Three Best Practices for Ballistic Guard Booths

Until a few years ago, ballistic guard booths were mostly found only at  government offices and military installations. Today, at least half of our guard booth projects are for business lobbies, parking lots, factories, and distribution or data centers.

These ballistic guard booth projects include some new construction, but also a lot of renovation. In fact, TSS regularly converts non-ballistic structures into ballistic guard booths and replaces "aged out" or weak ballistic materials with more effective technology.

Three Best Practices to Consider When Creating  Ballistic Guard Booths

Whether it’s outside a government building or inside a business lobby, every ballistic guard booth shares three important features:

  • It’s freestanding
  • It manages car or foot traffic at an entrance
  • It includes ballistic doors and windows, bullet-resistant walls, and a communication device

If you’re considering upgrading your current ballistic guard shack or starting from scratch, these three best practices will ensure your booth is usable and safe.

1. Identify Your Risks and Threats and Design for Them

What kind of threats do you face? What types of threats do you want to protect from? Once you have an answer to these questions, choose a level of protection that reflects these needs.

For example, we recently renovated some ballistic guard booths for the federal government. These booths were renovated to improve protection for security and law enforcement personnel. Powerful firearms are much more common now than when the booths were originally designed and constructed, so security personnel were vulnerable to attack. The improved design also offered increased resistance to vehicle ramming, which was not part of the booth’s original function. Today, security personnel have the protection they need to do their job with confidence and peace of mind. 

2. Consider Your Operating Environment

Outdoor ballistic guard booths don’t have integrated heating and cooling systems. So, generic guard shacks can feel like freezers in the winter and ovens in the summer. This creates real security problems when users prop the door open to catch a cooling breeze or are constantly uncomfortable and unable to remain alert and vigilant.

Since ballistic materials were not originally designed for thermal insulation, there was a significant need for ballistic products that offered thermal benefits. TSS created new and improved thermal-barrier framing and insulated bullet-resistant glass that creates a full thermal break and helps maintain a comfortable workplace for guards.

3. Design for Daily Function

The most secure booth in the world is useless if the people inside them can’t use them correctly and complete their daily jobs. For instance, if workers can’t hear through the barrier, they may open the window to interact with people on the other side, leaving themselves vulnerable. Ideally, the right speak-thru would make communication easy so staff remain protected at all times.

To avoid this, ask yourself:

  • How much interaction is there between the guard and building users?
  • Who has to be checked in and what is the check-in process like?
  • Will people need to pass papers or ID cards back and forth?
  • Will guards need to take packages from delivery services?
  • Will they need to search visitor bags?
  • Is there a constant trickle of visitors all day, or will people check in at once? 

Once you have the answers to these questions, you can incorporate the requisite features into your guard booth design. For instance, if guards will need to regularly accept parcels, choose a package passer or slider. If booths are indoors in a crowded space, choose a transaction window with enhanced sound transfer.

If you’re not sure what features to choose, don’t worry. TSS has led the ballistic barrier industry since 2004, designing and fabricating bulletproof guard booths that not only protect staff, but help them do their jobs. We’re happy to help you design your ballistic guard booth; to get started, request a quote

Are Prefabricated Ballistic Guard Booths Worth it?

While every situation is unique, for most businesses, the answer is no. 

Most prefabricated ballistic guard booths are basic industrial units designed for outdoor use. They can be a cheaper solution compared to custom booths, but the reduced cost sacrifices usability, comfort, and protection at a specific threat level. 

Prefabricated ballistic guard booths also don’t work for interior locations, renovations, any place where the guard booth needs to match architectural styles, and any place where a flatbed or crane can’t fit to place the booth. For most companies looking for comprehensive protection, a prefabricated guard booth simply won’t meet their needs.

Contact TSS Today to Build Your Custom Ballistic Guard Booth

If you’re considering your options please don’t hesitate to contact our team. Our ballistic experts are passionate about keeping people safe and are ready to help you design the right ballistic guard booth today. Give us a call or request a quote using our simple online form. We look forward to speaking with you!


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