Turnstile Glossary

Turnstiles are modern security gates used in securing entry and exit points of a wide range of facilities today. They help in preventing tailgating, piggybacking, and overcrowding. Most people misspell the turnstile and confuse between the related terms. To help you avoid the trouble, we created this comprehensive turnstile glossary to help you understand every term related to the turnstile and its meaning.


What is Access Control?

Access control is the act of controlling who has authorized access to a building, data, or resources. It is commonly used in the security and IT industry.

What is Access Control System?

An access control system is a system where devices and softwares work together to determine who can enter and exit a facility. It is a vital security measure in a wide range of facilities today and can be integrated with different types of turnstiles.

What is an Alarm System?

An alarm system is basically a set of components that produces audible, visual, or other kinds of alarm signals to alert individuals about an urgent problem or situation.

What is an Alert?

Alert is a type of signal that alarms people about a problem or situation. It can be in audio and video form.

What is ADA Turnstile?

ADA turnstile is a special type of gate that is compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act manufacturing standards. These gates are atleast 32 inches wide and provide extra space so people with disabilities can enter and exit easily.

What is an Arm Cover?

Arm cover is a cushioned safety pad designed to prevent injury while using turnstiles. It is used to cover the arm of the turnstiles and make them comfortable to use.

What is Arm Length?

Arm length defines how long is the arm of the turnstile. It is always measured from the arm hub to the tip of the arm.

What is Antipassback Turnstile?

A turnstile that comes backed with anti-passback feature is called antipassback turnstile. It is an advanced security feature used to prevent tailgating.


What is a Barrier-free Turnstile?

A barrier-free turnstile is a special type of turnstile that uses optical beams to detect users instead of using mechanical barriers. Most of the optical turnstiles are barrier-free these days.

What is a Bi-directional Turnstile?

A bi-directional turnstile is a type of turnstile that can be accessed from two directions. In other words, it allows you to enter and exit from both directions.

What is Baseplate?

The bottom part of the turnstile cabinet is the base plate. Its job is to lay a foundation for installing the turnstile properly and help it stay firm in the position.


What is a Card Reader?

A card reader is a device utilized in physical security systems like turnstiles to read credentials through radiocommunication and grant access. Magnetic stripe reader, bar code reader, proximity reader, smart card reader, and biometric reader are some intuitive examples.

What is Cabinet?

A cabinet is a part of the turnstile responsible for housing the arms and accessories. It is available in a wide range of colors, finishes, and styles.

What is Cabinet Style?

Cabinet style is a term used in describing the finish, color, shape, and size of the turnstile cabinet.

What is Clockwise Rotation?

When the arms of the turnstiles rotate in the same direction as the clock’s hand, they are said to rotate in a clockwise direction.

What is Conduit Opening?

A conduit opening is basically a hole through which primary cables are connected to the turnstile. Most often this hole is present on the underside of the turnstile cabinet baseplate and wiring is done from the ground.

What is a Counter?

The counter is a turnstile accessory used in facilities where tracking of people entering and exiting is a priority. It is great for collecting data in a facility.

What is Counter Clockwise Direction?

When the arms of turnstiles rotate in the opposite direction to the clock’s hand, they are said to be in a counter-clockwise direction. Its other name is anticlockwise direction.

What is Crawl Detection?

Crawl detection is a security feature that uses infrared transmitters & receivers to detect an individual while crawling over or under the turnstile.

What is Crawl Over Protection?

Crawl overprotection is a safety feature that detects when an individual tries to crawl over turnstile arms without any access permission.

What is Crawl Under Protection?

This is a safety feature that detects when someone tries to access a facility by crawling under the turnstile arms. It uses infrared transmitters and receivers for detection.

What is a Credential?

A credential is digital or physical proof that allows you to pass through an access control system. It is verified by card readers.


What is Dry Contact?

Dry contact is the medium through which readers and turnstile solenoids communicate with each other and decide when to unlock/lock the turnstile. It is also called volt-free.


What is Electronic Operation?

Electronic operation refers to the process of locking solenoids and an electronic interface board with flexible time control.

What is Electronic Control?

Electronic control is an intelligent feature that allows connecting turnstile with third-party access control softwares.


What is Fail-Safe Operation?

Under fail-safe operation, the turnstile gate is free to spin and rotate freely during a power outage, failure, or emergency.

What is a Fail-Secure Operation?

During a power outage, the turnstile will lock itself and can’t be used manually by individuals. This feature is called a fail secure operation.

What is Flow?

Flow refers to the number of individuals passing through the turnstile in a fixed interval of time. The core purpose of deploying turnstiles is to control traffic flow and avoid overcrowding.

What is a Full-Height Turnstile?

A full-height turnstile is one of the most secure turnstiles. It revolves in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions. Plus it can be crawled under or climbed over.

What is Free Egress?

The verbal meaning of free egress is to exit freely. All-access control systems come with this feature to allow unrestricted excess through turnstiles. It is used often during emergencies.


What is Gate?

Gate is a hinged barrier used in creating an entrance and exit path for visitors. Turnstile is a specialized type of gate that allows users to enter a facility one at a time.


What is a Hands-free Turnstile?

A hands-free turnstile is a special type of turnstile that allows authorized individuals to enter a facility without any touch or human intervention.

What is Heel Guard?

A heel guard is a cushioned sleeve used in covering the lowest arms of large turnstiles. It ensures no individual gets a heel injury while using the turnstile. It is also called a heel pad.

