Property managers, business owners, government agencies, bank and healthcare facilities (amongst many other examples) across the United States are at increasing risk for a storefront vehicle incursion. This is a risk both to business owners and the pedestrians and customers both in front of and inside their facilities. In the example above, as in many vehicle storefront crashes, the culprit was non-malicious driver error. In this instance the driver mistook the brake for the gas pedal and by the time the driver realized what had happened, the car was buried well into the bank lobby. Luckily, this car into storefront incident occurred just prior to the branch opening and as a result no employees or banking customers were injured or worse.
Protective bollards are an ideal solution for this type of low speed vehicle incursion. While this specific incident occurred off hours, it still created havoc for the bank branch. The crash caused the bank branch to close for a number of days, and caused thousands of dollars in damages that could have been avoided had a parking barrier solution been deployed. Further, the branch lost countless hours to service customers and in employee productivity.
Bollards used to protect storefronts come in a wide range of functionality and security levels. Commonly used in storefront vehicle protection applications are fixed or embedded bollards and removable bollards. Fixed bollards provide an ideal solution in areas where vehicle access will never be required, creating a permanent barrier between the storefront and parking and traffic lanes. Removable bollards provide a solution where vehicle access will occasionally be required and the bollard barriers can be removed from time to time to service equipment and otherwise maintain the property. The question of vehicle access is a relatively simple one for property owners to answer. What becomes more difficult is determining the level of security the bollard system needs to provide.
Some storefronts are designed in a way that they have minimal risk for a high speed vehicle incursion. Often, parking lots are wisely designed to avoid long ‘run-ups’ to the store front where a vehicle could gain high speed. In these instances, standard 4.5” removable or fixed bollards may be considered. In instances where higher speeds can be gained, a crash tested bollard solution may be considered. There are a number of solutions crash tested to ASTM F3016 on the market today in both embedded and removable security bollard options. ASTM F3016 is a low speed storefront standard that tests a security devices ability to stop a 5,000 lb. vehicle at 10, 20 or 30 MPH. For higher speed concerns, ASTM 2656 tested parking barriers may be considered.
Regardless of the solution, property owners and managers can protect people and avoid costly property damages and liability by deploying vehicle barriers.