A fence can have features that make climbing difficult, but what actually makes an anti-climb fence? Is there such a thing? The team at Barkers Fencing, part of HS Security, offers some advice.
When looking for a security fence, you have probably come across the term ‘anti climb’ which seems to have become an industry norm when describing 358 mesh fencing systems.
If your operational requirements have identified that an accredited/tested fencing system is required to protect your people and property, the last thing you want is someone climbing over your newly installed high-security fence.
Height Of Perimeter
Russel Ridgway, Business Development Director at Barkers Fencing highlights how the height of the perimeter is the first and most critical factor. The higher the fence, the longer it will take to scale (even with a ladder) and the longer an intruder will be vulnerable to detection – whether visually or through technology.
Russel questions “Is it really necessary for an intruder to be 3 metres in the air while attempting to gain access to a site? They’ll also have further to fall”. Emphasising that even the most robust of intruders will be deterred by this, especially when mixed with a nasty topping.
If you are concerned an intruder will use a ladder, Richard Flint from BRE offers some suggestion, “consider investing in a dual set of fences forming a sterile zone. While the intruder may scale the first layer using a ladder, it can take considerable planning effort to scale the second – particularly if carrying tools to breach a building facade or other subsequent protective measure”
Anti-Climb Fence Toppings
To make a fence system resilient to climbing we would advise that an additional security topping is essential. These can include:
- Barbed wire
- Razor wire
- Rotating spikes
- Anti-climb spinners
- Rota spike
- Electric pulse fence
These toppings are sharp and spikey, meaning if a person was to touch it or attempt to climb over, they could be cut and caught on them. This increases the risk of the intruder being injured or caught so it is likely to deter them from even attempting.
These systems are attached in different ways using specially designed post or bolt-on extensions. For example, barb & razor wire is normally fitted using ‘T’ or ‘Y’ extension. ‘T’ extensions mean the wires will be upright, whereas ‘Y’ extensions mean the wires will be curving outwards the front of the fence.
When the topping is extending outwards, the depth an intruder would need to get over gets much deeper making it more difficult to climb over. Therefore we would always advise ‘Y’ extensions, but certain planning restraints mean Y extensions are not possible and ‘T’ extensions can then be used.
The downside of adding an anti-climb topping onto your system is the cost of the additional material and the cost of the installer adding this to the fence when they are installing. As you can probably imagine there are also additional risks for the installation team when attaching something sharp and spikey to the top of the fence, and proper method statements must be provided to cover this.
Alternatively, rather than adding additional security toppings, Barkers are now offering a palisade with the pales curved outwards and mesh with the panel curved outwards. This curving creates an overhang which makes the system more difficult to climb, especially on palisade as the tops of the pales are spiked. This process is part of our manufacturing meaning no extra material or installation time thus making it more economical than adding a security topping.
Now we have discussed security toppings – the key factor in making sure a fence is anti-climb, lets discuss the features of the fence which can contribute to making a fence anti-climb.
What Makes Mesh Security Fencing Anti Climb?
To start with there is a huge variety of mesh fencing. When we talk about mesh security fencing, we consider ‘868’ twin wire and 358 mesh the lowest level of mesh to provide any kind of security. With the right fixings, they can prevent an opportunist attacker using bodily force and basic tools from gaining access through it for more than 60 seconds.
V Mesh fencing, paladin mesh and 656 twinwire are retrospectively the most economical mesh systems on the market. They are ideal for demarcating a boundary but provide a low level of security.
Mesh fencing is often referred to as anti-climb as it is difficult to get a foothold in the tight mesh apertures. However, an attacker with limited skills may be able to lodge items in the mesh to aid climbing.
To make high-security derivates of mesh, some systems have two layers of mesh panels. However, this provides two skins of tight apertures, making any items lodged in the fence to aid climb extra sturdy.
What Makes Palisade Security Fencing Anti Climb?
As with mesh, there is a varying degree of quality in palisade systems on the market. If you are using palisade fencing which falls below British standard, the pales will likely be further apart meaning someone could use the rail as a foothold.
On high-security derivates the pales are much closer together so gaining a foothold is much harder. Other than the rail, the pales run vertically so there’s very little for a person to be able to get a foothold on especially on higher fences.
No matter what level of security your fences is, you are purchasing a fence to demarcate a boundary so the last thing you want is a person climbing over the fence.
With both mesh security fencing and palisade security fencing, the aim is to ensure that it is difficult to gain footholds and that footholds can’t easily be created. But the key to making an anti-climb fence is an additional security topping or curving the panel/pales outwards to create an overhang.
Curving of the panel/pales can be done on any of the following systems.
SecureGuard 358, Palisade Security Fencing, TwinGuard SL1, SecureGuard SR1, StronGuard, StronGuard SR2, SecureGuard SL2, SecureGuard SL2 X, StronGuard SR3 and StronGuardRCS,
Get in touch to discuss your site requirements for impartial advice from our expert team.