You may have heard the term “bollards” in relation to fencing, but do you really know what they are? Many people are unsure and a simple search online can leave you with just as many questions as you have answers. In short, safety bollards are typically used to protect the perimeter of commercial properties to provide not only safety for the property, but also to protect the safety of patrons and employees. They can also be used for residential properties, but are more common in the commercial industry.

What Are Safety Bollards?

Safety bollards date back more than 200 years. When they were first used, they were constructed with used cannons that were buried muzzles down, leaving the back ends standing out of the ground to provide a level of protection. Today’s bollards have taken on a similar shape, but they are made from various materials, rather than repurposing old cannons. Bollards were also used in the early 1800s for residential properties to protect them from stray carriages when curbs weren’t used. These bollards were made from cast iron. As cars came into the picture, bollards changed to protect against them, making them more suitable for protection.

Types of Bollards and Their Uses

Today, there are many types of safety bollards with a variety of uses, including the following:

  • Pedestrian Bollards — These bollards are primarily decorative in nature and are designed to guide pedestrians along the appropriate path, keeping them from straying where they shouldn’t go.
  • Security Bollards — Security bollards are typically stronger and are designed to stop vehicles from crashing into shops and other commercial properties. This tactic is typically used by burglars to more easily break into a storefront. The strong bollards prevent this from occurring.
  • Safety Bollards — These bollards work similarly to security bollards, but they aren’t built to be as heavy-duty, protecting against lower impact crashes.Their primary purpose is to protect the building from extensive damage, as well as prevent injuries to those who are inside the building.
  • Protect Building Components — Safety bollards installed for this purpose are typically placed around sensitive areas of a building, such as gas and water meters, to protect these vulnerable features from damage in the event of a crash in the area.
  • Protect Assets — These safety bollards are installed inside a commercial building and are designed to protect the assets inside from damage, particularly from fork lifts and other vehicles that may be used. They’re often found on the corners of refrigeration units or around ATMs or retail shelving. Not only do they make customers and employees more aware, but they protect against damage from carts and high-powered cleaning machines.
  • Bicycle Security — Sometimes you may see bollards outside a store with no apparent purpose. These bollards are the perfect place to chain a bike when there are no bike racks available, giving customers peace of mind their bike is protected while they shop.

Check out Western Fence Co.’s security products and contact us today!