When selecting security fencing for a commercial property, manufacturing facility, or construction site, one of the foremost considerations is its height. While stability and safety preservation should always be at the forefront of decisions made when buying or hiring fencing, its height can also drastically influence how safe and stable a site is.
The optimal height for security fencing depends on your risk factors, the required level of protection, aesthetics, timescales, and budget.
As a leading supplier of robust perimeter protection solutions including standalone security fencing gates, as well as prime security products like jersey concrete barriers, Maltaward recommends key considerations when determining your ideal security fence height.
Read on for professional security fencing guidance and how to find the right product tailored to your unique security needs.
The Purpose of Security Fencing
Before deciding on height specifics, it’s important to define the intended purpose of your security fencing. Do you need to deter trespassers or criminal activity such as fly tipping? Is your primary safety concern potential looting or break-ins? Is there sensitive inventory or machinery inside that should be safeguarded with additional barriers or fencing?
These are just some of the questions you should ask yourselves when determining the security setup of your site.
By determining your vulnerabilities and priorities upfront, you can select fencing heights and supplementary features to mitigate these pressing risks.
Common reasons for installing security fencing include (but are not limited to):
- Restricting unauthorised access and deterring vandals and thieves
- Protecting on-site assets like equipment or high-value goods and materials
- Safeguarding staff from external threats and hazards
- Preventing vehicle collisions near busy roads and preventing passers-by from coming into contact with moving vehicles
- Mitigating dangers that could impact pedestrian safety (such as falling objects or exposed wires), which are common for sites undergoing renovation or construction.
Once you analyse potential threats, you can make informed decisions when designing defence barriers against them. Whether that means you opt for fencing as a standalone solution or other robust barrier control measures like concrete blocks to complement them, you’ll get a better idea having assessed your risk exposure.
Recommended Security Fencing Heights
Most security experts recommend fencing heights between 2-3 metres as optimal, depending on the application. This typically hinders scaling by trespassers while enabling optimum visibility for surveillance and CCTV.
- 2-metre security fencing is considered the baseline for effective intruder deterrence in most applications.
- 2-2.5 metre fencing provides additional defence against more determined perpetrators.
- Over 2.5 metres may require planning permission but further boosts protection for high-risk applications.
Security fencing over 3 metres often necessitates local council approval but can be installed in special high-risk situations per government guidelines. When supplementing fencing with additional deterrents – such as barbed wire – you can add additional height without needing specific mandated approval. Consider this in your planning and risk mitigation stages to see what options are available to you from security fencing suppliers.
Security Fencing Design Factors
Alongside height, several other variables influence fence security and climb resistance:
- Vertical pickets rather than horizontal or diamond-shaped holes prevent “ladder” climbing, on products such as HERAS fencing, steel palisades, or TVCB fencing.
- Small mesh spacing eliminates grips for hands and feet, and prevents most objects from achieving a clear transition path from one side of the fencing to the other.
- Welded mesh panels offer high visibility without compromising design quality, making them ideal for sports facilities, schools, and high-security sites.
- The taller a fence is, the harder it will be for trespassers to scale it. Fences can be reinforced with toppings like barbed wire, spikes, or tape.
- Double-skin mesh can drastically reduce foot and finger grip, which is handy if there are climbable or immovable objects in close range (such as lampposts or telephone poles).
- Some mesh fencing designs are tested to Home Office specifications for prison use to ensure optimal protection.
By incorporating climb-resistant materials and features, you can gain greater security even in shorter fencing.
As a rule of thumb, 2 metres is considered a safe and reliable height for metal fencing; anything under would be easier for trespassers to climb and pose aesthetic and security risks to the site.
That said, there is a fine balance to strike; security fencing above 2.5 or 3 metres can appear outwardly ‘hostile’, and pose a visual imposition on neighbouring sites if not thoughtfully designed.
That said, many robust, impenetrable modern fences and gates allow you to balance aesthetic preferences with security concerns. Therefore, it’d be worth considering more decorative vertical bar fencing styles in smaller heights to prevent encroachment and subtler use of additional deterrents.
Proper installation is crucial to maximising fence durability, climb resistance, and structural integrity. Our fence specialists have 30+ years of expertise recommending, supplying, and installing high-quality commercial fencing configured precisely to your risk factors and site parameters.
Bespoke Security Defence From Maltaward
With customisable fencing available in a range of durable and quality-tested materials, heights and topping options, Maltaward can fulfil any high-security perimeter requirements.
Our fencing solutions have been entrusted by institutions and businesses across the UK, from councils and public sector facilities to private firms and vacant properties. Our fencing is designed to deter even the most determined trespassers while seamlessly integrating with existing architecture. For professional security consultations or to request a quote, contact our specialists today.