To help improve this article, click 'Edit this article' above.
Access control is the selective restriction of access to a particular place, building, room, resource or installation. To gain access to a restricted location an individual generally needs to have authorisation or to be given permission to enter by someone that already has authorisation.
Perimeter security can be used to prevent intruders from penetrating a defined boundary between land, buildings or parts of buildings and gaining access to protected people, property or assets. Perimeter security may be created by psychological, physical or electronic barriers which:
Perimeter security is commonly required to protect operations such as:
- Transportation (airports, stations, ports, bridges).
- Utilities (dams, power plants, pipelines, energy distribution networks).
- Industry (chemical, oil and gas operations).
- Commerce (offices, banks, warehouses, entertainment facilities).
- Defence (military bases, weapons storage, command centres).
- Government (embassies, courts, departments).
- Correctional facilities (prisons and other institutions).
- VIP areas (secured estates, royal palaces).
There are a great number of methods that can be used to provide perimeter security.
- Fences, railings and walls.
- Perimeter structures.
- Street furniture such as cycle racks, seating, planters and so on.
- Gates, turnstiles, boom barriers, bollards and height restrictors.
- Electric fences which deliver a non-lethal electric shock. Attempts to short circuit, reduce the voltage or breach the fence can trigger an intruder alarm. Some fences have the ability to pinpoint perimeter disturbances making it quicker for building occupants to be alerted to where a potential intrusion is taking place.
- Buried cable detection systems which provide covert perimeter security, detecting the precise location of intruders.
- Closed-loop systems in which vibration sensor cables are installed at high and low levels on a perimeter fence.
- CCTV used to oversee the perimeter.
- Microwave, infrared or radar sensors which can detect walking, running or crawling targets. When an intruder enters the detection zone, changes to the field are registered and an alarm is triggered.
- Rising kerbs and road blockers.
Construction sites can use perimeter security for safety purposes, and to prevent damage, theft or vandalism.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Access control.
- Approved document Q.
- Commercial security systems.
- Construction phase plan.
- Fire and rescue service.
- Fire dampers.
- Fire detection and alarm systems.
- Health and safety.
- Intruder alarm.
- Joint fire code.
- Security and the built environment.
- Security glazing.
- Smart surveillance, video surveillance and VSaaS.
- Smoke detector.
 External references
Featured articles and news
What is Modernism?
Modernist architecture and its many international variations explained.
BRE support Europe-wide strategic heating plans for local and national authorities.
Work set to begin on 'one of America's greatest parks', which will be 10 times bigger than Central Park.
One of our most popular articles - RSHP's Mike Davies writes about the concept design process.
As Cuba mourn the death of Castro, major renovation of this symbolic landmark may be a reflection of the country's fresh start.
How cannabis plants are used to create an alternative building material with plenty of advantages.
What does Mayor Sadiq Khan's first policy statement mean for London's infrastructure?
Bjarke Ingels Group announced as winners of design competition for new residential landmark in Amsterdam.
Designing Buildings Wiki has reviewed a well-designed and researched set of architecture city maps.
Designing Buildings Wiki attended the second annual Building Live conference, tackling the challenges facing construction.