Your Crash Course on Creating a Vehicular Perimeter Security System

Here are seven factors to consider when deploying barriers, barricades and bollards for vehicle-based physical access control on your campus perimeter.

Even stronger shallow foundation barriers will destroy a 65,000-pound (5.4 million foot-pounds) dump truck traveling 50 mph and continue to stand, preventing a potential second attack. 


However, bollards are the most used permanent solutions on campuses because they can be raised and lowered to permit or deny access. These systems operate individually or in groups up to 10, and are used for intermediate level security applications. Individual bollards are up to 12.75 inches in diameter, up to 35 inches high and are usually mounted on 3-5 foot centers. They are tested to stop and destroy an attacking vehicle weighing 10,000 pounds moving at 65 mph or a 20,000-pound vehicle moving at 46 mph.

With bollards you can create the look you want. Ranging from faceted, fluted, tapered, rings and ripples, colors, pillars, to shields, emblems and logos, bollards are aesthetically pleasing and versatile. Campus officials can specify ornamental steel trim attached directly to the bollard, or select cast aluminum sleeves, which slip right over the crash tube. Bollards can be galvanized for corrosion resistance, fitted with an internal warning light for increased visibility and engineered to suit high traffic volume. If damaged, simply slip off the old and slip on the new.

No Application Is Too Large or Small

Protecting perimeters of facilities is no small responsibility. Knowing you’ve got the right equipment in place to secure the facility and to prevent human tragedy brings a peace of mind that no amount of money can buy.  Carefully researching available options and consulting with experts will ultimately lead to the right solution. 



How Some Campuses Use Their Barriers, Bollards and Barricades

Penn State University uses seven temporary barriers for home football games and special events for vehicle control and protection. The university is able to quickly deploy these barriers at strategic sites around the facility. After the event, they are quickly knocked down and towed to another location.

  • Manual beam barricades were recently installed at the Fort Bragg VA Hospital in North Carolina to shut down certain areas of the facility when a higher alert is sounded.
  • The Navy Hospital in San Diego uses high speed, high security, very shallow foundation barricades to control all vehicles going in and out of the facility.
  • The National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Md., uses shallow foundation barriers for traffic control and pro
  • Fixed post bollards protect the perimeter of buildings at Boston University Medical Center.
  • At Stanford University, the primary use of permanent pneumatically-operated bollards is to restrict vehicular traffic from entering the campus via maintenance roads. They are lowered to allow access to maintenance vehicles and raised immediately.
  • UCLA uses decorative bollards throughout the campus to restrict vehicle access to student housing areas and other locations that require temporary removal. Some of the areas block access to dumpsters and roads that require temporary access during admission periods.
  • Decorative bollards also protect the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, located on the West Campus of Texas A&M University.

David Dickinson is the senior vice president for Delta Scientific.

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