Jacksons Perimeter Security Solutions for Utilities Sites
The combination of high investment in the utility sector, and the need to replace ageing and inefficient infrastructure suggests that physical security specifically designed to address the needs of the industry will rank highly on the business agenda in the foreseeable future.
Companies operating in the utilities sector (including production, treatment, processing, distribution and supply), face the risk of security breaches which could have significant implications on staff and public safety and/or service availability.
While the installation of physical security products such as fencing, gates and vehicle barriers to protect sites is an obvious critical requirement, for those responsible for procurement comes the burden to correctly specify those products whose design and manufacture have been proven to deliver the security performance, resilience and longevity required.
Equally important is the commitment to ongoing inspection and maintenance of all physical security devices once they are installed to ensure their continued efficacy to ensure they continue to work their design specification.
A well planned, designed and installed fence and access solution will add real substance to the protection of a perimeter and can also yield significant savings in the overall cost of site security by reducing the requirement for more expensive electronic alternatives or manned guarding.
Site appropriate perimeter security
Most utilities sites employ products which have been tested and certified under LPS 1175, while for higher risk sites, approved for UK government use products may be recommended by the CPNI (Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure) as part of their advisory remit. Where hostile vehicle mitigation measures to protect against vehicle borne attack are required, PAS 68 and IWA 14 certified crash rated fences/barriers/gates and bollards provide effective solutions.
For higher risk sites, various tested and approved or certified products designed to mitigate different types of threat are available, which all carry the assurance of proven performance; for example LPS 1175 provides a security rating for products (1 = lowest rating, 5 = highest) based on the attack time a product is able to withstand given an allowable tool set and maximum work time.
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Installing for performance
Any physical perimeter security product, regardless of the testing it has undergone to prove its ability to withstand various challenges is only as good as its installation. It can only deliver to its design specification if it is regularly inspected, maintained and repaired. Therefore, buying decisions need to also consider a number of contributing factors which affect the integrity of these performance critical products. For example materials employed in their construction should be both fit for purpose and able to deliver a long service life. Any steel used which is exposed to the elements above or below ground should at the very minimum be hot dip galvanised to BS EN 1461, inside and out, and ideally after basic manufacturing has been carried out. The steel wire used in the production of mesh fence panels should be coated with a zinc aluminium alloy treatment to BS EN 10224 in preference to standard galvanised for increased life expectancy.