A campus is a very active environment and not just during term time and day time. Whether busy with staff, students, service deliveries, cleaning or maintenance, areas where footfall is high mean any changes to access arrangements will impact on security and safety. What’s more, emergency situations require whole classes and crowds to be brought under control quickly and cordons established efficiently, safely and effectively.
As such, many problems can arise when even just one major access point to an institutional building, lecture hall or library, or recreational area such as dining hall needs to close - especially on campus where entrances aren’t just access points but also convenient meet-up locations for students.
Any need to take an entrance out of use means careful consideration of security, safety and awareness issues when it comes to placing barriers. In campus locations, any pedestrian segregation solution deployed needs to:
- Provide assured security, with minimal risk of being breached.
- Be highly visible to staff, students and visitors who, accustomed to using the entrance, would need to see from a safe distance that the entrance is not in use.
- Facilitate visibility for staff, i.e: not completely screen off the entrance as many popular hoarding and barrier solutions might.
- Be flexible in terms of the entire boundary area, which may need to be extended or reduced as work progresses.
- Offer easy site access for staff as required, without compromising the cordon’s purpose of keeping crowds separate from the work area.
- Be secure, tamper-proof and weather resistant.
- Be versatile enough to be used indoors or outside of the entrance area.
- Be quickly and easily deployed by staff.
- Be stored away neatly and unobtrusively afterwards.
Best fit solution
In such situations, finding the right solution the first time is essential. So it’s useful to know in advance which products might offer the best fit for campus control, by taking the advice of a professional who knows all about barrier solutions: Michael Knibbs, managing director of SafeSite Facilities.
Michael considered all aspects of a busy campus location, alongside requirements for keeping crowds away from the site, facilitating safety whilst the overall campus and building itself remains open, despite a main building entrance being closed.
In this situation, Michael identifies the barrier solution which offers best-fit for the multiple demands of the location is Turtlegate Barriers, as SafeSite Facilities has used these highly successfully in a similar situation in a London shopping centre. These barriers offer an innovative design which facilitates the functionality and the high degree of flexibility required for campus areas of high footfall:
- Versatile: Turtlegate barriers offer retractable adjustability, with each barrier providing an expanding deployable width from 600mm to a full 2.04m.
With two height options of 1.8m and 1.3m, barriers of 1.3m height particularly offer a good way of ensuring that the barriers can’t be breached by climbing, but do allow staff to see through and over the barriers, so that student safety and security can be monitored at all times.
- Easy handling and storage: When not in use, Turtlegate barriers retract to a compact 430mm width, for convenient storage. Each barrier has six rubber wheels, making conveyance for installation or redeployment quick and easy. The gates can be manoeuvred either flat on all six wheels, or tilted on two, and single barriers can be handled by just one person.
This presents an ideal solution on campus where deploying heavy lifting machinery for installation of barriers isn’t an option. Instead, the efficient handling and deployment features of Turtlegates makes a good match for the conveyance and installation requirements of campus entrances and access zones.
- Flexibility for floors: Entrances are zones which provide the transition between indoors and out, so it’s essential that any barriers provided can prevent access from either side of the entrance and be suitable for use inside and out.
Turtlegates have an aluminium alloy construction which is highly durable against all kinds of weather conditions, making them ideal for use outside the entrance. Inside, the rubber wheels of the gates mean minimal damage to internal floor surfaces such as tiles, meaning turtlegates offer the all-round functionality required by entrance settings.
- Barriers to access - with access: Securing an entrance - so that workers can gain access to carry out essential repairs but students and visitors can’t - means extra consideration must be given to the type of barrier used. Cordons which allow staff through but are easily breached by accident would not be appropriate, whilst solid barrier fencing could not offer the ready-access needed to accommodate staff and materials for making repairs.
In such situations, Turtlegates offer an excellent compromise. The rubber wheels lock for stability and individual gates can be extended and locked together to form a continuous system which is equally robust on both sides of the barrier. The alligator lock system allows access to be gained through individual sections when needed, without the risk of ‘accidental’ breaching or intentional breaches by vandals or criminals.
- Measuring up: the expand-to-fit retractable design means that, like retail areas, spaces such as campuses particularly benefit from the cost-effective best-fit options afforded by Turtlegate barriers. Individual barriers can be deployed at single entrances as well as to create ‘to-fit’ cordons for lift and elevator repairs, stairway and parking barriers (often needed on campus) and to mark out exclusion zones.
- Standing out: High visibility is essential on campus as students, staff and visitors need to be aware when entrances are not in use and diverted safely. For access control inside to out it’s essential that crowds inside the building are aware from a distance that the entrance was inaccessible. This is a particular consideration in the context of emergency evacuation risk management, especially where the busiest campus areas such as lecture halls, dining halls and libraries may be affected.
Turtlegate barriers fulfill all these requirements, with options of high visibility yellow or red available. These colourways are an effective choice for busy locations on campus, offering high visibility contrast against brickwork and building exteriors, whilst also providing a noticeable barricade inside.
Turtlegate barriers are also noticeable for the right reasons: delivering a smart and safe barrier solution that the ineffective provision of scruffy tapes and roped cordons cannot match.
Other visibility aspects of Turtlegate barriers also support safety monitoring at the out-of-use campus entrances, through offering visibility through the barriers. Deploying Turtlegates mean staff can monitor student crowd situations both inside and outside the entrance.
The right solution for the situation
On campus, Turtlegate barriers offer a highly visible, highly successful solution for crowd control. The system is also versatile in providing additional uses across campus, for instance by deploying to limit vehicle access, creating cordons for stand-back observation zones for displays and sports events, as Turtlegate barriers are easy to see, install and store, but not easy to breach or damage. Find out more about hiring or buying Turtlegate Barriers from SafeSite Facilities.