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Author Archives: Ontario Bollards

  1. K-Rated Bollards: What you need to know

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    K-Rated Bollards: What you need to know

    Major metropolitan areas, regardless of where you are in the world, all share some commonalities. Droves of people, for one, are a big-city mainstay, as are newspaper and street food carts. While you may notice the crowds, and the vendors, there’s another city-fixture that may go undetected: the array of concrete-reinforced steel posts which stand at attention outside of storefronts and commercial buildings. These posts, called bollards, are not decorative, but rather serve the real-world purpose of providing passive Anti-Terrorism security in urban areas. As global tensions continue to rise and the threat of terrorism is ever-imminent, bollards have become a necessity in urban areas. However, not all Anti-Terrorism bollards are the same.

    Know your ratings

    These Anti-Terrorism bollards may all adhere to a fairly uniform appearance, but they are distinguished by capability according to two rating systems: K-ratings and M-ratings. While M-ratings are officially used throughout North America, K-ratings are still used as a common reference point in the industry.

    K-ratings were introduced in 1985 by the U.S. Department of State, and are organized into three designations–all correlating to a bollard’s resilience against a 15,000 lb vehicle traveling at a given speed. A K4 can defend against said vehicle traveling at 30 mph, a K8 at 40, and a K12-rated bollard can successfully stop a 15,000 lb vehicle traveling at 50 mph. This advanced designation guarantees a bollard’s effectiveness as a last line of defense when it comes to protecting public–and private–spaces.

    Engineered vs. certified bollards

    All K-rated bollards are not created equal. Beyond the K-rating designation, the effectiveness of an Anti-Terrorism bollard can also be measured by whether it is engineered or certified. An Engineered K-rated bollard is engineered to certain specifications which would allow it to withstand a K-ratings’ given weight and speed parameters. This cost-cutting measure may ultimately diminish the effectiveness of a bollard. Ontario Bollards is proud to provide certified bollards, which all undergo rigorous testing as required by DOS, ASTM, PAS and IWA standards, ensuring that each of our Anti-Terrorism bollards is ready to provide real world protection, anywhere in the world.

    Our Range of Stainless Steel Semiautomatic Retractable Bollards

    Our Range of Stainless Steel Semiautomatic Retractable Bollards

    Types of K-rated bollards

    Among these various K-ratings, there are also different types of bollards which offer specific advantages depending on use.

    Fixed bollards are exactly what they sound like, and are made to provide permanent passive protection.

    Removable bollards, again, live up to their name, offering high-level security with the added advantage of being manually removed from spaces where infrequent access may be required.

    Semi-automatic bollards are manually lowered into the ground via a crank or drill, and provide a cost-effective alternative to automatic bollards, which can be lowered remotely via a number of methods (a key pad, a push-button, or even a cell phone). Both semi-automatic and automatic bollards offer unparalleled versatility and ease-of-use, but the added convenience of automatic bollards makes them a top choice for any security solution–from the most basic to the more advanced.

    Bollards for government use

    K-rated bollards, in addition to protecting the populus in city centres, also offer a small-footprint solution for diverting traffic while still granting passage for smaller vehicles. This application makes them ideal for government buildings and spaces. Anti-Terrorism bollards can prove to be a tremendous asset to the municipal, provincial, and federal government, with the aforementioned different types of bollards offering unique benefits to each.

    Provincial government buildings are made safer by the presence of fixed Anti-Terrorism bollards, as the lining of bollards around a building’s perimeter guarantees it safety from a high-speed vehicular attack.

    Municipal government spaces may take advantage of the increased safety fixed K-rated bollards provide, while also leveraging their use to divert traffic away from designated areas such as school courtyards.

    Federal government sites may benefit from the presence of automatic bollards which can prevent or grant access to restricted, high-security areas while guaranteeing protection.

    While each branch can benefit from different types of Anti-Terrorism bollards for unique reasons, the most advanced solutions may require a combination of each type.

    The Ontario Bollards advantage  

    When it comes to K-rated Anti-Terrorism bollards, there is a lot to know. Understanding which solution–or combination of multiple solutions–is right for your site may be easier said than done, which is why you can rest easy knowing that the experts at Ontario Bollards are on your team. Designing, sourcing, and installing all of our Anti-Terrorism solutions, Ontario Bollards are industry leaders in providing a turn-key experience.

    Contact our experts today to learn more about how our K-rated bollard solutions can benefit your site, or request a quote for pricing details.

