Written on February 18, 2012
Your temporary chain link fence can and should be your first line of defense in your construction site security program. Not only does it aid in keeping your tools and materials in, but it keeps potential lawsuits from curious trespassers out.
Of course it’s important to remember that, a fence system will only delay or reduce intrusion. That said, here are a few questions you can ask your fence company or the person in charge of security for your construction site that will help you determine just how effectively your fencing will delay or reduce intrusion.
1) How high is your fence?
The higher the fence the harder it is to climb. Further, high fences can serve as a psychological deterrent as well. Temporary fencing typically comes in 6 and 8 foot heights. You’re more secure going with the 8 foot heights in most situations, if only because it’s better deterrent for the “impulse” vandals and trespassers.
2) Does your fence have barbed wire?
Barbed wire at the top of a chain link fence makes climbing much more difficult and uncomfortable. It’s even more effective when attached to a bracket tilted at 45 degrees, but this is not common on temporary fencing we’ve seen. Barbed wire is another excellent psychological deterrent, though it won’t stop determined thieves.
3) How big is the mesh on your fence?
The smaller the mesh the harder it is to climb or cut. 2 inch mesh is common on temporary security fencing but you’d be better with 1 inch mesh or even 3/8? if available.
4) How wide is your clear zone?
Have you cleared brush, trash and storage away from the fence? Ideally you’ve got at least 5 clear feet on both sides of the fence to aid outside observers and reduce the ability to break through the fence undetected or even climb over by standing on debris.
5) How many gates in your fence?
The more gates you have the easier your perimeter is to breach. Minimize the number of gates through the perimeter if possible.
6) How big are your gates?
Narrower gates are better, but make sure they’re at least 20? wide to allow access for emergency vehicles. Further, gates should be operational by one person.
7) How high is your fence above grade?
Does the bottom of your fence touch the ground? How high above grade is it? 2 inches is about the highest you can get and still make it hard enough to simply lift the fencing and crawl beneath it. Ideally you can sink the bottom of the fence into the ground.
8 ) How is your fencing secured to the ground?
Ideally your temporary fence is set in a concrete footing. Other acceptable methods of securing your fence include driving support poles into the ground, anchored base plates and insertion into precast concrete blocks that are set into the ground.
9) Does your fence have color or colored fabric?
Colored fences – fences coated in a polymer – increase the ability of outside observers to detect motion. It also helps to better outline the perimeter of the secured area, especially at night.
10) Do employees park inside or outside the fence?
You may notice an decrease in equipment and material loss if you enforce a “park outside the fence” policy. If this is not practical for your site, then develop a designated parking area that restricts access from site to vehicle for your employees.
11) Do you have adequate fence signage?
How many bright yellow NO TRESPASSING signs have you hung on your perimeter? Did you hang signs to warn thieves of your theft-reduction policy and equipment-retrieval practices?
Here’s a good rule of thumb regarding the gauge and mesh size of your fencing in relation to the security it provides:
A. Extremely high security: 3/8?mesh 11 gauge
B. Very high security: 1? mesh 9 gauge
C. High security: 1? mesh 11 gauge
D. Greater security: 2? mesh 6 gauge
E. Normal Industrial security: 2? mesh 9 gauge
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