You’ve seen them at airports, schools, playgrounds, parks, shopping malls, sports fields, toll booths and on roadways. These short vertical posts, known as bollards, have been used for centuries to moor ships and more recently for traffic control and direction. In World War II, bollards, referred to as “Dragon’s Teeth,” were concrete structures used to slow down, stop or channel enemy tanks. Today, safety is ever present on our minds and warehouse bollards have proven to be a cost-effective way to build separate areas or boundaries of a property within sites.
In addition to fixed bollards, there are removable bollards, retractable and flexible bollards. Retractable and flexible bollards are particularly helpful as they permit various stages of access limitation in different types of circumstances. In commercial buildings, warehouses and outdoor areas where forklifts are present, simple bollards protect a company’s assets, both human and material. When it comes to protecting utilities, electronics, machinery, buildings or pedestrians from accidental collisions by vehicles like forklifts, bollards consisting of a simple steel post, anchored to concrete, cored into a hard surface or buried in the ground are called for. Collisions by vehicles can cause damage to vehicles, vehicle operators and bollards. As a result, new bollards have been designed to absorb some of the impact energy to lessen the violence of a collision. Such bollards are made with forgiving plastics or with steel and an elastomer that absorbs impact energy.
Bollards keep pedestrians in your warehouse, commercial building and outdoor sites safer by allowing walkers right of entry while restricting entry of vehicles in certain areas. Such bollards are guides that tell workers where they can and cannot drive, walk or park which ultimately prevent accidents involving vehicles and property as well as crime.
The American Bar Association (ABA) states that bollards contribute to homeland security. And the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) concludes that non crash-resistant bollards are “perceived impediments to access” of buildings. This is why many companies are also turning to bollards to prevent thieves from ramming vehicles into warehouses for “smash and grab” burglaries. In some cases, retractable bollards are used at main entrances to accommodate first responders in the event of an attack or emergency. Companies today are also opting for decorative bollards to keep the main entrance to their warehouse or facility as attractive as possible.
For warehouses, removable bollards are ideal. Hinged at ground level, surface mounted bollards are fitted with padlocks at the base to prevent the bollard from being moved without proper authorization. Removable bollards also give you the flexibility to re-configure your warehouse without the worry of having to remove a more permanent bollard. And for larger loads, removable bollards temporarily allow forklifts to maneuver more easily.
Bollards are also used in many workplaces to designate smoking areas. Many smokers’ bollards also function as a cigarette disposal unit, with a removable top connected to a steel container for holding cigarette butts. In most cases the top is lockable with a padlock that comes separately. Smokers’ bollards are an effective way to keep smoke separate from the workplace and your customers.
Whether for safety, security or to create designated areas in the workplace, bollards are a cost-effective way to protect your workers, pedestrians and customers while maintaining the curb appeal of your facility.