5 tips for selecting the right type of security fencing

With so many different types of security fencing available, as well as fence toppings and applications to consider, knowing which perimeter solution is right for a given project can be challenging. When specifying security fencing, it’s essential to ensure the product not only meets the project’s security requirements, but is also suitable to the aesthetic of the environment and fits within budget.

We've been manufacturing security fencing for over 35 years, so we have created this short guide with five tips to help you find the right balance between security, aesthetics, and cost when selecting security fencing:

1. Understand where and why you need security fencing for your site

The type of site being specified for should give an initial idea of the perimeter solution required, and will allow for a risk assessment and survey of the surrounding environment. From this, it’s possible to establish the strength of fencing required and any aesthetic concerns.

Match the fencing to the risks raised by the assessment, including crime rates of the local area, how the area is lit at night, and the site's location. A residential development would likely require security fencing that deters trespassing and vandalism, whilst also blending into the surroundings for an attractive finish. A data centre or utilities site, conversely, will take less consideration of aesthetics and focus on access and exit points, as well as the security rating of the fencing to ensure maximum security.

2. Which areas of the site need fencing?

The perimeter of a site will generally require security fencing such as welded mesh or vertical bar fencing, but it’s important to identify which other areas of the site require fencing, and take into consideration additional requirements such as access, or vulnerability. For example, a commercial site such as a business park would need to be easily accessible during the day but secured at night. Areas such as storage compounds, waste units, machinery or other sensitive areas will require stronger security, while for other locations lower-risk security fencing such as timber fencing, demarcation fencing or non-security rated opinions could be suitable. Specifying fencing suited to the risk level of each area will use budget more efficiently.

It’s essential that access control and gates are specified alongside security fencing to ensure they don’t compromise site security.

3. Is privacy required or does there need to be a high level of visibility?

The level of visibility desired will determine which security fencing styles and panels will be appropriate for the site. Security fencing also needs to work in conjunction with other security measures, such as CCTV; while solid panels may offer greater privacy, they may also create blind spots.

Vertical bar and welded mesh panels offer both high visibility and work well with CCTV, as well as offering different levels of security and privacy:

Euroguard® combi: A strong V-mesh fence but with added privacy. A1 certified version available.

Prison mesh (Securi-Mesh®): Greater security than V-mesh (Euroguard) thanks to its closer knit mesh and stronger fixings, plus improved anti-climb capability.

Barbican®: A vertical bar fence with the standard level of security, with potential to enhance with additional security features such as barbican barbed top or barbican defender extreme.

Acoustic barriers, whilst also ensuring minimal noise disruption, offer the greatest privacy and a strong security performance; their flat profile makes them intrinsically anti-climb due to the lack of potential hand or footholds. An additional layer of mesh is included with C5 rated options to increase strength even further.

4. Do you need additional security toppings?

Security toppings can enhance the specified panels to provide additional safety and security. This is necessary for areas of higher risk, for example in built up areas, but also sites adjacent to natural climbing aids, such as trees, lampposts, bollards, or other buildings close to the perimeter fence line. Even warning signs notifying passers-by of security toppings can themselves act as a deterrent.

Fence toppings act both as a physical and visual deterrent to increase security levels against intrusion, vandalism and other damage and can include barbed wire and tape, steel spikes and rotary systems for fences, walls and drainpipes. Be aware that installing security fence spikes may require additional regulations approval and, usually, must be above 2m and out of reach of the general public. Again, use them according to the risk level of the site. Schools in high risk areas may require security toppings, but at the same time the fencing should create a welcoming environment, so only add them where absolutely necessary, or instead opt for an anti-climb fence.

5. Durability and finish

For any site, investing in the longevity of the chosen security fencing will save money on costly repairs and deterioration in the long term. Look for polyester powder coating rather than traditional paint, which ensures the coating won’t chip or crack and will retain a glossy finish, or select a galvanised or zinc alloy-coated steel to protect fencing from corrosion or rust, and guarantee durability.

For projects on a strict budget, cost savings can be made by avoiding specifying higher security fencing than is required for the site; opting for fencing without a guarantee may save some money initially, but will incur costs and require replacing far sooner than fencing with a comprehensive guarantee.

Security fencing at a glance

Risk Level Suitable Fencing Types 
Low Timber fencing, metal railings (ornamental, bow top)
Medium Barbican® range, EuroGuard® range, LPS 1175 A1-B3 rated options
High Securi-Mesh® range, Trident® range, LPS 1175 C5-E10 rated options (including acoustic barriers)

For more information about security fencing, or help specifying the right security fencing solution for your site, contact us today.

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