The January 6th mob attack on the U.S. Capitol has made everyone highly aware of the need for effective security fencing. Subsequent to the attack, Capitol Police sealed off the campus area with around 3 miles of high quality, non-scalable security fencing that’s around 7 feet tall (over 2 metres) and topped with razor wire. Neighbours have said that while they understand the need to keep everyone safe they are resistant to making this fencing a permanent fixture.
What is Security Fencing?
Security fencing refers to various forms of fencing that’s used to raise the level of security at a particular site. There are many security fence types, designed for a variety of applications. Security fencing is generally used for perimeter security, protecting properties from unwanted intruders.
Security Fence Types
There are many different types and designs of securing fencing. Traditional metal railings, for example, are a well known form of fencing that can be considered as security fencing. Metal railings are commonly used around residential properties, parks and commercial premises. There’s a huge range of metal railing designs offering different levels of perimeter security, based on the height of the railings and whether spikes are part of the railing design.
Welded mesh fencing is a popular form of security fencing often used around schools, sports facilities and elsewhere. A key benefit of this form of fencing is that it doesn’t inhibit visibility which makes CCTV security more effective.
School security fencing needs to keep intruders out while at the same time discourage students from climbing over it to play truant. An important aspect of school security fencing is that it must present the right appearance while simultaneously keeping the school premises safe and secure.
Security fencing for sports facilities needs to keep people safe and effectively contain the sports activity to the designated area. This generally means that it needs to be high enough to prevent balls from going over the boundary and into roads or other people’s property, which can encourage children to stray into unsafe areas.
Introduced by the Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) in the 1990s, LPS 1175 certification refers to the resistance of security equipment (fencing) to forced entry. LPS stands for Loss Prevention Standard and LPS 1175 was developed based on the needs of the insurance industry. Certified forms of security fencing are typically used around secure hospitals, prisons, airports and railway lines.
Security fence toppings and fence spikes are typically added to standard forms of fencing to enhance security capabilities. There are a variety of fence topping designs, some which are aggressive (metal spikes) and others which are purposely harmless.
Security Fencing for Homes
When considering security fencing for a home it’s worth taking a moment to think about what the security is intended to achieve. It’s highly unlikely you will be facing the possibility of an attack from a group of armed insurrectionists, so the measures employed around the Washington Capitol are likely to be more than most home owners need.
In most circumstances, home owners want to:
- Deter and prevent human intruders from coming onto their property.
- In some cases, prevent unwanted animals from entering their gardens.
- In some cases, prevent children and vulnerable people from exiting from a site.
- In some case, keep pets and domestic animals from straying.
Here are some home security fencing considerations to keep in mind.
Privacy and Visibility
Solid wooden fence panels provide valuable privacy but also obscure the view of what’s on the other side. Most home burglaries take place during daylight hours and burglars love to work unseen. So a fence that provides obscurity can provide them with a concealment advantage.
When considering security fencing systems it’s important to prioritise requirements. For example, you might achieve the privacy required by installing solid wood panelling between your property and your neighbours but maintain security visibility by installing a see-through form of fencing in other sections of your perimeter. This can be particularly beneficial when a fence is adjacent to a pole or tree that might be used as a climbing aid. See through fencing also allows CCTV systems to provide better coverage.
Security Fencing Height
The higher your security fence the more secure it is. But there are generally height restrictions that must be complied with. For example, in the UK most garden fencing can be a maximum of 2 metres tall, unless the fence joins a public highway where the height limit is just 1 metre. In the USA local ordinances often stipulate height limits of around 7 or 8 feet. It’s therefore important to check before you erect your security fence.
Security Fence Toppers
It’s readily possible to bolster the security capabilities of many existing styles of fencing by installing appropriate security fence toppers. Various forms of fence topping provide different levels of security making them applicable to a variety of needs.
For example, simple, plastic fence spikes present an effective visual deterrent which will effectively keep animals from entering or straying from a garden. Aggressive, metal fence spikes are another form of strong visual deterrent which will help prevent both animals and humans from climbing over.
Rotating anti climb fence toppers are another popular addition used to bolster fence security. Rotating barrier systems are purposely unstable, making them very difficult to negotiate. Some also use aggressive looking spikes, which provide additional deterrence and security while our Roller Barrier system is entirely non-aggressive, making it the system of choice in situations where an aggressive appearance or the possibility of injury is entirely unacceptable. Roller Barrier is now widely used around schools, playgrounds, alongside railway tracks and in park areas where children might be present.