  2. MPM Polymer Guardrails and Safety Gates

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    MPM? It’s the name of a dynamic, enterprising Italian company that designs and manufactures a remarkable range of flexible industrial safety barriers that make work environments safe wherever there are vehicles, goods, people—and the occasional rhinoceros. Ontario Bollards is proud to have obtained the exclusive distribution rights in Canada to patented MPM products!

    MPM plastic guardrail functions

    The product we are focused on today, MPM polymer guardrail, is designed to primarily protect walls against light- and heavy-duty trucks and forklifts. It performs this function brilliantly and, being a product of Italy, does so with undeniable flair that enhances any warehouse or factory.

    MPM guardrail has numerous qualities that make it such an exceptional product. But before we get into that, check out this video of forklifts in hand-to-hand combat with MPM polymer guardrail and steel guardrail.

    You will likely agree that the most striking feature of the MPM industrial safety barrier that was impact tested in the video is its resistance to the forces exerted by the forklift and its flexibility in absorbing these forces and bouncing back to its original shape—as if nothing had happened. (Forklift drivers particularly like this feature!) The steel guardrail demonstrated neither of these qualities, which is why the forklift bent it out of shape and pummeled it to the floor, damaging the floor in the process. Having MPM polymer safety barriers in your warehouse or factory can protect your valuable infrastructure from damaging blows that can cost thousands to repair.

    The wonders of REFLEX

    What makes the MPM industrial safety barriers so resistant and flexible is the technopolymer of which it is made—REFLEX.

    REFLEX is made from a unique compound developed in the MPM laboratory by a team of experts with thirty years of experience in the field of plastics. Thanks to its special molecular density, REFLEX distributes energy along the entire length of the protection that flexes and then returns to its original shape. The astonishing properties of the material allow it to absorb the energy of the impact, thus minimizing the costs of maintenance, repair and replacement. Thanks to its technical specifications, REFLEX guarantees the protection of the floor, the materials and, above all, the safety of pedestrians and operators driving the vehicles.

    Advantages of REFLEX over steel

    MPM safety gates

    Ontario Bollards also offers REFLEX safety gates—both lift and swing types—that flex upon impact and can be incorporated into MPM industrial safety barriers systems, proving full pedestrian protection for employees and visitors alike.

    Installation of MPM guardrail and safety gates

    Another great aspect of MPM guardrail and safety gates is that they are lightweight and modular, making installation quick and easy. Available in different lengths, they are readily customizable for your specific needs. (And did we mention that they look good—and continue to look good after years of service?) Ontario Bollards’ process is unique in that we can have our own team of professionals design and perform the installation turn key or you can elect to take care of the installation in house. Detailed preparation, execution, and control of every aspect of the project always results in the safest and most efficient protection in accordance with your specific needs. That is why we always recommend Ontario Bollards to perform the installation.


    For more information about MPM safety barriers and safety gates and other superior MPM products, contact us today. To request a quote, submit via the online form. We look forward to hearing from you.

  3. Removable vs. Retractable Bollards

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    Removable vs. Retractable Bollards

    Bollards are sturdy vertical poles that act as a protective barrier against vehicles. They can protect opposing traffic patterns from accidents, buildings from out of control drivers, or pedestrians from automobile traffic. While some bollards are permanent, many applications require removable or retractable bollards for more versatility.

    Which Solution Should You Choose?


    Removable bollards have a buried receiver underground that holds the barrier securely until it is no longer needed. They can restrict areas for pedestrians, then allow free access again when the bollard post is removed and stored for the day. Retractable bollards are a more convenient option for security access. They quickly rise to restrict vehicles until access is approved, then retract into their base to allow entry.


    Although each is best suited for different applications, both removable and retractable bollards provide many advantages.

    Removable Bollards

    These heavy-duty posts are designed for temporary restricted entry. Removable bollards enhance safety in parking lots or anywhere that pedestrians are close to vehicle traffic. Built to last, they are heat and weather resistant, require little maintenance, and can be upgraded for additional safety and aesthetic features.

    Retractable Bollards

    Retractable bollards are a convenient medium to heavy-duty temporary barrier. They are an economical and flexible solution to reduce or redirect traffic to keep pedestrians safe. Retractable bollards also feature fast lift and lower operations, which is highly efficient in emergency situations.

