybacking”.

Revolving doors also provide numerous secondary advantages including energy savings to help maintain interior temperatures and eliminate drafts – all while making a strong statement of elegance that enriches the overall user experience. 


For high-security interior locations within a bank, such as safe deposit box areas, interlocking portals – also called mantraps – prevent unauthorized entry in the form of tailgating and piggybacking.

Unlike revolving doors that allow simultaneous two-way high-capacity traffic flow, interlocking portals allow two-way traffic flow in one direction at a time.

When integrated with an access control system or manually activated release controlled by bank personnel, a mantrap can become an integral component of a bank’s internal security plan.

Additionally, mantraps can be upgraded with bullet-resistant or vandal-resistant laminates for additional security and support regulatory compliance, risk and liability reduction and accurate metrics collection.

Other interior locations of a bank can also benefit from the installation of turnstiles for low-security areas such as teller lines and ATM areas as well as private banker meeting cubicles and meeting rooms.

These are available in a variety of configurations including optical turnstiles, tripod turnstiles and even full height turnstiles for high-security indoor and outdoor applications such as employee parking areas or armored car access.

All of these secure entry solutions provide pedestrian traffic management and control with varying levels of security.

They can be deployed with options such as biometric readers and tailgating and piggybacking sensors to provide added layers of protection for specific applications.

Security entrances combine the ideal combination of visual deterrence with physical security and access management to provide banks and other public facing financial institutions with a proactive solution for safety and security that is field proven to be effective.

They discourage casual intrusion attempts and random acts of vandalism while also helping to defend against determined hardline criminals without impeding normal pedestrian traffic flow.  

This article was originally published in the November edition of Security Journal Americas. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.

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