Government buildings, military bases, data centers, corporate headquarters and other forms of critical infrastructure require a heightened focus on security. In just about all of these cases, security fencing is one of the most integral and effective forms of protection. But when it comes to safeguarding against external threats, not all security fence types and materials are created equal.
To successfully fortify high-risk targets, it’s essential to choose options that are strong, durable, resistant to environmental elements, difficult to scale, hard to penetrate and applicable to the unique security needs at hand. Whether you’re securing people or property, there are certain fencing systems that are better suited for the job than others.
To help you understand the best type of security fence for government property and other critical infrastructure, check out these expert insights.
Pros & Cons of Chain Link Security Fences
Chain link is certainly one of the most popular choices for security fencing, and it might even be the first option that comes to mind. But it’s important to understand that chain link is not always the right fit for high-security needs. Following are some of the most notable characteristics explained in greater detail.
Chain link security fences are typically constructed from galvanized steel, though they can be coated in vinyl for extra protection and curb appeal. They are particularly weather-resistant as well as durable against heat, cold and moisture. They are also low maintenance and low cost, making them ideal for certain situations.
On the other hand, there are some high-security markets where chain link doesn’t quite cut it, including those for which the fencing system must be absolutely impossible to climb and/or break through, capable of limiting visibility from the outside or resistant to ballistics and projectiles. In a number of instances, welded wire mesh or concrete walls provide a more suitable level of protection.
Applications for Welded Wire Mesh
Security fences constructed from welded wire mesh are designed with proper spacing to safeguard against climbing and resist penetration from standard hand tools. Installation can be performed with a vertical or horizontal mesh alignment, and this material can also be mounted onto existing chain link systems for added security.
Many organizations and 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. Given the unique characteristics of welded wire mesh security fencing, it’s often a top choice for applications such as:
- Utility substations
- Postal facilities
- Schools and campuses
- Power and chemical plants
- Embassies and military installations
The Case for Concrete Security Fencing
Precast concrete walls are perhaps the most impenetrable form of high-security fencing and often the best choice when high-level defense measures are required. Precast concrete is nearly impossible to scale, has the unique advantage of being bullet resistant and can withstand winds of hurricane proportions. Solid concrete security fences are an increasingly popular choice for areas where there’s a threat to critical infrastructure, particularly electrical substations.
Concrete has the added advantage of providing an excellent sound barrier when noise is a consideration, and it can be used to erect strongly engineered retaining walls that defend against lateral earth pressure. Installation involves drilling and setting foundations for the concrete posts and then placing the premade panels in between.
High-Security Features for Reinforced Protection
Deciding on the proper system and material for your security fencing is a major piece of the puzzle, but there’s definitely more to consider, especially where government and other critical infrastructure are concerned. Securing the best fence for a property’s needs also involves addressing additional features that might be required for an adequate level of protection. Here are some of the most common:
- Height specifications: The greater the height of your security fence, the more challenging it will be for trespassers to breach.
- Barbed wire, barbed tape or concertina wire: By adding strands of barbed wire to the top of a security fence, which is often done at an angle facing away from the interior, you increase the degree of difficulty and time involved in broaching the structure. There’s also an option to leverage stainless steel barbed tape at the top or bottom for a similar form of diversion. Concertina wire, or wire that features sharp blades, may be appropriate when an even higher level of security is needed, as this variety can cause more serious (potentially fatal) damage to anyone attempting to get past it.
- Lighting and surveillance: To enhance the security of a fencing structure, some facilities choose to install lighting mechanisms and security cameras at various perimeter points, making visibility and surveillance accessible to the security team.
- Top and bottom rails: Omitting a rail at the top of a security fence makes it more difficult to climb by eliminating a handhold for breachers. A coil spring can be substituted where a top rail would normally exist. On the flip side, adding an anchored bottom rail to secure the fencing material mitigates the possibility of someone forcing it up and crawling underneath.
- Double rows: In some cases, an additional line of security fencing several feet inside the perimeter fence is erected to fortify the grounds. This is a common solution for properties where sensors and/or perimeter patrol roads are utilized for detection.
- Gates and sensors: Consider what entry and exit systems are necessary for foot and vehicular traffic in and around the property. Gates and sensors are sometimes needed for controlling access and maintaining a high level of security.
With these considerations about security fence types, materials and added features, your approach to selecting the right fencing system for a government or other critical infrastructure becomes a much more strategic one. Ultimately, it’s smartest to partner with an experienced fencing company that can offer the expert insight and design recommendations to choose the very best option for your needs.
Download our free brochure to learn more about how the team at Rutkoski Fencing can help with your project needs.