Amanda Wilson, of A. G. Wilson Building Solutions, in Trenton, Florida, defines a “man trap,” as it relates to building security, in this great guest post!

“I was recently asked for the definition and purpose of a “man trap”. Well, what is it?

A man trap, often stylized as mantrap, is a small space having two separate sets of interlocking doors.  I became familiar with man traps while working on a project a few years ago for an FBI Field office.

A man trap typically includes a door leading into a vestibule or hallway that leads to another door that leads to a secured area. One door has to be closed and locked before the other will open.  Thus, “trapping” a person in the vestibule or hall area.

The process works like this:

  1.  Anyone wishing to gain access to a secure area would approach the first door.  The person would then present the required credentials, which might include a keycard, PIN, biometrics or some combination thereof. Upon successful authentication, the door to the mantrap unlocks, allowing entry into the mantrap.
  2. The first door must securely close before the person can continue, thus ensuring no one else can enter the vestibule area.
  3.  The person then may be required to present credentials before entering the door leading into the secured area.  These may be the same credentials, different, a combination thereof.
  4.  The door is released and the person is allowed to enter the secured area.

Man Trap: Security Information

This security can be accomplished in many ways.  The most common is with magnetic locks but could also be achieved manually with the use of armed guards.

Man traps are not only used in high-security applications, but also in clean rooms where the flow of air and dust must be controlled.

The most unlikely place I have run into a man trap was when I volunteered at a bat conservancy.  We entered a preparation area where we put on gloves, heavy rubber aprons and rubber boots.  Once we were “dressed out”, we stepped into a bleach solution to kill germs on the boots before we were buzzed into the vestibule area.  Once the door closed and locked behind us we stepped into another bleach solution and were allowed to enter the habitat area.

Contact Anderson Lock For Security Applications

We hope we answered your question, “What is a man trap?” If you would like some more information on man traps, be sure to contact your local security professional.  Anderson Lock in Chicago, Illinois, is a prime example!”

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