Since the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and the 9/11 terrorist attacks, our country has become much more focused on the security of our large buildings, both federal and private. Hospitals have been particularly concerned due to the fact that they house a number of patients who may be difficult to move if there is a security breach. One step many hospitals have taken to combat this threat is to install security bollards.
For those unfamiliar with the term, bollards are metal posts often placed around buildings, parking areas, or other property types to help provide security, control the flow of vehicle and pedestrian traffic, or enhance an area’s aesthetic appeal. Hospitals frequently install sturdy steel bollards in front of their entrances to prevent anyone from crashing a car or truck into the building, either in anger or by accident.
Think a car crashing into a hospital sounds like the stuff of blockbuster movies? Unfortunately, this type of incident has happened before. Here are just a few cases:
- A former patient of the Royal Darwin Hospital in Northern Territory, Australia became agitated, drove his Toyota Camry the wrong way up a one-way street, and plowed down a wooden security bollard to crash into the hospital’s main entryway.
- A patient at Memorial Health System of East Texas was escorted from the building for becoming belligerent, then drove his pickup truck through a plate glass window near the emergency room.
- A man who was shot in the face outside a bar in Bridgeport, Connecticut drove himself to the Bridgeport Hospital in a panic and crashed his Nissan Altima into the emergency room entrance.
Luckily, none of the cases described above resulted in any serious injuries or fatalities (although there were some close calls). However, hospitals have their staff and patients to think of, and they shouldn’t take any chances when it comes to security. Factor in the increasing use of glass walls, rising cost of property damage, and the installation of expensive security measures like metal detectors near hospital entrances, and you get plenty of very good reasons why hospitals should employ steel pipe bollards.
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Bollards Improve Health Care Facilities
There’s been a rise in demand for bollards since 9/11, and manufacturers have been working hard to create products that will meet the security needs of hospitals and other buildings. The U.S. Department of State has implemented a K-rating system, which calculates bollard resistance based on the size and speed of a vehicle driving towards a building, so hospitals will know exactly what they’re getting when they invest in this security product.
In addition to keeping vehicles a safe distance from hospitals, bollards can help control the flow of traffic. For example, these installations can be used to help direct large emergency vehicles to one entrance while directing the cars of people driving a friend or family member to the emergency room to another drop-off area. These separate entrances can help emergency room entrances from getting too congested and make sure that patients get the treatment they need as quickly as possible.
Because hospitals generally don’t want to create the sense that their patients are entering a bunker, many health care facilities also invest in decorative bollard covers that fit over the top of basic steel bollards and improve the aesthetic appeal of the entrances. Reliance Foundry manufacturers this type of security bollard cover in a wide range of heights and base diameters so that hospitals aren’t just left with a series of heavy-duty steel pipes sticking out of the ground.
If you’re constructing a hospital or any other building that requires security bollards, browse through Reliance Foundry’s selection of bollard covers in order to ensure that entryways are secure but still look welcoming.