Fact: the vast majority of businesses need crowd control ropes for their day-to-day operations.
Whether you own a small retail shop, manage a large hotel, run a mid-sized university, or oversee a large commercial construction site, the chances are good that you need crowd control ropes to create queues, section off parking lots, or designate danger zones.
But do you know which types of ropes are best for your business?
Naugahyde, plastic, polyester retractable belt: the options are endless. And just because one type of crowd control rope works for a particular business, that doesn’t it will work for another.
Just ask the construction site manager who bought red velvet hanging ropes to section off a chemical hazard (Hi, Ted!).
Hanging Stanchion Ropes
You may not have known what hanging ropes are called, but you’ve almost definitely seen them. Hanging ropes are the classic ropes you see lining red carpets, creating queues at fancy hotels and restaurants, and keeping you out of the bar when the bouncer doesn’t like your shirt.
There are four types of hanging stanchion ropes:
1. Velour ropes (velvet)
2. Naugahyde ropes (leather)
3. Polypropylene ropes (plastic)
4. Hemp ropes
Velour/velvet ropes are sometimes referred to as “event ropes” because they’re often used for red carpet events. When you’re looking to bring an element of flair and glamour to an event, velvet hanging ropes can help you do it.
Naugahyde/leather hanging ropes are another excellent event planning option, particularly if your event is happening in a place where weather could be an issue. Velvet ropes lose their shine and soft texture in the rain. Leather ropes, on the other hand, are made with a protective coating that protects them from water damage.
When you want to a host a slightly more casual event, like a barn wedding or country club reunion, polypropylene or hemp hanging ropes work best. Both have a “twisted” effect that makes them look like natural rope, and both are incredibly durable.
If your ropes are going to get wet or muddy or be used daily basis, polypropylene and hemp ropes are great choices because they hold up well over long periods of time.
Retractable Belt Barriers
Retractable belt barriers are the ultimate workhorse of the crowd control universe.
Just think about all of the different places you see retractable belts in your day-to-day life:
- In line at the bank or the post office
- At an airport security check-in,
- Lining up to get tickets to a sporting event,
- Checking out a book at the library,
- Waiting in line for the Pixar Midway Mania ride at Disney World (okay, maybe not a day-to-day occurrence, but we wish it were).
Retractable belt barriers are so ubiquitous because they’re super versatile. Unlike with shorter hanging ropes, when you need to resize a queue at a moment’s notice, you can rearrange the position of your retractable belts without having to move around any stanchions (read our guide to Setting Up a Queue to learn how).
Belts can be purchased in a huge variety of lengths and colors. Even better, if you’re looking for some extra branding or sellable advertising space, retractable barrier belts can be customized with logos or slogans.
One to keep in mind if you’re thinking about purchasing retractable belt barriers: small children love to play with them. We’re willing to bet you’ve seen at least one mischievous child take a retractable belt off its stanchion and let the belt going flying.
To make sure no one gets injured when this happens (and, trust us, it will), buy retractable belt barriers with an auto-lock system.
Auto-lock systems help a belt retract slowly, rather than swinging wildly, when it becomes loose. Domestically made retractable belt barrier cassettes and stanchions are required by law to feature auto-lock systems; internationally made retractable belt barriers and stanchions are not. If you’re purchasing internationally, verify with the supplier that your retractable belt barriers feature auto-lock systems.
Plastic Hanging Chains
For some businesses, even the most high-quality hanging ropes and retractable belts won’t hold up well enough for their needs.
Construction sites (residential and commercial), warehouses, plants or facilities, and roadways all require something more heavy-duty to section-off dangerous areas and keep workers out of danger zones.
Enter plastic hanging chains.
Plastic hanging chains are made from high-quality plastic and typically come in black or neon colors (yellow, orange, magenta, green, etc.). If, however, you need plastic chains to section off a valet parking lot or for a celebrity event space, you can find them in gold and silver.
Because the quality of the plastic used to make chains can vary so much from one manufacturer to the next, be extra careful when ordering plastic stanchions online. Look for phrases like “UV protected” and “fade, chip, peel, and discolor resistant” to guarantee that the stanchions and chains you’re purchasing are made from high-quality plastic.
Buying low quality plastic stanchions may save you money today, but it will hurt your bottom line later when you need to replace them within a year because they’ve melted, chipped, or faded.
We hope this post has helped you figure out which types of crowd control ropes your business needs. Want to learn how to use your new ropes? Read our post on Setting Up a Queue.