Many of us will recall how it was once common to see walls topped with broken glass, set into concrete. This form of anti climb protection is now illegal, replaced by a variety of specialist products which we examine in this post.
Anti Climb Devices and the Law
While its perfectly acceptable for properties to be protected with anti-climb wall toppings its important to be aware of legal restrictions.
For example, Section 164 of the Highways act 1980, states that where, on land adjoining a highway, there is a fence or boundary that has anti climb toppings installed and this anti climb device causes a nuisance to the highway the Local Authority may issue a notice for the nuisance to be removed.
The potential to cause injury to people or animals using the highway would constitute what’s recognised as a nuisance.
Generally, Local Authority Highways Departments consider the installation of anti climb toppings below a height of around 8 feet or 2.5 metres would possibly cause a nuisance.
The Occupier Liability Act means that even if a boundary, protected with anti climb toppings, doesn’t adjoin a highway and somebody was to injure themselves then the property owner or occupier would be liable. It must always be remembered that even trespassers are protected by the Occupier Liability Act.
Barbed wire is most commonly used and found in rural situations. The term ‘barbed wire’ encompasses a range of anti climb products but is generally accepted to be a reference to anything with jagged or sharp protrusions.
If barbed wire is used as an anti climb wall topping warning signs must be prominently displayed.
A variety of razor wire designs exist. Generally supplied in roll form and widely used around high security sites such as MOD, prisons, quarries and elsewhere.
Razor wire presents an extremely formidable anti climb barrier that’s both an effective visual and physical deterrent. As for barbed wire, razor wire requires the prominent display of appropriate warning signage.
Metal Wall Spikes
Metal wall topping spikes, such as Razor Point and Razor Spike, provide highly effective anti climb barriers. These anti climb barriers are robust, weatherproof and long lasting. They look formidable and act as a strong anti climb deterrent. As for other anti climb barriers that can potentially cause injury - its important to prominently display warning signage.
Plastic Wall Spikes
Anti climb technology has moved on since the days when broken glass what the main option. The variety of plastic anti climb wall spikes available today demonstrates how times have changed.
Stegastrip anti climb spikes are a great example of a highly effective anti climb system that appears to be made from metal. While the spikes are harmless, they look like they are made from wrought iron. So when this system is installed as a wall topping above a height of around 2 to 2.5 metres it acts as an extremely effective anti climb deterrent.
Prikla strips (sometimes called Prickler strips) are another form of plastic anti climb wall or fence topping that’s widely used to keep cats, foxes and other animals from climbing into private property.
Rotating Anti Climb Systems
One of the great innovations in modern day anti climb systems has been the development of a variety of rotating anti climb barriers. Rotating, unstable barriers are very difficult to overcome, which is why these systems have grown in popularity.
The versatile Stegastrip anti climb system not only works as a static, fixed row of anti climb spikes, it can also be used as an effective anti climb rotating barrier.
The Vanguard rotating anti climb barrier is another highly effective device that uses curved, aluminum vanes in a maintenance-free, easily installed design.
Roller Barrier is another form of rotating anti climb barrier that doesn’t use anything that even looks remotely aggressive. The plain roller cups look no more intrusive or frightening than the normal drainage guttering around most buildings. This is an important attribute that makes Roller Barrier highly suitable for a variety of environments in which aggressive looking barriers would be entirely inappropriate, such as schools and psychiatric centres. The non-aggressive functionality of Roller Barrier means that it can also be safely deployed at heights below 2.5m to prevent climbing on anything from equipment housings to low walls and fences.
Future of Anti Climb Wall Toppings
Innovation and ingenuity has led to the development of many different types and styles of anti climb wall topping. Some systems are entirely appropriate for high security situations while others are more appropriate for domestic and low security applications.