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The NIH Perimeter Security System (PSS) — to
most of us, the fence surrounding the NIH campus — will be
operational on Monday, Aug. 29. The fence is the most obvious element
of the PSS and balances the necessary level of security with as
much convenience as possible for NIH employees, patients and visitors.
The most obvious change is that most security screening will
take place at the perimeter. Visitors will be screened and visitor
passes will be issued at designated visitor entrances at the perimeter
rather than at the buildings. Most campus buildings will remain "open" during
normal business hours; you will not have to use your badge to enter.
Security staff will only be posted at select locations to check
for IDs and screen visitors. Moving most screening to the perimeter
fosters an "open campus" environment.
Okay, but what does it mean to you?
Vehicle Access: There is no change to vehicle entrance
hours. Employees can enter all vehicle entrances during normal business
hours and the NIH Gateway Center at Metro (Rt. 355 and South Drive)
is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. See specific gate hours on
campus maps listed at http://security.nih.gov.
|Pedestrian turnstiles near Metro for NIH
During normal business hours, drivers will present their NIH ID
badge to the card reader and wait for a green light signaling a
valid card. Security staff will check that you have an NIH parking
hanger, that all passengers have NIH or HHS-issued IDs and will
verify that you get a green light to proceed. Passengers without
an NIH or HHS-issued ID badge can enter campus via the Gateway
Center at Metro and receive an NIH Visitor ID badge after being
After normal business hours, drivers will present their ID badge
to the card reader. After receiving a green signal light, a gate
arm (like the ones used at parking garages) will raise and they
Pedestrian and Bicyclist Access: NIH ID badge
holders can enter on foot or on bikes at all pedestrian portals
24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Badge holders can also enter through
turnstiles located at vehicle entrances.
|Temporary NIH Gateway Center at Metro for
visitor screening and badging
Entry at pedestrian portals is a two-step process allowing one
person at a time to enter through the portal. Pedestrians present
their badge to the card reader outside of the portal, receive a
green signal and enter the portal. After the first door closes,
present your card to the badge reader inside. A green light on
the card reader signals that you may proceed into the campus.
To exit, present your badge to the card reader at the gate inside
the campus and pull the gate open. Once inside, depress the button
marked "Push to Exit" on top of the card reader pedestal and push
the second gate open to exit the campus. To ensure safety, all
pedestrian portals are equipped with emergency call boxes and video
monitors linked to the NIH Emergency Communications Center.
|Exiting the pedestrian portal
||NIH employee presents ID badge to card reader at vehicle
Vehicle Access: Visitors who drive can enter
the campus at the NIH Gateway Center at Metro where vehicle inspections,
visitor screening and badge issuance will be done as part of the
entrance process at the vehicle inspection station.
Pedestrian Access: Visitors can enter campus on
foot at two locations. The NIH Gateway Center at Metro is available
24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The NIH West Visitor Entrance at Old
Georgetown Rd. and South Dr. (adjacent to vehicle entrance) is available
for entry and exit during normal operating hours — 5 a.m. to
9 p.m. Visitor screening and visitor badges will be issued in the
|Remember To Validate Your NIH Badge
Everyone holding an NIH ID is reminded to stop by one of the
self-service badge validation stations to confirm that your
badge is functioning properly. It is important that employees
and contractors wear their NIH ID badges at all times and make
sure the badge has not expired and is working properly for
easy access to the NIH campus.
||Checking NIH ID at badge validation
If you currently use your badge for electronic access to
a building, it is likely that it is functioning properly.
Badge validation is quick and easy, so why not forego the
guesswork? Stop by one of the badge validation stations at
any of the 6 convenient locations on or off campus:
Bldg. 31A; Bldg. 45; Clinical Center (Old Admissions Desk);
Twinbrook II (12441 Parklawn Dr.); 6130 Executive Blvd.;
6700 Rockledge Dr.
A red or flashing light on the card reader means your badge
is not working properly and needs to be reissued. If so,
contact your supervisor or administrative officer to begin
the process for a new badge.
NIH Patients and Patient Visitors
Vehicle and Pedestrian Access: Patients
and patient visitors can access the campus at two locations. The
NIH Patient Entrance at Cedar Lane and West Dr. is open 7 a.m. - 3
p.m., Monday through Friday where screening and vehicle inspections
will take place. Clinical Center Hospitality Staff will be on hand
to assist. The NIH Gateway Center at Metro is open 24 hours a day,
7 days a week and is also available to patients and patient visitors
as an entry point into the campus.
Shuttles will continue to circulate on campus and transport riders
to and from off-campus buildings. There will be some changes for
visitors riding shuttles but little or no change for riders with
On-campus shuttles: Employees can board on-campus
shuttles at any shuttle stop within the perimeter fence. Employees
entering campus from Metro can board the on-campus shuttle after
going through a pedestrian turnstile near the Metro. Visitors must
first go to the Gateway Center at Metro to get an NIH visitor badge
before boarding the shuttle.
Off-campus shuttles: Shuttles coming from off-campus
locations will stop briefly near the vehicle inspection station
at the Metro entrance for screening. A member of the security staff
will board the bus to check for NIH or HHS-issued ID badges and
the vehicle will be inspected. Those without a valid badge will
get off the shuttle and proceed to the NIH Gateway Visitor Center
for screening and to receive an NIH Visitor badge. The off-campus
shuttle will proceed through the perimeter and continue on its
normal campus route. Valid badge holders will not have to switch
shuttles. After obtaining a visitor badge, visitors can proceed
onto campus and catch a shuttle once inside the fence.
To learn more, check out the PSS Quick Reference Guide with campus
map and the PSS Photo Gallery at http://www.security.nih.gov.
Watch for future notices about NIH security in NIH publications,
global emails and at the web site mentioned above.
Still have questions? Contact the ORS Information Line at email@example.com or
(301) 594-6677, TTY (301) 435-1908.