Student safety is the number one concern when considering dorm security. Students and parents need the peace of mind that only comes when every person entering the dorms can be identified and screened. Tailgating is problematic as students allow unauthorized friends to enter, not to mention the “would be” attacker or thief who patiently awaits an opportunity to slip through a closing door.

“We had a few manufacturers bring their products to University of Penn and set them up for beta testing. We put them through the ringer,” says Remo Patitucci of Security Services & Technologies.

U of Penn chose the Designed Security Inc. (DSI) ES831 series to protect the entrances of nine of its dormitories. This decision was based on aesthetic appeal, the fast action barrier arm, which allowed the quickest throughput, and the DSI ES831 was the most secure.

“Many of U of Penn’s buildings are historical, 100 hundred year old buildings;
DSI gave us the most flexibility on the size of the turnstiles. Other manufacturer’s turnstiles are much longer and wider, and physically would not fit in the building lobbies. Plus, DSI gave us the options to customize the entire turnstile,” says Patitucci.

The locking arm was a custom modification for U of Penn. The arm is normally extended, unlocked and retracts only on a valid card read. While the arm is normally extended, the locking mechanism remains disengaged unless the first array picks up an unauthorized entry. If the array is tripped without a valid card read, a solenoid activates the locking mechanism and the arm is easily pushed open on loss of power or a fire alarm condition.