The importance of maintaining perimeter security systems

Ensuring that your perimeter security system is fit for purpose is a process that begins from the initial site audit and risk assessment, all the way through to the careful specification and installation of your security solution.

Regardless of the extensive testing and endorsement of quality security products, simply installing them will not guarantee all-year protection of your site. It’s important to recognise that, once installed, fencing and gates never improve over time: their performance will naturally degrade without due care.

Ensuring the performance of your perimeter security

Your perimeter security system may not have visibly failed yet, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s working as well as it should. Inspecting, checking, testing, maintaining and repairing will guarantee your products are performing to their designed specification, and will continue to do so until the next inspection.

Regularly checked systems coupled with physical maintenance will prevent unexpected faults and preserve the integrity of your security strategy, saving you an accumulation of unanticipated expenses in the long run. When it comes to securing your site, prevention is always better than cure.

Furthermore, it’s strongly advised to maintain your perimeter security for the purposes of insurance compliance. If it fails to protect your site against attack due to poor maintenance, your insurers could be justified in declining your claim for insurance, leaving you with the additional burden of recovering what has been lost or damaged yourself.

Inspecting and maintaining the fence line

When it comes to inspecting fence lines, it’s surprising to note how many sites fail to schedule routine safety inspections. These should be undertaken on foot where necessary, with risk assessments recorded on a standard form and used in the formulation and prioritisation of repair programmes.

The important points of a fence-line inspection are as follows:

  • The fence line needs to be ‘walked’, both from within the site and along the attack face. Look for attempted breaches and note whether foliage, adverse weather conditions and changes to topography have impacted security integrity.
  • Check that all fixings and fittings are secure; look for signs of damage and corrosion.
  • Clear away any litter, debris and dirt, taking a note of anything requiring further attention in a condition report.

Inspecting and maintaining gates

The consequences of a gate or other access control solution failing can be fatal. Once your security gates have been specified, built and installed, ongoing safety maintenance is vital for their proper operation and the security of your site.

Along with the fence line, the gate structure should be checked regularly for damage such as corrosion and cracks. It should be kept clean and lubricated, and the fixtures and hinges should be inspected too. Automated gates are required by law to comply with EU Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC; failing to put a maintenance regime in place may leave you exposed to potential litigation and even imprisonment.

To learn more on gates and gate automation, download our free whitepaper.

Who can maintain your perimeter security system?

If you don’t have people on-site who are qualified to maintain your perimeter security, you will need outsourced professionals to conduct the inspection for you. They will provide you with a log of all the checks and hopefully confirm that all parts of your system are working as well as they should.

For organisations that do have qualified staff, there will need to be maintenance policies and procedures that are documented and updated on an ongoing basis.

With gates, make sure that any engineer working on them has passed the Gate Safe Aware training course – as all Jacksons Fencing’s technical advisors have done – to ensure they are up to date with the latest standards in gate safety.

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