Retractable Belt Stanchions & Barriers Guide
A retractable belt barrier is usually, but not always, composed of three things: a post, a base, and a cassette that features a spooling retractable belt that can be dispensed as needed to create a barrier once connected to a receiver. The receiver could be another post or a wall-mounted receiver. Several of these barriers can be connected via the belts to create a full crowd control set-up to direct lines of people or keep them from accessing off-limits areas. But there are several different types of belt barriers available. What’s the difference between each type, and which applications are best for each? Let’s find out.
This type of belt barrier involves a post and base stanchion with the cassette at the top. Typically made of metal, though a few plastic versions exist, these posts are durable and attractive, in addition to being portable. Set up and take down are easy, and your set up can be reconfigured as needed without much hassle. As such, these are great for areas where a crowd control floor plan may need to be changed on the fly, to accommodate larger or smaller crowds or in a non-permanent facility.
There are a few variations of these posts, including low profile “gallery” posts that provide visual barriers without obstructing views, and roller posts with built-in wheels on the base to allow for easier and more convenient transportation.
Another retractable belt stanchion variant is the dual line barrier. These are similar to the standard type, but feature a secondary belt cassette halfway down the post. This provides some extra security in areas where you wish to make the barriers a bit more substantial. They work well for areas where young children may be present, as their height may allow them to pass too easily under single belt stanchions. And, of course, they can function exactly like a single belt barrier by only using the top cassette if desired.
These belt barriers feature a post and belt cassette, but no base. Instead, they are either secured directly into the ground (fixed posts) or a socket is installed in the ground in which a post can be installed or removed (removable posts). These posts require a little more intensive installation, and are designed for areas that require a more permanent crowd control solution, and one that won’t need constant reconfiguring. The removable posts do allow you some versatility in the event that you need to clear an area of barriers.
While they are less portable, their stationary nature makes them more secure and less likely to be tampered with than traditional belt barrier stanchions.
These posts or wall-mount barriers contain larger cassettes that house belts up to 65 feet long or more. If you wish to direct traffic over a longer distance, without a lot of twists and turns along the way, these posts eliminate the need for a large amount of stanchions. The posts are heavier to allow for a longer span and more stability. These type of posts are ideal for areas where you want to keep pedestrians on a specific path and away from large unsafe areas, such as airport runways or warehouses. They let you cordon off big areas quickly and easily, with very few posts.
Ditching the post and base altogether, these barriers are basically just belt cassettes with wall attachments. They mount to walls in one of several ways depending on the type: typically they use screws, but velco, magnetic, hose clamps and even suction cups give you more mounting options in some cases. Wall mount barriers are useful in areas where floor space is at a premium, since a large base would add unnecessary clutter in tight spaces. They work well in warehouses, narrow hallways and doorways, store aisles, cash register lanes and more.
While most retractable belt barriers can be used temporarily in outdoor settings, certain posts are specifically designed to handle consistent outdoor usage. These posts need to be durable enough to stand up to inclement weather, stable enough to stand their ground, and visible enough to be seen in dark or low visibility situations. Many options are brightly colored, and made of plastic materials that are more weather resistant than most metals. Additionally, some options feature fillable bases to increase stability, that can be filled with water, sand, gravel, or whatever you desire.