High-Tech Solutions

High-Tech Solutions

Reaching out to the perimeter to protect the first line of defense

Nearly everyone is familiar with the standard manned guard booth in which a person sits and allows drivers in and out of a facility; however, border stations, government buildings, military bases and other locales where there can be a “very unwanted guest” all use much highertech security booths.

A High-Tech Security Booth

Bullet-resistant booths can be specified as Level 1, 2, 3 or 4, with 4 providing the highest level of resistance. These booths are tested and certified to conform to Underwriters Laboratories standard UL 752 and others as required. If wanted, they are pre-wired to N.E.C. (i.e. 125 AMP, 120/240 Volt, 6/12 station, single phase or whatever current is used in that region) and come fully assembled, ready for service.

Bullet-resistant, Level 4 booths currently protect the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., but companies don’t have to be the Pentagon to take advantage of the high security these booths have to offer. High security booths are used for applications that range from the Ontario Airport to Cairo embassies needing extra security.

For instance, 50 custom-designed, bullet-resistant guard booths are now used at the San Ysidro Landed Port of Entry (SYLPOE), the busiest land port in the world. Located between San Diego, Calif., and Tijuana, Mexico, the port processes an average of 50,000 northbound vehicles per day. The majority of the traffic lanes have two stacked, bullet-resistant inspection booths created by Delta Scientific for northbound traffic, effectively doubling the capacity of the 24 existing booths.

These highly energy-efficient structures have a photovoltaic and Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) roof structure that will shade cars and officers while providing rain and sun protection for officers inside the booths. Because of its translucence, it allows for natural light, thereby requiring no artificial lighting during the day.

Specifications for a High-Tech Booth

Typically, the specifications for a bullet-resistant, high-security booth will include protection against impact:

  • Level 1: handgun, 9mm or .357;
  • Level 2: handgun, .44 magnum, 5.5 ammunition or 12g shotgun;
  • Level 3: high-power rifle, such as a 30.06, 7.62 ammunition, hand grenade and high explosive; and
  • Level 4: All structural members meet or exceed ASTM A500, sliding or swing door fabricated from structural steel with heavy duty hardware for bullet resistance. All electrical components will be

UL approved and installed in accordance with the N.E.C. Sometimes, the location of a booth itself creates a problem in delivery. This was the case at the Metro in Washington, D.C. A custom booth was required because the booths needed to be shipped in eight pieces to the stations aboard Metro trains.

The Ultimate in High-Tech Guard Booths

The State Department is using bio-defense mail room inspection BioBooths at several embassies throughout the world. BioBooths feature outer and inner workrooms with sealed doors, lighting and hospital-style floors. Each room has long countertops and open spaces for staging, sorting and prospective decontamination. A bench, top-mounted, HEPA-filtered, laboratory hood with UV sterilization is pre-installed and may be flexibly positioned to isolate and protect the inspector opening the packages. The booths have controllable drainage and an internal wash-down hose bib. An optional sub-floor basin catches contaminated liquid for removal through a valve into a disposal container.

The BioBooth is typically installed outside of a main building or inside a shipping-and-receiving warehouse. Upon discovering contaminated mail, the BioBooth can be sealed, quickly unbolted and safely removed from public areas for decontamination.

Self-contained, prefabricated, pre-wired and UL-listed, the Bio- Booth mail screening booth allows inspectors to safely receive and open mail, isolating the rest of the staff and facility from exposure, if bio-hazards are delivered.

From bullets to bioterrorism and a host of other attacks, a guard booth can be built so it will protect the guards, people and facilities that they are there to defend.

This article originally appeared in the April 2014 issue of Security Today.

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