Your driveway is an essential protection point acting as an immediate deterrent to potential criminals, yet this access area is often dismissed; however, a well-protected driveway is particularly important for those with expensive vehicles. And, this is not just limited to cars but also caravans, trailers, trucks and bikes – any vehicle you may park outside your premises is at risk. There are a variety of ways to improve the overall security of your driveway, typically an electric gate is considered the best option as they provide a high level of protection and often suit domestic properties best. However, electric bollards serve as an excellent alternative solution if you don’t want to completely inhibit vehicle and pedestrian access.

With so many options for bollards available though, knowing where to start can be a struggle. So, to help you understand if these could be the right solution for you, our WLS engineers have put together this handy guide to provide you with the need-to-know information to assess your driveway security requirements.

Do electric bollards really work to successfully improve safety?

Bollards are a highly effective visual deterrent; they signal to a would-be thief that stealing from your property will be a monumental task. The majority of criminals are opportunists, if they see an obstacle denying them ease and increasing their chance of getting caught, they’ll likely move on. In addition, bollards prevent other unwanted vehicles from parking or turning on your premises and ram-raid attacks on your garage.

This security measure is a relatively inexpensive investment compared to the significant legal costs associated with a stolen vehicle and potentially astronomical insurance prices. Not to mention, electric bollards offer improved peace of mind – eliminating the risk of the emotional turmoil that often comes after a theft.

It’s clear to see, therefore, the benefits of this security investment. Whilst automated gates tend to be the route of preference for many, bollards can be an excellent less obtrusive alternative that will still provide you with an impressive added level of protection for not only your vehicles but also your property. They are particularly useful when the emphasis is on preventing unauthorised vehicles access whilst still allowing the free flow of pedestrian traffic.

Choosing the right bollard for you: The different types of automated bollards

The type of electric bollard you choose to install will depend on a few different factors, the first is to consider the type of vehicle that will be accessing the area and therefore, the level of security required. There are, of course, other types of bollards including fixed, telescopic and removable, however, these provide a less sophisticated means of access as they require manual handling.

Standard automatic bollards

Remotely controlled using a key fob, automatic or electric bollards represent the high-end of security post protection and this is reflected in the price. They require a more extensive installation method than telescopic or removable bollards as they operate using an advanced hydraulic pump system. But for those looking to frequently access an area, an automatic bollard could be the right option as ultimately it will save you time in the long run as no manual handling will be needed.

NOTE: If you have a high water table but feel you need automatic bollards, you may want to consider installing a drain that ensures water is continuously diverted away from the system.

Hostile vehicle mitigation – PAS 68

BSi PAS 68 is the Publicly Available Specification for vehicle security fencing, gates, blockers, bollards and barriers. It has become the standard benchmark for all hostile vehicle mitigation products and all physical perimeter security equipment is tested against this for vehicle-borne attacks.

The PAS 68 high-level security bollards are capable of stopping a 7.5T vehicle travelling up to 50mph. These can be incorporated into an automatic system and offer superior strength and durability yet still allow permitted vehicles ease of access.

Plus: ANPR triggered bollards

We can also integrate intelligent ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) with your automatic bollards for accurate and reliable control, protecting areas against the entry of unauthorised vehicles. Typically controlled via a whitelist, when a vehicle approaches the area the number plate is captured using ANPR and checked against this list. If matched, the bollard will immediately lower and rise once the vehicle has cleared the area.

Standard police ANPR databases can be incorporated into your system to aid the service detect blacklisted vehicles too.

Installing electric bollards

Once you’ve chosen the type of electric bollard you want to be installed, there are a few crucial steps you need to take to ensure this is a smooth process. And, remember to consider the overall aesthetic, particularly if you are installing this security measure on your own personal premises – stainless steel is a popular option.

#1 Work with a professional

Professional advice is essential when installing new security bollards. The company you choose to install your electric bollards should have the experience to provide you with expert results that you can rely on time and again. At WLS, we work with you to understand your requirements and can integrate your automatic bollards with a full access control system, door entry system or biometric access control to create a highly effective security space.

Particularly for a bustling business with regular suppliers and employees entering restricted parking areas, electric bollards should be incorporated into a full access control system to seamlessly provide high-level security, without the need for constant monitoring. But how many bollards do you need? The professional you work with will be able to answer any questions or concerns you may have, however, typically we recommend spacing your bollards 1.4–1.5m apart, centre to centre from a specific starting point (i.e. a wall or hedge). This will allow pedestrians to comfortably walk through freely and prevent standard vehicles from accessing the premises without authorisation.

The process is rather simple for our experienced team, we:

  1. Mark out the areas where you want your bollards located
  2. Dig up the spots where they will go
  3. Install the advanced hydraulic pump system to allow for automatic operating (and drainage if required)
  4. Place the bollards and ensure all is in full working order

#2 Understand the backup safety measures in place

Once installed your automated bollards will be tested to ensure all is in working order, yet there must be a safety backup device in place to ensure they cannot rise when a vehicle is on top. There should be a detection system or overriding control system, preventing any malfunctions for damaging vehicles around the premises. You certainly don’t want to be responsible for an issue such as this!

Oh dear. Not a great day for this chap in #Cardiff #massivefail

electric bollards

— Mike Leeson (@leeson_mike) December 19, 2018

When you install multiple bollards, we can set the automatic system to best suit your safety needs, again ensuring optimal efficiency. To prevent avoidable incidents, you can have your automated bollards installed to raise and lower simultaneously or in succession. This can serve as another backup measure in the unlikely event your electrical system malfunction.

#3 Maintenance

Electric bollards are hardy, tough security measures that are built to last. And, because of this, the importance of maintaining them is often overlooked but they still need regular servicing to ensure everything is in working order! We recommend one service a year for your security bollards, although you should be aware of their unique maintenance aspects concerning their material and the environment they are in.

For example, a bollard on a high-water table should be regularly checked as the bollard may rust or the system could fault due to additional pressure if the drainage in place should block. Automatic bollards should never be left submerged in water, ensure the professional you work with emphasises the importance of a proper drainage system.

WLS: Our FAAC rising bollards

Electric bollards can be a fantastic alternative to automated gates, offering you more flexibility if you need to focus on limiting vehicular access rather than pedestrian. Whilst there are a variety of different options available, we recommend automatic bollards that can be seamlessly integrated into a complete access control system. This will ensure you have the same level of flexibility offered from an electric gate – a fixed, telescopic or removable bollard can simply not compete with the sophistication and ease of automatic.

Our team of highly-trained engineers can install innovative, high-quality FAAC rising bollards for all sites and security levels. Automatic security bollards need to be sturdy, functional and extremely hard-wearing and you must work with an established industry professional that can provide you with the right results. We can install security measures that are made to last and can take more than a few knocks!

WLS is fully accredited and has been offering security gates, security barriers and automatic bollard installation services in London and the surrounding area for more than 25 years. For more information, complete this contact form and or call one of our experienced sales team members on 0208 914 7321. They’ll be more than happy to answer any of your questions! To keep up to date with all our new products and the latest industry news follow us on social media.

WLS, creating safe space for you.

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