Walkthrough metal detectors are the most common type of detectors that are used. You can find them at malls, schools, universities, government buildings, airports and other such locations. There are two basic categories of walkthrough metal detectors: single zone and multiple zone detectors.
A single zone metal detector will help in identifying if the person walking through is carrying a weapon or any such object. A multi zone metal detector will help in identifying where the concealed object is located. That is it will help in identifying if the object is on the right or the left side making it easy to search the person.
Larger crowds require the use of multiple zone metal detectors as it is very time consuming of the security personnel have to perform a physical pat-down for every other person. To ease there job, they can also use handheld detectors. Single zone detectors are used generally for areas where security is much more under control because a limited access to people from outside.
There was a time when security detectors were found only at airports and correctional facilities. Over the years however, metal detectors can be found at police stations, night clubs, malls, schools, corporate, public and private buildings, manufacturing facilities and many more. The location where these will be placed can highly effect the decision of what type of system you need to buy.
The next thing that is included in the buying decision is the configuration of a detection system. You need to see how often you will move the metal detector. Will it be bought and placed at a certain check pint and moved only when it is replaced or will the location change many times. If the location will change many times it is best to buy a detector that is light weight and can be easily shifted from one place to another.
The next thing to see is the frequency that the system will require. Do you need a metal detector that works on high frequency or would a general low frequency detector do. It is a good idea to have a tray or basket set up next to the system so that people can place belongings like belts, wallets, cell phones coins and jewelry on the tray before they walk through the detector.
You can also see if the detector has the ability to discriminate between the types of metals that will be used. This way it will be easier to select what type of material has set the alarm off. These detectors are usually handheld and will be of utmost importance for all high security facilities.
One last thing to consider is most metal detectors are designed to detect weapons, cell phones and other large metal objects but a few companies on the market manufacture a loss prevention metal detector. These systems work great for jewelry stores, gold mines and computer chip manufactures.