What is Hub?

Hub is referred to as the junction where all the endpoints of three turnstile arms meet and connect with the turnstile mechanism.

What is Hydraulic Shock Suspension?

Hydraulic shock suspension is a mechanism that allows system engineers to control the speed at which turnstile arms can spin. This should be set properly, else can lead to potential injuries and harm to individuals passing through the turnstile.


What is an Impassable Barrier?

A hard to breach barrier is termed an impassable barrier. For example, a full-height turnstile is an impassable barrier that doesn’t allow unauthorized individuals to pass through in any possible way.


What is a Lane?

A lane is simply a passageway with the help of which individuals can enter or exit a facility. The fundamental purpose of using turnstile gates is to provide controlled entry into the lanes and avoid overcrowding.

What is Lane Status Indicator?

Lane status indicator is present on the top of optical turnstiles. It produces a visual signal that indicates whether the lane is open or closed

What is Lane Width?

Lane width is referred to the width of the passageway. Generally, ADA turnstiles have large width compared to other types of turnstiles.

What is Left-Handed Turnstile?

With reference to the direction and position of the turnstile, we term them as a left-handed and right-handed turnstile. For example, a waist-high turnstile will be considered left-handed if its cabinet is situated on the left side of the entrance.

What is a Locked Entry?

This is a turnstile mechanism configuration used in locking entry in the facility. Using free egress entry or presenting credentials is the only way to pass locked entry.

What is a Locked Exit?

This is a turnstile mechanism used in locking the exit in the facility. Individuals have to present credentials or use the free egress feature to exit the building in this case.


What is a Mechanism Plate?

This is a steel plate on which the turnstile mechanism is fixed. It lays the foundation of the turnstile.

What is a Motion Sensor?

A motion sensor is an electronic device used in detecting moving objects and individuals. It is most commonly utilized in access control systems.

What is Manual Key Override?

Manual key override is a safety feature that unlocks the turnstiles & access control systems during hardware failure or emergency.

What is Motorized Turnstile?

A motorized turnstile is a turnstile that uses an internal motor for its efficient opening and closing. It can’t operate without any motor.


What is One-Way Swing?

One-way swing means a gate that swings only in one direction.

What is Optical Turnstile?

Optical turnstiles are a special type of turnstiles that utilizes infrared optical beams to control entry in a facility. They are barrier-free and don’t come with arms as well.

What is Optical Lane Mounting Platform?

An optical lane mounting platform is used in installing optical turnstiles. It reduces the need of drill or cutting floors for installation purpose.


What is Padded Arm Cover?

Padded arm cover is a type of safety sleeve used in covering the arms of the turnstile. It is utilized to avoid potential injuries.

What is Piggybacking?

Piggybacking is a technique that unauthorized people use to access the turnstile and enter the facility with the help of an authorized user.

What is Portable Turnstile?

Portable turnstile is a compact turnstile that can easily be moved from one place to another depending upon the security requirements.

What is Power Outage?

Power outage is an event when the electrical power supply in a turnstile stops. It occurs because of bad climate or due to underlying problems in the electricity network.

What is Power Supply?

Power supply is an electrical device that transfers electric power to the load; an component that consumers electrical power.


What is Quality Control?

Quality control is the process of manufacturing products according to industry standards. For example, turnstiles need to pass a certain level of tests before they are deployed in the workspaces.


What is Reader Integration?

This is a process of integrating an identification reader with turnstile gates. It is initiated to improve the access control capabilities of a turnstile.

What is a Right-Handed Turnstile?

With reference to the direction and position of the turnstile, we term them as a left-handed and right-handed turnstile. For example, a waist-high turnstile will be considered right-handed if its cabinet is situated on the right side of the entrance.


What is Safety Sleeve?

Safety sleeve is a cushioned pad used in covering the arms of turnstiles. It used in preventing potential injuries that may happen to individuals while using the turnstiles.

What is Shock Absorber?

Shock absorber is a component used in the turnstile mechanism. It plays a vital role in controlling the rotation speed of turnstile arms.

What is Solenoid?

Solenoid is a transducer that converts electrical energy into linear motion. In an turnstile, the job of solenoid is to deliver the motion required to lock and unlock the gear that foresees the turnstile motion.

What is Swipe to Enter?

Swipe to enter is a feature in modern turnstiles where users have to swipe a card in order to access a facility. Without card, an individual is not allowed to pass the turnstile gate.


What is Tailgating?

Tailgating is a technique in which an authorized person tries to access a restricted facility by following an authorized person. The fundamental idea of introducing turnstiles in facilities is to prevent tailgating and overcrowding.

What is a Turnstile?

Turnstile is a type of security gate used in controlling entry and exit in and out of a facility. It allows one person to pass at a time and helps in avoiding overcrowding.

What is a Tripod Turnstile?

This is a half-height turnstile with three revolving arms that rotate vertically to allow one person to pass at a time.

What is a Tandem Turnstile?

A tandem turnstile is a combination of two full height turnstiles. It is ideal for facilities where saving space is a priority.

What is Throughput?

Throughput is the measure of how quickly permitted individuals can pass through a turnstile. Facilities with access control systems tend to have low throughput rate while the ones with no access control systems deliver high throughput rate.


What is a Waist-High Turnstile?

When the arms of a turnstile reaches up to the waist of the user, this turnstile is called a waist-high turnstile.

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