Security bollards are mainly used to enhance security on commercial buildings around the world but there are many other uses that make them an essential part of future urban development and today’s modern cities. This is irrespective of the size or shape of the security bollards. Understanding the purpose of using the security bollards is important when determining the choice of a security bollard. The following are some of the major uses that are worth mentioning.
Security bollards may be used to organize the movement between pedestrians and motorists on roads with no potential accidents. This street bollards guide pedestrians on the sidewalk as a visual boundary to stay away from the traffic and to prevent motorists from gaining access to pedestrians’ areas and block their movement.
Commercial properties with open outdoor car park, they need to keep some privacy out of working hours and to prevent neighbors to use their parking zone for a long time.
Fixed bollards, in this case, can be used as a permanent physical barrier, in areas that are not designed for regular vehicle access at any time. Fencing can also block vehicular access but bollards can do that without affecting pedestrian movement. Some bollards need to be movable, with a lock if required, to control vehicle access during working hours.
Bollards are also used for privacy in airports to prevent unwanted access to the runway and other restricted areas of the airport.
Some shopping areas have a car parking facility exactly opposite to storefronts like petrol stations. Pedal errors can occur if a car driver steps on the accelerator instead of the brake or if the driver steps on the accelerator in the wrong direction. Bollards that are used for safety in such cases are often more capable of withstanding high impacts compared to the bollards used as visual containment. They are strong enough to cushion against the impact of vehicles thus ensuring that workers, customers, or pedestrians are safe.
Architectural bollards are used to provide an extra design fixture to storefronts. They come in various architectural designs and can, therefore, be blended into any landscape. Some are equipped with LED lamps to add decorative lights at night.
Uniquely designed bollards can make a business more attractive to customers and can become an iconic landmark to drive more traffic to the store.
Access control bollards create physical restrictions for unauthorized vehicle entry. By using bollard, vehicle entry can be controlled to allow access to specific areas and to prevent access in other areas. This kind of bollards can be retracted, folded or simply moved as needed. For this purpose, the access control bollards can be locally or remotely controlled, manually or automatically operated.
Bollards that are used in this manner, and to enhance their visibility, are generally much taller than bollards serve other purposes. These may be installed to supplement existing traffic control measures. HVM rated bollards can also be used as traffic bollards to withstand the impact of trucks traveling anywhere between 30 to 80 kph. The use of these HVM bollards is ideal to prevent property damages due to reckless driving or accidents while ensuring pedestrian safety and mobility.
Bollards can be a light fixture to increase visibility in walkways and building borders at night-time.
Hostile Vehicle Mitigation
Bollards may also act as vehicle security barriers. HVM bollards are specifically designed to withstand a higher physical impact for use in vulnerable and highly sensitive areas at risk of hostile vehicle-borne threats and criminal attacks, such as shopping centers, banks, stadiums, and airports.
These bollards should be accredited as Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) barriers using one of the international crash rating standards (PAS 68, IWA 14-1 and ASTM F2656). Security bollards are very heavy but also can be aesthetically designed with the right cover and finishing to fit in with the surroundings.
Using Crash Rated Bollards for Non-Security Purposes
While the crash rating term is only applied to HVM security bollards, it is generally recommended to use low crash rated bollards for non-security application to withstand impacts caused by minor accidents. More recently, there is increasing use of K4 rated or PAS 68 certified fixed bollards as part of landscaping for major projects. Fixed bollards certified according to PAS 68 standards can provide perimeter security without the restrictive look and feel of fences.