Most everyone is familiar with the standard manned guard booth, in which a person sits and allows drivers in and out of a facility. Border stations, government buildings, military bases and other locales where there can be a “very unwanted guest” all use much higher security booths. For instance, bullet-resistant booths can be specified as Level 1, 2, 3 or 4, with 4 providing the highest level of resistance. Bullet-resistant 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, DC. But users’ facilities don’t have to be the Pentagon to take advantage of the high security offered by a bullet-resistant guard booth. These high security booths are used for applications that range from the Ontario Airport to Cairo embassies needing extra security.

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

The highly energy-efficient structures have a photovoltaic and Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) roof structure that will shade cars and officers. It also provides for rain and sun protection for the officers in booths. Because of its translucent nature, 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 booth will include the following:

  • 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, high explosive – 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 itself of a booth creates a problem in delivery. This was the case at the Metro in Washington, DC. The high tech was in the design for fabrication. A custom booth was needed because the booths needed to be shipped in eight pieces to the stations aboard Metro trains.