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
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.
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.
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-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.
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.
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.
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.