Fence security toppings, when and why do you need them?

With uses ranging from security to aesthetics, there are a wide variety of toppings that can be added to your fences, such as combs, spikes and wires. Fence toppings are usually required by sites in need of increased security, either as a deterrent or physical barrier. If you’re unsure whether fence toppings are right for your premises, see below to find out how they can be an invaluable addition to your security measures.


Each style of fence topping makes a different impression; some are designed to deter while others are designed to add a further level of security to a property. Security toppings send a message not only to potential intruders, but also to prospective visitors about the safety of the premises, which can be an attractive quality.

Deterrence and Intimidation

Deterrence is the first layer of the 5 Ds of perimeter security and can dissuade potential intruders from targeting a property. Deterrents should be visible and fence toppings accompanied by warning signs are a great way of achieving this.

Toppings that have sharp angles, spikes or an added overlay are hugely discouraging for many intruders and can be used alone or in conjunction with other deterrent measures such as CCTV and Perimeter Intruder Detection Systems (PIDS), depending on your security needs. As well as the threat of injury to put off potential criminals, spikes make it clear the site has a practical and considered security plan in place and also can hold people within a perimeter, discouraging escape.

Preventing Scaling

The inconvenience and possibility of injury associated with security toppings are often all that’s needed to prevent intruders from scaling perimeter fencing, but a secure perimeter should always be clear of any step-ups that might make scaling and intrusion easier, for example trees and bins.

Shorter Height Fences

Although rules vary regarding the height a fence must be in order to install security toppings, they should generally not be installed on any fences under 2m to prevent members of the public being accidentally injured by the toppings and should always be installed with the appropriate signage and warnings.

High-value and High-Risk Sites

The fence security topping best suited to your site depends on your specific security needs. For example, storing high-value contents on your site may determine the kind of intruders you can expect and, as such, the deterrents and measures to put in place. Sites located in high risk areas might also be more vulnerable to intrusion. For extra security, consider security toppings along with a tall, anti-climb fence.

Warning Signs

Fence security toppings should be accompanied by warning signs stating the risks they present to limit your liability in the case of injury during intrusion (provided that the danger is visible). To ensure you’re compliant with the law, place warning signs all along your perimeter fencing where security topping is used, every 8-10m and make sure you’re familiar with the Occupier’s Liability Act 1984 and the Occupier’s Liability Act 1957.

Effective toppings are invaluable additions particularly for high value sites. Make sure that whatever you decide to use that you are familiar with any laws or regulations relevant to fencing and toppings. To find out more about our fence toppings, click here

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