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Rising Arm vs Swing Arm Barriers: Which Should You Choose?

Rising Arm vs Swing Arm Barriers: Which Should You Choose?

When looking at barriers to secure your business premises, you may be torn between options. Manual or automatic? Rising or swing? It can be difficult to compare, choose and understand the benefits of each security barrier style.

What is a Rising Arm Barrier?

A rising arm barrier is a style of security barrier commonly used on business premises and car parks to prevent unauthorised access. Rising arm barriers are available in both manual and automatic variants.

Automatic rising arm barriers operate by using sensors to detect movement, such as vehicles. The arm will then elevate to allow the vehicle to pass through seamlessly and lower once the car has cleared the barrier and is a safe distance away. Manual rising arm barriers operate in an equivalent manner but require a manual input to raise and lower the barrier.

Automatic rising arm barriers can also be incorporated with other access control accessories such as ANPR which will raise the barrier when it scans the registration plate of an authorised vehicle. Intercom units are another popular accessory to partner with an arm barrier and this allows for visitors to identify themselves and explain their reason for requiring access to your business’s premises.

What is a Swing Arm Barrier?

A swing arm barrier is a manual security barrier that is also commonly used on business premises and car parks to control access, however they can also be seen in leisure environments such as parks to help with pedestrian flow.

Otherwise, swing arm barriers open horizontally and require a larger clearing space to operate otherwise they can cause damage to surroundings. Once closed, swing arm barriers can be securely locked to prevent unauthorised access on your grounds whilst you’re away.

The Pros of a Rising Arm Barrier

Simple & efficient

As rising arm barriers can be automatic, this removes the need for a person to manually operate the barrier. Rising barriers are highly efficient and require little maintenance, they also add a professional visual to business premises and car parks.

Improved flow

Rising arm barriers can help with the flow of vehicles in and out of busy areas such as car parks. Streamlining entry into car parks can help prevent a large build-up of traffic.

Reduced costs

As rising arm barriers can operate automatically and secure your premises 24/7, you may not need any additional security such as a security team to secure your premises overnight. This can help your business reduce costs whilst maintaining the same levels of security.

The Pros of a Swing Arm Barrier

Increased security

Swing barriers offer an excellent level of security for your premises and can be custom built to your exact requirements. They are harder to force entry compared to fences and wooden gates which can significantly weaker than a metal barrier. Swing arm barriers are constructed in a way that helps them evenly distribute their weight and force, this makes it harder for someone to break through and gain entry.

Improved look

If you’re looking to improve the look of your premises, a swing arm barrier is a fantastic way to do so. Fences and gates make look out of place or look too industrial and unwelcoming, a swing arm barrier is available in a range of sizes and colours to complement the look of your business premises and surroundings.


As swing arm barriers are manual, this makes them extremely easy to operate but does require someone to be on hand to operate the barrier, but this does not require any specific training. Furthermore, with swing arm barriers being manually operated, this eliminates the risk of a technical malfunction such as the barrier repeatedly opening and closing on its own and potentially causing damage.

Which is best for you?

The choice is really down to you! Both rising arm and swing barriers are suited towards commercial premises and car parks.

Automatic rising arm barriers are suited towards premises with a heavier traffic flow as they can operate seamlessly for all day. They also do not require as much clearing space compared to a manual swing gate, which requires space in front and behind so it can operate correctly.

Both styles of barrier provide a professional appearance and offer increased levels of security, they can operate throughout the day and night as well as through all weather conditions.

Security Barriers by Newgate

If you are looking to improve your business premises security, then Newgate are here for you! We design, manufacture and supply both rising arm barriers and manual swing barriers, we’ll create a security solution that is bespoke to your requirements. Start the process of improving your security today by contacting our friendly team!

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