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A Practical Guide to Rope Barriers and Belt Barriers for Your Business

Rope and belt barriers can be a great way of bringing some order to your premises. Running an event? Need to organise queueing areas? Want to restrict access to exhibits, areas or stairways? Temporary barriers are the solution for you. Here’s our practical guide to getting the right barriers for your business.

Rope barriers

These temporary crowd-control barriers add a touch of class while also providing the physical obstruction you need. Red carpet events, galleries, museums and hotel lobbies are all places where you can find rope barriers, and they also extend walkways and entrances for nightclubs and restaurants. Rope barriers are typically the most expensive of the common temporary barrier types – the luxury/glamorous effect can make the extra cost more than worth it, though.

Ropes can be found in different colours and with posts and bases made from different metals and finishes; there should be no difficulty in finding a combination that fits with your décor/ambience. The rope itself may be made from a range of materials, commonly including hemp, velour or a woven polypropylene. Each is fairly hard-wearing, although for outdoor use you’ll want to think about how the rope will respond to rainwater.

Belt barriers

Belt barriers, or retractable belt barriers, are a more cost-effective and utilitarian option. The barrier here is more immediate – a taut, typically waist high barrier rather than a more relaxed rope. A common sight in areas where strict queue formation is required (banks, shops, airports, concerts, customs, etc), these barriers lean towards practicality rather than luxury. Belt barriers are the perfect choice for when you need to either form or adjust a queueing area quickly and efficiently, for example if you are opening/closing a cashier point, or responding to increasing queue lengths.

How are they used?

There are subtle differences between the two kinds of barriers when it comes to how they are used. With retractable belt barriers you deploy the barrier by pulling a tape out from its stanchion and connect it to a second stanchion. Rope barriers do not work like this, the rope does not retract so, if you need to remove the barrier temporarily or adjust/realign it, you’ll have to either physically take the rope away or have someone hold it.

An important thing to consider here is that a poorly made/low-quality belt barrier will ‘snap back’ when removed from its secondary connection. This can cause injuries, particularly to small children whose faces are more likely to be in the line of fire. Make sure to always get retractable belt barriers that have built-in ‘auto-locking’ mechanisms – these will cause the belt to retract slowly, so in the case of accidental disconnection it will not snap back.

A good quality rope barrier will have a hoop at the top of the stanchion, allowing you to have the rope connected at a full 360-degree range. Belt barriers will typically need adjusting to get the right angle, or some units have multiple belt points to allow different directions to be blocked.

Author Bio: First Mats started life as safety matting specialists, but have since expanded to become a complete industrial and commercial supplies company. The focus of First Mats is to provide safety-focused products that improve the wellbeing of staff through quality approved products, backed up by extensive knowledge. www.firstmats.co.uk

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