Fence and wall security toppings – what is the most effective option?
We explore the anti-climb measures available to top walls and fences
Adding anti-climb measures to fences and walls can enhance physical security – and provide additional peace of mind for site owners, staff and residents.
Security toppings can ensure that intruders can’t get over a wall or fence, and can help to deter criminal activity, such as burglary, vandalism and trespass.
A wide variety of fence topping and gate topping measures are available.
Barbed wire can be an effective anti-climb solution. However, determined criminals can cut through it with wire cutters, and its impact can be reduced by throwing heavy blankets or other heavy textile sheets over the wire. In addition, barbed wire can spoil the appearance of buildings – and so it may be unsuitable for residential areas.
Broken glass on top of a wall or fence, set in mortar, is sometimes used as a security topping. However, if it is installed and someone is injured by the glass, the building owner may be liable under the Occupiers’ Liability Acts. And the effectiveness of broken glass against determined intruders can also be limited: glass can easily be smashed with a hammer and a blanket can be laid over the top, to enable someone to climb over a fence or wall.
Anti-climb spikes – otherwise known as fencing spikes or cacti spikes – are often used as protection on top of a fence or wall and can be either metal or plastic. Anti-climb fence spikes are usually supplied in strips which are nailed, screwed or glued to the top of the wall.
So, what other solutions offer protection on top of a fence or wall?
ExMesh™ security toppings – combining expanded metal with anti-climb roller barriers
The Expanded Metal Company has been developing and manufacturing highly effective anti-intruder solutions and creating anti-climb measures since the 1980s.
The Anti-Vandal Scaling Barrier
One of the first products manufactured for the ExMesh™ security range was the Anti-Vandal Scaling Barrier. This uses expanded metal with an anti-climb roller barrier to create a solution that can prevent intruders from getting over a wall. Expanded metal panels – which are robust and have no joins or welds – are set around a central rotating bar, which prevents anyone who has scaled the wall from a getting a foothold. Unlike barbed wire and broken glass, they can’t be easily removed or broken with simple tools.
Our Anti-Vandal Scaling Barrier was introduced as an innovative alternative to broken glass and even featured on the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World programme, when it was first launched.
Amongst the first organisations to adopt this security topping were councils and local authorities, as they could store it in depots in kit form and assemble the anti-climb measures on site when required. ExMesh™ Anti-Vandal Scaling Barriers continue to be in demand from contractors and end users who wish to add additional protection to utilities facilities, warehousing, transport hubs and Government infrastructure.
Manufactured from durable plastic the ExMesh™ Raptor offers a more aesthetically pleasing solution than The Anti-Vandal Scaling Barrier – which may be useful in residential areas, for instance. The ‘raptor spikes’ rotate freely around a central bar, which, like the Anti-Vandal Scaling Barrier, make it difficult for intruders to gain a foothold. This helps to prevent criminal damage and trespass.
ExMesh™ Raptor is a low maintenance anti-climb product and is available in a wide range of designs to suit any surface. Raptor offers barbed and razor wire extensions, and rotating vanes.
For more information on ExMesh™ security toppings, click here.