You’ve probably seen them on shops in the mall at closing time – flexible, expanding metal gates or curtains that are pulled down from the top or slid across the entries to stores as they end their business day. They come in different types, known variously as accordion doors, rolling grilles, folding gates or security shutters, and they’re one of the more popular devices for securing facilities such as mall stores, banks, stadiums, schools and airports, after business hours are over.

A rolling or side-folding accordion grill is kind of a much bigger, stronger version of the kind of scissor-style expanding “baby gate” that stretches side-to-side to fit a doorway in the home to confine dogs or toddlers. Such a barrier might be a good solution for your business if you’re looking at securing an area where you don’t have a lot of overhead space. They can also, however, be used to close off larger entries, those leading to warehouses or storerooms, for example. Perhaps their most convenient feature, of course, is that they’re adjustable to fit entries of different widths.

See-through but secure

Accordion grill-type barriers are typically made of metal, often strong aluminum. Some when opened and in place are an open network of connected metal bars, which allows for visibility into the space they’re securing, as well as airflow. Other models may close the gaps with panels of Plexiglas or other materials, which can be clear to keep the grille see-through.

Well-made models can offer strong security, and can be a good choice for protecting a spot that’s hard to monitor, but they can also be made fairly attractive – though that may not be a big consideration in uses where they won’t be much on public display. Like other types of security door, they can be customized in terms of finish and hardware to fit your preferences.

Opening and closing an accordion grille or folding gate is not physically demanding, and some of them are motor-operated.

Because it has various moving parts and some versions slide along some type of track, an accordion grille or similar device will require, like an overhead garage door, some attention to maintenance. For any serious maintenance or repair issues the best bet is to call in a professional, but one general rule to remember for daily upkeep is to use a light touch in pulling the gate open and closed.