Effective Bollard Spacing for Maximum Security
When most people think about pedestrian and security bollards, they probably don’t pay too much attention to the space between them. Good bollard spacing is actually very important, too wide and they’re no good- to narrow and they’re an annoyance! The exact standards may vary depending upon the application, but the spacing is always an underlying factor, and it’s often a legal requirement. Let’s take a closer look at bollard spacing.
The Spacing Must Promote Safety
One of the main reasons why a series of bollards may be needed in an area is to promote public safety. This could be to delineate a perimeter for pedestrian paths and roads or to act as part of a traffic calming system. Whatever the application the bollard needs to add to the safety of the public and never detract from it. In the past, there were occasions where the well intentioned placement of bollards was disastrous due to poor planning and incorrect spacing. As an example: In the US a series of bollards was set up to delineate between a path and a cycle lane, a loose staggered configuration was used. The cyclists were forced to weave between the bollards to avoid pedestrians, and this caused collisions and injuries, some of them were even fatal.
Emergency Responder Access Considerations
In the even to an accident or a crime the emergency responders need to be able to reach any casualties quickly. If a series of bollards is in the area, there needs to be adequate space for a first responder carry emergency equipment to get through. In many areas, this is why the bollard spacing is set at around 2.4m. This is a spacing that would be very suitable for any type of public park, pedestrianised shopping precinct or any low crime area in general. This may seem like a large gap, but it’s important to think about access for stretchers, jaws of life and other emergency equipment that could be needed to save a life.
Tighter Spacing is More Secure
If the security bollards are located in a sensitive location that could be targeted by criminals or terrorists, then the spacing should be tighter. Some counter terrorism experts recommend a spacing of 2.1m, but around high profile targets, this could be even narrower, maybe even 1m in extreme cases. This is required to provide a better level of protection against vehicular threats, such as car bombs, cars running over pedestrians and ram raids. The tighter spacing will allow for more bollards to be deployed, and they can absorb more kinetic force from vehicle impacts.
Inappropriate Bollard Spacing Concerns
It’s important to understand that in the event of an accident any inappropriate bollard spacing will be scrutinized. Public and private property owners could be open to prosecution, and this should be carefully considered before the bollard installation goes ahead. If you’re in any doubt about how to proceed it’s a good idea to concern an expert company such as Image Bollards early in the process.