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Are Safety Barriers The New Anti-Terror Weapon?

RB22 With Metal Hoarding

Headlines about the southern border wall in the USA might be dominating the news agenda lately but, post 9-11, barriers, fencing, and other architectural safety measures are also trending topics.

Today, historic buildings require 21st century security and safety measures, which are the least obtrusive and that may even enhance their beauty.

One major example is the $20 million glass wall erected by the French authorities around the Eiffel Tower in Paris for security purposes. This transparent, bullet-proof wall provides a protective perimeter around the iconic landmark. What’s the reason? Terrorism.

Arguably one of the worlds’ most noted and spectacular attractions, the Eiffel Tower has been identified as a potential target for terrorism. Following multiple terrorist attacks since 2014, the ‘anti-ballistic’ wall is a sad but necessary reality to help protect the public and the structure.


Putting public safety and security first in planning

Security is now an even more important consideration for architects, planners and project managers working in the public sphere. Front line defence services cannot be relied on to be fully effective so security must be built into the heart of every new design, for both safety and liability protection.

Buildings designed after 2001 must include some form of safety and security measures because their owners, the public and insurers expect and demand it. In particular, the liability issues after any accident or attack can be significant. Transparent security such as the wall around the Eiffel Tower, provides not only provides a level of safety and visible security but it also acts as a deterrent and offers reassurance to the public.


Using security barriers to protect pedestrians

Police Scotland introduced security barriers last August, ahead of the Edinburgh Arts and Fringe Festivals, in the wake of terrorist attacks in London and Manchester. The barriers were installed to prevent vehicles being driven into pedestrians.

Edinburgh security measures

Previously used at other major UK events including Wimbledon and the European Cup Final in Cardiff, high security barriers and gates were installed on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile to protect against attacks in crowded locations such as Edinburgh Castle and the High Street.

Security barriers were installed overnight on Waterloo, Lambeth and Westminster bridges after the terrorist attack that saw a white van deliberately drive into pedestrians on London Bridge. Council leaders asked for the protective measures to be put in place permanently as a sensible and proportionate traffic management solution.

The barriers are made of concrete and metal and form a solid shield between the road and the pavement.


Enhancing safety and security at sporting events

Premier League football clubs are also deploying new anti-terror barriers at their grounds to protect pedestrians from attackers driving vehicles into crowds. Manchester United and Burnley FC already use the road safety barriers, designed to keep supporters safe at football matches.

Service Guard Deployment

The portable barriers can be installed in 20 minutes and have been described as a huge ‘leap forward’ in protection against vehicle-borne attacks.

Turf Moor and Old Trafford currently link barrier sections across access roads before matches. They are designed to allow pedestrians easy access between the barriers but can’t be penetrated by moving vehicles.

The two clubs have recognised their duty of care to fans attending their football fixtures. So when supporters arrive they can enjoy the game safe in the knowledge that they are better protected.

The changing nature of terrorist attacks means you have to protect people and places. Portable safety and security systems mean that, even if you’re planning a small event or are managing a modest-sized site you can still mitigate against an attack.

Contact us to find out how you can protect your site and the people around it.

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