Quantcast Barrier Operations

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Barrier Operations. A barrier must be capable of operating continuously and with
minimal maintenance and downtime to properly satisfy security requirements. System failure
modes must be evaluated to ensure that the barrier will fail in the predetermined position (open or
closed), based on security and operational considerations. Selecting a normally open (allowing
access) or closed (preventing access) option should be evaluated based on traffic flow conditions at
the site (either existing or expected) and the overall site security plan. Emergency operation
systems (backup generators or manual override systems) should be in place to operate the barrier in
case of breakdowns or power failure. Contract guards, unions, and security officers should be in the
decision to deploy and use a vehicle barrier system. If a normally open (allows traffic through)
operation is selected, there must be sufficient distance between the guard and the vehicle barrier to
allow activation and closing of the barrier.
Clear Zones. Barriers installed in clear zones must be designed so they will not provide
a protective shield or hiding place. Tall, continuous barriers, such as planters, Jersey Barriers,
guardrails, and other similar passive vehicle barriers, can be a violation of mandated requirements,
if installed in a designated clear zone.
Environment. The environment must be considered during the selection process.
Hinges, hydraulics, or surfaces with critical tolerances may require heaters to resist freezing
temperatures and ice buildup. They may also require protection from excessive heat, dirt, humidity,
salt water, sand, high water table, and debris. If options for protection against environmental
conditions are not available, the system may be unsuitable for a specific location. Maintenance
should be increased and/or compensating options (i.e., sump pumps, heaters, hydraulic fluid coolers,
etc.) selected for vehicle barriers subject to severe environmental conditions to ensure acceptable
Installation Requirements. The vehicle barrier selected must be compatible with the
available power source and with other security equipment installed at the selected site, such as
perimeter intrusion detection and CCTVs designed to detect and assess covert penetration of the
perimeter. Power requirements can vary depending upon the manufacturer and location of the
Operator Training. Most manufacturers recommend operator training for active barrier
systems. Operator training prevents serious injury and legal liability, as well as equipment damage
caused by improper operations. If a manufacturer does not provide a thorough program for operator
training, the user should develop a checklist for normal and emergency operating procedures.
Options. Manufacturers offer a number of optional features that can be added to the
baseline systems. Some options enhance system performance, while others improve maintainability
or safety. Options increase system cost and may also increase maintenance requirements. Selection
of options depends on operational, safety, security, site, and environmental conditions. Options
available from manufacturers for active vehicle barrier systems certified by the Department of State


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