Tuesday, January 31, 2017
A former boss of mine recently complained about the money spent on repeatedly replacing a gate for his business. When I asked him why he had to keep replacing it, he told me, “The drivers keep hitting it.” Since they’d never bothered with closing the gate when I worked for them, I asked him what changed. It turns out that they’d had a huge generator stolen off the property, and even though they’d constantly been losing small items over the years, the loss of this industrial generator had finally prompted them to start trying to take security seriously.
Of course, after the years of just shrugging off losses, no one was used to this, and tired drivers who just wanted get home were blocking the gate trying to remember which key to use. Meanwhile, the mechanics, clerks, and others who worked on site were waiting for hours for someone with a key to show up to get from one part of the property to the other. The thieves they were trying to stop were merely climbing over the fence or snipping the chain link to get themselves in and heavier items out. The problem is a common one. Chain-link fencing for industrial sites often creates an obstacle for the people working there, but not for the thieves trying to get in.
The Problems With Chain-Link
The overwhelming majority of fencing on industrial sites is chain-link. Its presence on every corner is how you know when you’ve wandered out of the entertainment area of a city and into the factory or warehouse area. Unfortunately, chain-link is lousy at keeping the area it surrounds secure. One of the reasons is that chain-link is easy to climb, with each individual link offering perfect hands and toeholds. Efforts to prevent climbing by adding barbed wire aren’t very effective. Thieves can bypass the barbed wire by throwing a sweatshirt or blanket over it, and if they have no reason to fear being overheard, they can actually pull the barbed wire off the fence by pulling on the fabric. Barbed wire-topped fences also have the nasty side effect of making your employees feel like they’re imprisoned.
One of the reasons that chain-link fence is so prevalent is because it’s cheap, and it’s cheap because it’s simple. Chain-link requires no specialized tools and can be assembled or disassembled with tools that can be slipped into a pocket. This means that thieves can dismount security features with a pair of small crescent wrenches that retail for $7 at the auto parts store. Also, since the material that makes up most of a chain-link fence is narrow wire, those who want to bypass the whole thing can do so quietly with an inexpensive wire cutter. If you’re trying to protect a $5,000 dollar generator, this is a problem. Chain-link fences stop being so cheap if you have to pay to repair them over and over again, or if you have to pay to replace stolen equipment.
Better Fencing for Industrial Sites
There are plenty of fencing materials, but not all are suitable for an industrial site. Fencing that’s designed for residences isn’t usually sufficient, especially if security is a concern. Aluminum and vinyl are too weak, and wood starts out strong, but over time rots and becomes easy to bypass. That leaves steel as the best metal of choice from both a durability and security perspective. Fencing that actually secures the property needs to be solid. It cannot be easy to remove or knock down whole sections of the fence, and it definitely can’t be easy to do so quietly. That’s why most of my clients are moving toward using only steel fencing around their properties. Here are the benefits I’ve seen steel fencing provide:
Securing your business, the property it stands on, and the equipment you use to build and thrive is a vital priority and needs to be done effectively. It is also important to do so while not alienating potential customers or making your staff feel imprisoned. Steel panel security fences are rising in popularity for a reason. They fulfill all of the above criteria while looking professional--and, dare I say, elegant.
Steel fencing is fast becoming the material of choice for any property that needs extra security--not just industrial work sites, but schools, housing communities, and public areas too. Fortress Building Products produces commercial and industrial fencing that is well engineered with fully welded steel panels to secure your property, as well as estate fencing that provides the strength of steel while blocking prying eyes. These fencing systems are protected by a zinc precoat, an e-coat, and a powder coat that keep moisture and UV rays from affecting the metal and damaging the security or aesthetic appeal of the fence. If your business is in need of other high-quality products like railings and decking, take a look at the rest of Fortress’ building products.