Where Should Security Barrier Gate Arms Be Placed - Top 6 Uses | All Security Equipment

Barrier or security gate arms are suitable for various purposes in both commercial and residential settings. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best uses for these security and traffic control tools, but first, let’s briefly discuss the different types of barrier arms and their accessories before delving into their common applications.

Types of Security Gate Arms

  • Standard Gate Arms: These single-arm barrier gate operators, such as the LiftMaster Mega Arm Tower (MATDCBB3) Gate Operator, are designed for continuous use, making them great for high-traffic locations, such as parking garages.
  • Folding Gate Arms: This option is great for areas with low vertical clearance because the arms are designed to fold in completely, rather than lift and lower.
  • Wishbone Gate Arms: These options feature dual arms suitable for controlling traffic in locations with wide lanes.

Security Gate Arm Accessories

While not mandatory, installing accessories for your barrier gate arm can improve the overall functionality of your security measures. You might want to consider installing one or more of the following accessories depending on your specific needs.

Parking Change Machines

Parking change machines like the LAN60 Token Operated Exit Control Parking System are great additions to security gate arms, especially at toll booths and other commercial parking lots. They are designed to allow access through the barrier gate arm only if the vehicle driver provides a specific amount of coin, credit card payment, or some pre-determined monetary value.

Traffic Spikes

Traffic spikes are great for locations like military zones, nuclear power plants, and other highly restricted areas requiring elevated traffic control and security levels. The spikes are designed to puncture the tires of vehicles trying to forcefully go through a barrier.

Traffic Lights

In addition to regulating traffic in parking lots, traffic lights help drivers know when to stop or move forward. It also eliminates driving too closely behind other vehicles (tailgating).

6 Common Places to Use Security Gate Arms

Some of the locations where barrier gates are a must-have include the following:

1. Commercial Parking Facilities

Commercial parking facilities are the most common places to install security gate arms. Parking lots and garages, particularly in airports, hotels, and large business or office complexes, require proper control of vehicle traffic and an extra level of security.

Arm barriers regulate traffic flow in commercial parking facilities, especially if additional accessories like traffic lights are installed. Proximity readers can help speed things up in locations with consistently high traffic.

2. Residential Buildings

Like large office complexes, controlling the stream of traffic at apartment buildings and condominiums can be made simpler with barrier gate arms.

In addition to standard barrier gate arms, it is common to see crash-rated barrier arms in high-profile residential areas. Beefed-up security measures using security gate arms in certain locations is a bonus that increases safety for residents.

3. Checkpoints in Restricted Areas

Barrier gate arms are crucial at checkpoints in restricted areas such as military facilities, electrical substations, thermal power stations, data centers, and other locations where only authorized vehicles can enter.

4. Industrial facilities

Entrances to industrial facilities, manufacturing plants, and loading docks are good examples of places to install a security gate arm, particularly a wishbone barrier arm. The extended length of these gate arms makes them excellent for industrial facilities.

5. Toll Booths

Toll booths are another perfect spot to install security gate arms. The equipment doesn’t only control traffic in this location but also helps in collecting tolls, especially when accompanied by a pay-on-entry system, such as a parking change machine.

6. Health and Learning Institutions

Barrier gate arms are also ideal health institutions and places of learning, including hospitals, schools, and universities. Like toll booths, it is a good idea to add a parking change machine like the LAN60K Token for LAN60 Token Operated Exit Control System to the gate arm in hospitals and learning institutions. This is not necessarily to create a pay-on-entry system but to effectively control access to parking lots in these institutions.

What to Consider When Choosing Security Gate Arms

Deciding that you need access control for vehicles in your area is one thing; figuring out the best barrier arm for your application is another.

Here are a few important factors to consider when choosing a security gate arm:


Why do you want to install a security gate arm? Do you want to stop moving vehicles from forcefully going through your barrier, or do you want to control traffic flow?

By figuring out exactly why you want to install the barrier arm, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision. For example, a crash-rated barrier arm will work well if you plan to stop moving vehicles in their tracks but installing it just to control traffic in the parking lot of an apartment building might be overkill.

Number of Traffic Lanes to Cover

Factor in the number of lanes you want the gate arm to cover. Do you want to block only one or multiple traffic lanes? Is it a one-way lane or two opposite lanes?

Answering these questions will help you narrow down your choice between the standard, folding, and wishbone gate arm designs.

Lane Width

Closely related to the number of lanes you want to cover is the width of the traffic lane or lanes involved. Many people will assume that security gate arms are required to cover the entire width of lanes to stop vehicles, but this is not necessary.

Usually, barrier gate arms are designed to halt vehicles at entrances or specific restricted points within given premises. However, these barriers only need to be long enough to prevent vehicles from driving around the arm. They don’t necessarily have to completely cover the entire width of the lane.

Level of Security

Lastly, consider the level of security required for your facility before choosing a barrier gate arm. While security gate arms can limit unauthorized vehicle entry into your premises, it shouldn’t be the only security measure in a highly sensitive facility. Instead, it should complement other security features like traffic spikes, speed bumps, surveillance cameras, and video intercoms.

Choose the Best Security Gate Arm for Your Project

If you are interested in purchasing excellent-quality barrier arm gates, we invite you to browse our collection of security gate arms. You can rest assured you’ll find something suitable for your purpose.

If you have any questions about security barriers, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to assist you in making your business as safe as possible.

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