Business premises with walls, fences and gates that are easily climbed often find themselves targeted by thieves and intruders. The traditional methods used to protect perimeters from unwanted intruders have tended to be aggressive. For example, razor wire, barbed wire and anti-climb spikes are commonly used. But these systems, while presenting a strong visual deterrent, can cause harm to people and animals who come into contact with them.
While many will share the opinion that thieves and intruders who are harmed when attempting to overcome aggressive anti-climb property barriers should have known better, businesses need to be highly aware of their responsibility and the ‘duty of care’ they have to all who enter their premises.
In one recently reported case, a wall surrounding a supermarket goods yard was routinely used by children playing football. They enjoyed kicking their balls against the high perimeter wall, but occasionally their balls would go over into the yard, prompting the kids to scale the wall to retrieve them.
The supermarket recognised that the use of an aggressive anti-climb barrier in this situation was entirely inappropriate. While it may serve to deter some intruders there was the clear risk that a child might be harmed when attempting to innocently retrieve their ball.
Duty of Care
The Occupiers Liability Act 1984 makes it clear that property owners and occupiers have a legal duty of care to protect everyone who comes onto their premises, even people with malicious intent such as thieves and vandals.
Its perfectly legal to use aggressive anti-climb barriers such as wall spikes and barbed wire as long as adequate warning is provided. Prominently displaying warning signs that advise people of the anti climb hazard is enough to fulfil legal requirements.
But while it may be legal to use aggressive anti-climb barriers are they a wise choice for business premises? If, for example, a child was to injure themselves while attempting to do nothing more than retrieve their ball from the grounds of a business this is unlikely to make the business look good, even if they were totally compliant with the law regarding warning signage.
Anti Climb System Aesthetics
Another important consideration is the impression created by a business premises that’s protected with anti-climb devices.
As noted, aggressive anti-climb barriers can present a strong, visual deterrent. Sharp looking metallic spikes or barbed wire will put off all but the most determined intruders. But what sort of impression do they create for the business?
High walls or fences topped with barbed wire or spikes immediately make a premises look like a fortress or prison. These forms of anti-climb barrier are hostile and can therefore create an unfavourable impression of the protected business.
Non-Aggressive Anti-Climb Barrier is Best for Business
What many business establishments need is an anti-climb solution that works while at the same time doesn’t present risk of injury and doesn’t make a business look like a prison. Roller Barrier, which is now widely used by supermarkets and many other businesses, is the best choice. Its cost effective, easily installed, robust and extensively respected.
Non-commercial establishments such as schools, hospitals and youth centres are all using Roller Barrier to prevent people from climbing where they shouldn’t. Selecting Roller Barrier to protect your business premises from unwanted intruders is clearly the right choice to make.