Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Check Your Barrier Plan

There is an interesting article over at about a recent vehicular accident at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC. It seems that last Tuesday a UPS delivery vehicle plowed through the “building's 1,200-pound cement security planters” and then entered the glass wall at the front of the building. No word yet what caused the accident, but no one thinks that terrorists were involved (I guess since there were no bombs or weapons in the truck). Well, it turns out that these weren’t the real security barriers; these are temporary (since 2003, I lived in WWII vintage temporary military barracks like that once, twice; oh well you get the idea). The real ones will get funded in a “future fiscal year” according to a Smithsonian spokesperson. Well, I could go on making fun of the Smithsonian and their security, but it wouldn’t really be fair. I don’t know what kind of threat assessment was done for the building. Depending on that assessment, these ‘visual deterrents’ may have been deemed to be perfectly adequate for the threat facing that facility. Besides; real barriers cost real money. Check Your Barriers Planters are one of the anti-vehicular barriers listed in Table C-1 (pg 149-50) of the RBPS Guidance Document. Unfortunately, just because something with that name is listed does not mean that your planter/barrier is going to stop the proverbial truck borne IED. If they are just sitting on top of a paved surface they will probably be able to be shoved around just as well as the ones at the Hirshhorn. The people who installed your barriers should be able to tell you the K-Rating for the barrier. You’ll need to have selected the appropriate K-Rating for your facility based upon the maximum speed that a VBIED (vehicle borne IED) could approach the area where the barrier is located. Note: the K-Rating is briefly explained on page 150 of the RBPS Guidance Document. A reasonable rule of thumb is that if they didn’t have to dig up something to ‘attach’ the barrier to your facility, then you probably have one of those visual deterrents.

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