The requirements for securing an organization’s physical space varies widely based on a collection of risk factors. For certain types of properties, there’s a very high risk of security threat, necessitating a more dynamic approach to defense elements like perimeter fencing. These can include places such as prisons, at-risk youth centers, airports and government buildings, to name a few. At such high-risk facilities, it’s vital to apply specially designed perimeter fencing with anti-climb characteristics. 

An anti-climb security fence is implemented based on some specific features that make it difficult-to-impossible for someone to scale. Let’s take a closer look at what these anti-climb fencing components entail.

A Focus on Height Specifications

One of the primary ways a fence prevents scalability is through its vertical size. Quite simply, the greater the height of a security fence, the more challenging it will be for trespassers to breach. 

While standard fencing solutions may feature a seven-foot height specification, high-risk facilities intent on ensuring an anti-climb perimeter should opt for fencing panels that reach a height of eight, ten or twelve feet. Based on size alone, these specs make it harder for someone to scale the fence, and they add more time to the amount it might take for someone to actually climb over.

Of course, height is just one part of the anti-climb equation. To design a perimeter fence with maximum scaling deterrence, it’s crucial to combine height specifications with other anti-climb elements.

High-Security Fencing Material & Spacing

An anti-climb security fence relies on materials and construction methods that contribute to its overall capabilities. For instance, it’s important for these fences to be made from strong, durable materials with spacing elements designed to eliminate footholds for climbing. Following are some of the most common fencing types for high-risk facilities that require anti-climb properties:   

  • Welded wire mesh: These fences are designed with proper spacing to safeguard against climbing and resist penetration from standard hand tools. They can be installed with a vertical or horizontal mesh alignment, and the material can be mounted onto existing chain link systems for added security. Many high-security facilities rely on a combination of welded wire mesh, expanded metal and louvered panels to create perimeter fencing that requires highly sophisticated means for forced entry.
  • Steel palisade: Consisting of vertical steel pales secured to horizontal rails and mounted to support posts, steel palisade fencing has a looming visual presence and features strength, versatility and durability. Its lack of footholds and resistance to cutting make it a particularly effective deterrent for intrusion. With the advantage of height and the option for spikes at the top, palisade fences are effective deterrents for high-risk facilities.
  • Precast concrete: Possibly the most impenetrable form of high-security fencing, precast concrete walls are nearly impossible to scale. They also have the unique advantage of being bullet resistant and can withstand winds of hurricane proportions. 
  • Chain link: Typically constructed from galvanized steel, chain link fencing can be coated in vinyl for extra protection and is particularly weather-resistant. On its own, it may not feature the anti-climb properties required of a high-risk facility, but it can be combined with options like added welded wire mesh and topped with barbed or razor wire.

Additional Anti-Climb Enforcements

In combination with height, material and spacing specs, there are certain anti-climb features that help fortify perimeter fencing for high-risk facilities. 

The first and perhaps most common addition for anti-climb security fencing is barbed wire, barbed tape or concertina wire. Consider adding strands of barbed wire to the top of a security fence, at an angle facing away from the interior, in order to increase the degree of difficulty and time involved in broaching the structure. You can also leverage stainless steel barbed tape at the top or bottom for a similar form of diversion. Concertina wire is wire that features sharp blades, and this option may be appropriate when an extremely high level of security is needed. Concertina wire has the potential to cause more serious and even fatal damage to any intruder attempting to breach it.

Another anti-climb feature involves the omission of a top rail on your security fence. Eliminating this handhold for climbers makes it that much more difficult to scale. A coil spring can be substituted where a top rail would normally exist. 

Sometimes, a second row of fencing is installed several feet inside the perimeter fence so as to fortify the grounds. This way, even if the first line of defense is breached, a second row of anti-climb fencing can make the intrusion more difficult or involved, giving security more time to respond and thwart the breacher.

The same is true for added lighting and cameras at various perimeter points. While these mechanisms don’t necessarily lend an anti-climb quality to security fencing, they do make visibility and surveillance accessible to the security team, who can then respond more quickly to any intruder(s) attempting to scale the fencing structure. They also serve as a visual deterrent.

Anti-Climb Fencing Installation

Given the specifications and options available for implementing anti-climb fencing at a high-risk facility—and the major importance of this effort in the context of your organization’s security approach—it’s wise to contract the services of a highly experienced professional in these areas.

High-risk facilities should have the confidence of working with a security fencing partner who exhibits proven mastery, know-how and precision. This is the best way to receive the most effective recommendations, ensure a high-quality installation and secure the best pricing, products and workmanship on solutions that meet the unique requirements of your facility.

Continue your research by downloading our whitepaper: High-Security Fencing Systems: What You Need To Know Before You Install.