The recent use of vehicles as weapons has presented a new and difficult-to-address threat. Security technology providers have been challenged to design a product that protects sites and venues from ramming yet can be deployed on quick notice. The other question is how to make such products available to the hundreds of events that today will use them. New mobile vehicle barriers have come a long way in solving the security component of the threat. Rental companies have an opportunity to help solve the logistic and supply element.
Achieving portability and “blockability”
Historically, vehicle barriers meant to protect areas and entrances relied on a combination of deep entrenched anchoring or bulk and strength to stop charging vehicles. The problem is that their strength and effectiveness required them to be static whereas security at an event today requires the capability of the security professional to quickly seal unprotected locations – sometimes on hours and sometimes on a few brief minutes’ notice. Furthermore, these scenarios might require deployment and redeployment of the same barriers at different points as crowds or activities move during the progress of the event itself.
New mobile barriers addressing this need are made of elements light enough to lift by hand and load for transport and versatile enough to set up quickly, yet strong enough to block a multiple-ton vehicle travelling at unpredictable velocity. These characteristics seem to be in contradiction to one another. However necessity, being the mother of innovation, has produced surprisingly effective solutions that answer these two needs. Mobility and “block-ability” have come together in new mobile barrier systems developed by Mifram Security.
Mifram Security is one of Israel’s longest-standing physical perimeter security companies. Its solutions include the “bread and butter” of physical fortress-type products including walls, fences, shelters and towers emphasizing innovation and portability. Mifram has been supplying the U.S Army, the Israel Defence Forces, the United Nations and dozens of police forces and commercial security bodies with products to enhance safety and security of soldiers and civilians alike. Mifram debuted its first mobile barriers in 2004 and recently created a new line of enhanced barriers that use a unique dynamic that directs the charging vehicle’s own velocity against the vehicle itself. The barrier is composed of an L-shape structure. The vehicle drives over the horizontal element of the L and, when it makes contact with the vertical element, the force of the impact causes the barrier to tip, driving the horizontal element upwards with great force and separating the vehicle’s front wheels from the driving surface. The product uses careful engineering to exploit the Jiu Jitsu principle of using the opponent’s mass and force against itself, and therefore does not require anchoring and excessive weight. Once the front tires have been lifted, the vehicle driver loses all control and the vehicle’s forward momentum is drastically reduced, if not stopped entirely. Even if the vehicle gets past the barrier and is still operable, it has been slowed significantly, giving pedestrians time to get away.
View the embedded image gallery online at:
A proven solution
These barriers have recently been tested and received certification at a leading American and European testing facility. These certifications include the U.S ASTM, the British PAS68 and new European IWA14 security standards. Their effectiveness is clearly demonstrated on test films available on the Mifram Security website. While not intended to compete with much heavier barrier systems, such as those towed by tractor trailers, or permanent, anchored barriers, MVB systems have proven their effectiveness at stopping the forward momentum of even large vehicles and preventing the driver from continuing forward into crowds at speed.
At 44 pounds and dimensions of just 40 inches long and 24 inches wide, we are unaware of any other barrier system that combines the MVB’s portability and vehicle-stopping power. The MVB-3X and the MVB Samson can both be used as static barriers or fitted with a retractable wheel pivot system enabling a security guard to move the barrier quickly to allow authorized vehicles entry and to allow facility vehicles and pedestrians egress and ingress at events. Tailored solutions for facility or event security needs are also available.
Opportunity for rental stores
The units break down into three compact sections for easy transport. Assembly requires no tools and can be accomplished by one person in minutes. Some users have packaged enough MVB systems for an entire event into one convenient trailer.
The units are reasonably priced and affordable to event organizers and police. However, the trends in the construction and event security industry point towards convenience and on-demand supplies. This presents an opportunity for rental companies to carry this product and provide it to the thousands of public events that require vehicle barrier protection. Street festivals, sporting events, rallies, speeches, auctions – the list is endless.
Mifram Security continues to look for equipment and event rental partners interested in making this technology available in the U.S. and Canada.
For 55 years, Mifram has developed, planned and constructed a wide range of defensive products, anti-terror protection, threat protection, fortification, natural disaster and project management solutions for organizations around the world. For more information, visit miframsecurity.com.
David Schwartz is international business development manager with Mifram Security.