What Are Crash Ratings and What Do They Mean?

fence crash ratings

Fences such as this one, with K4 crash ratings, can withstand significant damage.

Security gates and fences are issued a “K” rating to communicate their security abilities and strength. A K rating is a Crash Test Certification issued by the Department of State (DOS) to any fence, gate, bollard, or barrier, which indicates how the barrier reacts to a vehicle of a specific weight at a particular speed. Essentially, the K crash ratings indicate the stopping power of a barrier. The crash ratings indicate something specifically for each gate and are communicating to people designing security barriers what they can expect. Read on to learn how each crash rating differs, and what each rating means for your security needs. 

“K” Crash Ratings

The weight of the vehicle is set at a standard of 15,000 pounds. The DOS standard barriers can only allow the truck to travel no more than 36 inches past the bed. The K crash ratings you need to know are the following: 

  • K4: is for a vehicle traveling 30 mph.
  • K8: for a vehicle traveling 40 mph. 
  • K12: is for a vehicle traveling 50 mph.

For example, if a K4-rated gate is hit by a truck weighing roughly 15,000 pounds traveling at 30 mph, the truck should travel no further than 36 inches past the barrier. 

Where Are Crash Rated Materials Used

The gates and barriers that have received crash ratings are used in many locations that require high security, including the following: 

  • Commercial, industrial, and governmental applications
  • High profile residences and estates
  • Power plants, fuel depots, chemical plants
  • Federal and state government and military installations

How to Use Your K Rated Security Barriers

Receive a Rating

Many security barriers can be given crash ratings. Perimeter fencing and gates achieve K rating through cable or beam reinforcements. As a rule, active barriers such as drop arm barriers, wedge barriers, and pop up bollards achieve their K rating through enhanced materials and foundations. 

Combine with Natural Barriers

A K rated barrier is not the only tool required to protect a facility. You can also use natural barriers, decorative products, and enhanced entrance designs to provide ultimate security without sacrificing aesthetic appeal. 

Incorporating Crash Ratings Into the Cost

The manufacturer incurs the expense of earning crash ratings for security barriers, and the cost is included in the final pricing of the product. Do not expect a low-cost, effective anti-terrorism barrier or anti-ram device. Additionally, the installation cost may be higher because of the considerable foundation required for a specific K rating. The cost is essential, however, for installing this vital security feature that protects your facility from intrusion and destruction. 

Choose Hercules High Security to Protect Your Property

Whether you need White House-level security fencing, or you need the perfect version of a white picket fence to guard your business or residential property, trust the experts at Hercules High Security. For more information and to learn how we can meet your custom fencing needs, contact Hercules High Security online or give us a call at 1-800-395-9597. Our professionals are ready to serve you from Maryland and the Washington Metropolitan area to Richmond, Virginia. We have branch offices in Manassas, Richmond, Newport News, Norfolk, Virginia, and Maryland. We will ensure your investment serves your family and your business for years to come! For updates and to see projects we’re working on, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

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