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.

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