A Closer Look at Visual Deterrents


Half of the battle against aggressors is pre-planning. Establishing a comprehensive security system before an attack takes place ensures that staff and police are prepared for almost any eventuality. However, constructing or modifying an area to be highly secure without looking like a fortress is a challenge every architect faces, especially in locales where looks mean everything.

School campuses, inner-city buildings and rural complexes need to fit in wit their surroundings just as much as they need to be safe from vehicular attacks. While this is a delicate balance, there are some ways that designers can incorporate visual deterrents into their security plans that don’t make facilities look like maximum-security prisons.

The Eyes Have It

Deterrents can be incredibly effective at preventing crime. Security cameras are an excellent example by letting possible perpetrators know that they are being watched. Studies indicate that the mere presence of these devices may reduce property crimes by as much as 50% in urban areas, but only if cameras are recognizable by the public. In essence, the presence of an authoritative looking camera poses an effective deterrent, even if the equipment is not in use or recording.

The NYPD has been using vapor-sniffing dogs since 2017 for similar reasons. Trained to detect the scent of suicide vests instead of seeking stationary packages, these canines can follow a suspect through crowded areas, pinpointing their location in an instant. Visually they tell any possible aggressors that, while they may not be seen by police, they can never hide the smells associated with their criminal plans. Security designers can easily use similar tactics when seeking to lessen the vulnerability of the areas they are trying to protect.

A Warning They Can See

Terrorists look for soft targets that will have the most impact. For vehicular attacks, that means places where there are a lot of people that can be easily accessed by incoming traffic. While strong fences and moats are effective at stopping vehicles in their tracks, their formidable tone is hardly suitable for every situation. The solution is to choose security solutions that are both visually appealing or unnoticeable while providing the stopping power necessary to prevent attacks. Many designers are turning to bollards as an alternative to fencing. While this does little to stop pedestrian traffic, they are quite effective at stopping vehicular incursions. Since areas in larger cities and on school grounds tend to require more foot traffic than in more private locales, there is little in the way of security tradeoffs.

The bigger challenge is preventing unwanted egress into places where cars and trucks are allowed. Installing rising barricades such as Delta Scientific’s shallow mount wedge systems are an excellent solution. These devices allow architects to create a vehicular entryway that lies flat and almost out of sight when not in use and rises into position at a moment’s notice. Visually they are not as intimidating as gates and are even more stopping power with their K-rating.

For more information on how high-impact barricades and bollards can help bolster security, contact the experts at Delta Scientific. With the proper insight on positioning and effectiveness, it’s easy to integrate powerful vehicular security that blends while simultaneously creating a welcoming landscape.