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Types of Physical Security Barriers

Physical security is one of the most important and effective methods for businesses looking to secure their assets. Like it or not, businesses are often targeted by thieves due to their propensity for housing valuable equipment and stock. However, businesses can be protected using a multitude of security systems that can deter and prevent would be attackers from illegally entering your premises.

What are security barriers?

Simply put, physical security barriers are used to prevent unauthorised access to a premises. From turnstiles and bollards to rising barriers and gates, security barriers can come in many shapes and sizes all of which are most effective in different situations.

The different types of physical security barrier

There are 3 main types of physical security barriers: traffic barriers, gates, and turnstiles. However, each of these main types of barriers have their own sub-categories as well as some security barriers not falling into these categories. These outliers include the likes of rising kerbs and bollards, both of which can be extremely effective methods of controlling access to a premises.

Traffic Barriers

There are 3 different types of traffic barrier that are commonly found on business premises, these are Rising Arm Barriers, Height Restriction Barriers, and Swing Arm Barriers. Rising and swing arm barriers are among the most common methods of access control deployed. Rising arm barriers can be either automatic or manual as well be integrated with other technologies such as ANPR while also commanding less space when compared to their swing arm counterparts.

Height restriction barriers are commonly found at the entrances to car parks where the business wants restrict larger vehicles from accessing the area. Height restriction barriers can be paired with swing gates or swing arm barriers to create the ability to lock off the area to prevent access even for vehicles that meet the height requirement.


Similarly, to traffic barriers, there are 3 main times of security gate that are commonly used as access control solutions for businesses. These are Swing Gates, Sliding Gates, and Pedestrian Gates. All three types of security gate are available in automatic and manual variants making them easily customisable to a business’ needs.

In the case of swing gates vs sliding gates, each has their own advantages. For example, swing gates are easier to install due to the reduced groundwork that is required before installation whereas sliding gates create additional considerations before installation but have a much smaller footprint when opening and closing.

While less common than swing and sliding gates, pedestrian gates can be an effective access control solution for businesses who have large numbers of pedestrians entering the site and don’t wish to leave their primary gate open to allow access.


There are many different types of turnstile, including outdoor turnstiles such as single rotor and twin rotor turnstiles which can also provide robust security solutions. Single rotor turnstiles are an excellent solution for controlling the flow of personnel in or out of the premises whereas twin rotor turnstiles expand this control to personnel entering as well as exiting a premises.

Additionally, turnstiles are excellent solutions for controlling high volumes of entry, for example at sports stadiums. Each option has its own nuanced advantages which is why it is important to consider which is most suitable for your unique requirements.

Rising Kerbs & Bollards

Rising KerbRising kerbs and bollards are excellent methods of providing discrete access control as you are able to hide them away when you wish to allow access to an area and quickly deploy them again when needed. Unlike other traffic barriers, such as rising arm barriers, rising kerbs and bollards are often low usage, preventing or allowing access to a site during longer stretches of time. For example, a business may choose to deploy a rising kerb through the night but allow access to the premises throughout the day.

Where can security barriers be used?

Physical security barriers can be used to secure any premises, however they are most effective when deployed correctly. For example, rising arm barriers are most effective in situations where the vehicles entering and exiting the site will be frequent where as a sliding or swing gate is most effective at securing an entire site while also allowing vehicles to enter or exit the premises.

Does your business need physical security barriers?

Physical security barriers are a necessity for any business that has a physical premises. With more than 469,000 businesses experiencing crime in the last year and just 1% reporting having installed gates or barriers, there is a huge opportunity for UK businesses to improve their security.

Physical security can act as highly effective deterrent and preventative measures for crime against your business. Unsurprisingly, the retail sector is the most susceptible to crime however it is important that businesses in any industry consider how their premises are protected.

Learn more about crime against businesses in the UK in our blog – Business Crime Statistics 2023.

Secure your business with Newgate!

Here at Newgate, we provide a range of access control security products designed to help businesses improve their premises’ security. Our range of solutions includes all of the products mentioned within this article, all of which are custom made by our engineers to ensure that your exact security needs are met.

For more information on our range of security systems, please contact the team at Newgate today.

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