Protective Bollards: Steel Pipe Security

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Perimeter security for pedestrians, buildings, and other property

galvanized steel pipe bollards fastened in bundle
Steel pipe bollards, shown here before installation, calm traffic and safeguard people and property.

Every year the number of vehicles on the road increases. As traffic increases, so does the likelihood of accidents and collisions. Properly planned site design, including the installation of security bollards can reduce the risk that traffic accident will harm people or property. Protective bollards are a risk-mitigation strategy that can secure without causing pedestrian bottlenecks or obscuring fences.

Security pipe is versatile

Security pipe bollards are simple steel poles buried deep in the ground which are surrounded by and filled with concrete. These protective bollards aren’t limited to a specific type of application. They secure pedestrians and properties from vehicle crashes, accidental or otherwise, in parking lots, along streets, as building perimeters, and more. Steel pipe bollards can be installed in most locations or ground surfaces.

Bollard protection for buildings

Accidental crashes into structures and buildings are more common than most people expect, due to pedal error, medical events, or other loss of control. According to researchers at the Storefront Safety Council, more than 60 vehicles crash into buildings every day, leading to 3,600 injuries per year. Further injuries can be caused indirectly from the damage to the building itself, such as collapsing buildings, trapping people under building rubble and in vehicles, and fires from damaged electrical wires and equipment. In addition to safety issues, vehicle crash damage can cause temporary or permanent closures, as well as financial or insurance complications. Security bollards create a physical barrier to ensure vehicles can’t encroach on buildings and other sensitive areas. As a visual guide, they prevent people from accidentally driving where they should not.

steel pipe posts protect a pad-mounted transformer
Steel pipe bollards protect sensitive property, such as utilities.

Parking lot safety

Parking lots are another common location of car crashes. With drivers focused on finding empty parking stalls, cars backing in and out and turning spontaneously, and pedestrians walking in and around cars, accidents, though usually not severe, are frequent. Security bollards can protect pedestrian areas from intruding cars without limiting foot traffic.

Warehouses

Warehouses often use forklifts to move shipments in tight spaces, and even when moving at slow speeds, forklift collisions can cause serious injuries. Warehouse pipe bollards clearly define pedestrian areas in a working environment and create a barrier around sensitive structures such as shelf corners and loading docks.

Why choose steel pipe bollards

Steel posts are one of the simplest, most cost-effective ways to offer protection for buildings and pedestrians from vehicle collisions, as both a physical and visual barrier. Steel bollards can be installed in any surface, indoors or outdoors, to prevent entry from errant vehicles, secure vulnerable areas, and protect site assets.

Steel pipe bollards painted with primer in bundle on skid
Steel bollard pipes are made from ASTM 500 B structural grade steel. These pipes have been primed for paint.

Steel pipe bollards are made from structural grade steel, which is reinforced with and embedded in concrete for added strength. Made from ASTM 500 B structural grade steel, pipe bollards are best installed in new concrete surfaces, but can also be installed using concrete forms or in existing concrete, though they will provide less strength. Steel pipe posts can be cut to custom lengths, and are available in a range of colors to add visibility or complement the building’s design or branding.

Bollard covers for design appeal

While they provide security and traffic control functionality, steel pipe bollards can be unsightly. Without powder coating or covers, metal posts are also vulnerable to rusting, especially in rainy areas and near the ocean. While paint provides some protection, it requires yearly reapplication. If a bollard post is left untreated, temperature and moisture can cause rust and weaken the bollard over time.

Stainless steel bollard covers with reflective strips outside a hospital
Stainless steel bollard sleeves cover pipe bollards to add style to security.

To improve both aesthetics and durability, plastic, stainless steel, and decorative metal bollard covers are available. Bollard covers, or sleeves, provide easy-to-install, cost-effective protection for steel pipe bollards, by covering the outside of the post with a more durable material, and preventing exposure to rain, snow, ice, and deicing salts or fluids. Decorative bollard covers come in a wide variety of designs, enhancing a landscape’s visual appeal instead of detracting from it. Bollard sleeves can also increase the visibility of steel pipe posts—some covers can be equipped with reflective strips, further helping drivers notice the bollard.

From high-traffic parking lots, to vulnerable indoor areas, steel pipe bollards work as a safeguard for site users and assets. In locations where accidental collisions may occur, bollards can provide peace of mind for site owners and pedestrians alike.

Note: Several installation factors will affect the protective capacity of steel pipe bollards. Bollard dimensions, installation materials and surrounding site conditions affect the amount of force a bollard can withstand. Consult an engineer to identify suitability and installation requirements for specific site applications. Alternatively, shop crash-rated bollards—engineered for proven stopping power when installed correctly.

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