    Applications & Sites

    Removable bollards are found in a variety of locations and applications, including:

    • Parking lots/structures. Removable bollards can deter car thieves, protect parked vehicles from traffic, or restrict parking to certain areas.
    • Retail storefronts/entrances. When parking is in front of buildings, crash rated bollards can protect against accidental acceleration or brake failure during store hours, with the option to remove them at other times.
    • Traffic flow control. Removable bollards are convenient to separate traffic flow, such as parking lots or access roads.
    • Car dealerships. Bollards can be easily removed for aesthetics and traffic flow during the day, then put out at night to prevent vehicle theft.
    • Loading areas. Removable bollards can quickly and securely section off areas for safe loading and unloading of trucks, buses, or trailers.
    • Schools use removable bollards to direct traffic during pickup and drop off, as well as to provide a safe area for children to walk.

    Automatic retractable bollards are another alternative to safeguard pedestrians and buildings, such as:

    • Government and public buildings. Areas requiring high security for government officials, dignitaries, or even prisoners may use retractable bollards.
    • Hotels and high-profile buildings. High profile buildings will use retractable bollards for celebrity arrivals or during times of high traffic.
    • Busways use retractable bollards to deter traffic and create dedicated lanes.
    • Shopping centers. Retractable bollards give the flexibility to section off areas for package pickup during holidays or special events.
    • City squares and pedestrian malls. Attendees of festivals, concerts, and other special events can be conveniently protected by retractable bollards.
    • Dedicated pedestrian areas and parks. Adults and children can walk and play without looking for vehicles when retractable bollards are used in these areas.
    • Car parks. Retractable bollards provide easy ingress and egress, as well as security for the vehicles.
    • Business parks. Business parks can provide safe spaces for employees to walk between buildings.
    • University campuses. Campuses can safeguard students from careless drivers and section off event space when necessary.

    Bollard Solutions from Ontario Bollards

    Bollards offer a convenient and effective way to restrict access and protect people, vehicles, and buildings against impact. The difference between removable and retractable bollards comes down to cost, features, aesthetics, security level, and the time required to put them up or take them down.


    At Ontario Bollards, we offer everything from anti-terrorism barriers to flexible polyurethane bollards and many varieties in between. To determine the right bollard for your application, contact us or request a quote today to speak to our experienced staff.

  4. A Guide to Site Protection With Bollards

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    A Guide to Site Protection With Bollards

    Whether you need bollards because of building or fire codes, the design of the building, traffic patterns, or safety concerns, you want to ensure you are getting the right product for your site requirements. From crash rated bollards to traffic pattern indicators, bollard design is critical in providing the ideal protection for your building. To find the right barrier for your project, our team at Ontario Bollards shares the following information.

    Key Bollard Considerations

    Safety bollards are an excellent way to provide guidance for traffic flow, protection for pedestrian traffic, and an additional security measure for the building entry. However, despite their efficacy as visual and physical guides for vehicles, particularly in public venues, they are often overlooked.

    When these robust, reinforced metal posts are placed in front of buildings or other outdoor spaces, it not only cues drivers where to go, but provides a safe space for pedestrian walkways and protects storefronts. Gate bollards can be used to seal off roads, bike paths, or walking trails, while parking bollards can prevent drivers from accidentally rolling too far past the parking spaces.

    To select the right bollard for your needs, consider the following factors for your site:

    • Behavior of drivers
    • Design of building and road
    • Frequency of traffic
    • Types of traffic

    Types of Bollards & Their Advantages

    The strongest bollards are steel pipe reinforced with concrete and installed in a concrete substrate. Collapsible or retractable bollards can allow vehicle access from specific directions while preventing access from others without removing them.

    You may choose to install a permanent crash rated, high impact bollard to prevent vehicles from hitting pedestrians or damaging property. If you are using bollards to section off areas, a low impact bollard may be a better choice. For multi-use areas, consider removable bollards.

    Regardless of the design and installation, there are many benefits to using bollards on your site:

    • Protect drivers: Traffic bollards separate opposing traffic patterns on roadways and limit speed in dangerous areas.
    • Light up dark spaces: Lighted bollards are often used around parks and near buildings to illuminate walkways at night.
    • Prevent access: Bollards can be used either permanently or temporarily to designate pedestrian access or construction areas.
    • Enhance appearance: The aesthetic appeal of bollards is vastly underrated. Design, placement, color, and lighting can highlight and enhance the look of both architecture and landscaping.
    • Protect storefronts: You can protect storefronts from wayward vehicles with concrete reinforced steel pipe bollards. If the look doesn’t appeal to you, there is always the option for more attractive bollard covers.

    Quality Safety Solutions From Ontario Bollards

    Since bollards create not only a physical but also a visual barrier, it is essential to choose a supplier who offers options in the shape, size, design, and function while providing professional guidance on the appropriate decisions for the site and application.

