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What’s the right bollard for your business?

What’s the right bollard for your business?
Bollards serve as a visual and physical barrier whose role has become more important, amid terrorist and other types of criminal activities. As there are different types of bollards in the market, an understanding of them is required before choosing the right one.
In access control, some of the major topics include wireless technologies and mobile credentials, not to mention big data analysis of visitors to improve operations. Yet, some of the more old-school access control solutions are still relevant as ever, and cannot be ignored. Among them are barriers and bollards that serve as a physical deterrent to hostile actors with the intent to cause damage and casualties not with guns or knives, but with vehicles.
One of the earlier examples took place in 2002 when a group of masked men rammed two cars through the courtyard gates, then rammed one of the cars into a synagogue in the French city Lyon's neighborhood of La Duchere, before setting the vehicles afire, causing severe damage to the synagogue.
Then, a more recent example was a vehicle-ramming attack on New Year’s Day this year in Tokyo, when the suspect allegedly intentionally rammed into pedestrians crowded around the famous Takeshita Street in Harajuku district, in what he said was retaliation for the execution of Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult members.
Incidents like these have cause end user entities, especially those that are critical in nature including embassies and city governments, to specify bollards as a requirement. Some are extremely crash-rated, made with high-tensile steel, that can stop trucks going at 80 kilometers per hour. This can serve as an effective deterrent as the driver knows that he himself would be killed well before his objective was achieved (if you’ve seen videos of crash tests shown at bollard stands in trade shows, you’d know what I’m talking about).
Further, compared to entry gates and barriers, bollards have the advantage of non-interfering with the aesthetics of the area or the flow of pedestrians. However, before purchasing the bollards, it’s best if the end user acquires an understanding of the types of bollards that are available. These are summarized as follows.

Portable bollards

According to a blogpost by Delta Scientific, crash-rated portable bollards are ideal for venues that need temporary perimeter security including craft fairs, car shows, concerts and other similar outdoor events. "Five of these bollards can be linked together to create a barrier 20 feet long. They can stop and disable a 15,000-pound vehicle traveling at 30 miles per hour,” the post said.

Shallow foundation bollards

Since bollards usually require a foundation of four feet underground, it can be difficult for businesses in urban areas to install bollards, the post said. “Shallow foundation bollards only need a 14-inch-deep foundation, and therefore can be set into existing roadways, sidewalks, and landscaping. Despite the shallow setting, these bollards are crash rated for speeds up to 50 miles per hour,” it said.

Automatic retractable bollards

According to the post, precision steel bollards that can be raised or lowered according to need provide a flexible bollard option. “If your business has private parking that needs protection, retractable bollards allow approved vehicles to enter and exit, while others are shut out. Raised and lowered pneumatically, these bollards operate quietly and with minimal disturbance,” the post said.

High-security bollards

Used in sensitive locations around the world, including military facilities and embassies, high-security bollards provide the greatest amount of protection, the post said. “They can be installed as fixed posts or as retractable bollards. These bollards are capable of stopping vehicles at very high velocities,” the post said.

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