Improper Steel Barrier Setup – the Crowd Falls for Julia

by | Jan 23, 2014 | Effective Crowd Control, Near Miss | 0 comments

A scary moment involving actress Julia Roberts which occurred on the red carpet of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards on January 18, 2014 showed the importance of the proper set up of crowd control barricades.

The incident showed that the barricades which lined the red carpet were obviously not interlocked with one another. With hundreds, perhaps thousands, of fans lining the red carpet, the effectiveness of the barricades intended to create a “no access” zone to keep the celebrities secure was compromised when they were simply placed next to – rather than interlocked with – each other.

As Roberts walked toward a crowd of fans to chat and shake hands, the crowd toppled over a metal crowd control barricade, nearly hitting the Oscar-nominated actress, who had to jump out of the way. Several fans also fell over, but fortunately no one was seriously injured.

Steel Barriers improperly setup
Proper Steel Barrier Setup

With a line of interlocked steel barricades, crowd pressure on any single barricade, such as the one approached by Roberts, will not cause that barricade to fall forward, as the strength of the entire line, supported by each barricade’s hook and receiver, reinforces each individual barrier.

Simply placing crowd control barricades next to each other can act as a visual and psychological message of a “no access” zone, but it cannot truly secure that zone in the event of a crowd surge.  Whether a site has to protect A-List Hollywood celebrities, spectators at a parade, or public officials at rallies or speeches, barricades must be set up in interlocked lines to ensure proper crowd control and prevent incidents such as the one which nearly injured Julia Roberts and her fans at the SAG Awards.

As the animation below demonstrates, the hooking system locks the barriers in place and reinforces the entire line of barricades.

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