    Ontario Bollards has been an industry leader in asset protection, providing bollards in various materials, designs, and safety ratings for almost 40 years. Our goal is to find the balance of safety and aesthetics to optimize the experience for visitors to your site.

    For more information on our capabilities, products, or projects, contact us today. To request a quote, submit via the online form.

  5. K-Rated Bollards vs. M-Rated Bollards

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    K-Rated Bollards vs. M-Rated Bollards

    Bollards are a common sight at the front of nearly any commercial building. Typically installed near entrances, these architectural structures protect pedestrians and buildings from damage caused by oncoming vehicles. They are available in numerous variations to suit different purposes, such as preventing cars from inadvertently ending up on the sidewalk, minimizing the risk of vehicles rubbing against buildings in drive-thrus, or stopping heavy-duty vehicles from ramming into high-security facilities. In applications where there is a high risk of vehicle impact, crash-rated bollards are generally installed. These bollards are commonly rated based on one of two crash rating systems: K-ratings or M-ratings.

    The following article discusses the differences between these two bollard crash rating systems.

    K-Rated Bollards

    K-rating bollard standards were originally developed by the United States Department of State (DOS) in 1985 and later revised by the DOS and Department of Defense (DOD) in 2003. Bollards that complied with these standards needed to withstand impact from 15,000-pound payloads (approximately the size of a medium-duty truck) moving at 30, 40, or 50 mph, depending on the rating.

    • K4-rated bollards stop 15,000-pound vehicles moving at 30 mph (48 kph).
    • K8-rated bollards stop 15,000-pound vehicles moving at 40 mph (65 kph).
    • K12-rated bollards stop 15,000-pound vehicles moving at 50 mph (80 kph).

    Following 9/11 and an increasing interest in developing technology to guard against criminal/terrorist attacks on buildings, the DOS updated these standards in 2003 to focus on the bollard’s effectiveness at stopping a moving vehicle (given that it is moving within its speed range) from passing the barrier.

    • K-rated bollards with L3 certification stop vehicles with less than 3 feet of penetration.
    • K-rated bollards with L2 certification stop vehicles with between 3 to 20 feet of penetration.
    • K-rated bollards with L1 certification stop vehicles with between 20 to 50 feet of penetration.

    Bollards with no certification have an unknown level of penetration resistance.

    M-Rated Bollards

    Following the widespread installation of K-rated bollards, the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) developed and introduced a more comprehensive bollard crash rating system that focused on a bollard’s ability to stop vehicle penetration through the barrier. This new system largely replaced the older K-rating system as it outlined speed and penetration ratings for a broader range of vehicles, including small passenger vehicles (2,430 lbs.), pickup trucks (5,070 lbs.), medium-duty trucks (15,000 lbs.), and heavy-duty vehicles (65,000 lbs.). However, many industry professionals continue to use the term “K-rating” when talking about barrier crash ratings for medium-duty trucks.

    Bollards rated for medium-duty vehicles could receive M-ratings.

    • M30-rated bollards stop 15,000-pound vehicles moving at 30 mph (48 kph).
    • M40-rated bollards stop 15,000-pound vehicles moving at 40 mph (48 kph).
    • M50-rated bollards stop 15,000-pound vehicles moving at 50 mph (48 kph).

    They could also be certified regardless of how far a vehicle travels past the barrier.

    • M-rated bollards with P1 certification stop vehicles with less than 3.3 feet of penetration.
    • M-rated bollards with P2 certification stop vehicles with between 3.31 to 23 feet of penetration.
    • M-rated bollards with P3 certification stop vehicles with between 23.1 to 98.4 feet of penetration.
    • M-rated bollards with P4 certification stop vehicles with over 98.41 feet of penetration.

    The revision of the rating standards and the replacement of old standards led to building designers and security experts putting more trust in the ability of M-rated bollards to resist high-speed, heavyweight impacts.

    Partner With Ontario Bollards for Quality Protection Products

    M-rated bollards—also commonly referred to as K-rated bollards—serve a critical role in anti-terrorism efforts. P1-certified bollards prevent 15,000 lbs. vehicles at a specific speed from penetrating the barrier beyond 36 inches, which helps minimize and/or eliminate the risk of injury to pedestrians and damage to buildings caused by oncoming cars and trucks. If you need K-rated bollards for your facility, Ontario Bollards has got you covered.

    At Ontario Bollards, we specialize in supplying, installing, and servicing the equipment you need to protect people and assets at your facility. One of our core product offerings is anti-terrorism (K-rated) bollards. To learn more about our product and service offerings, contact us or request a quote today.