Your temporary construction fence should be your first line of defense at your construction site or event. Not only does it aid in keeping materials and tool safe; it keeps potential lawsuits from curious trespassers out. Construction sites are dangerous, especially in the dark. It is easy for others to quickly get hurt.
A fence system will only delay or reduce intrusion. However, there are some important facts and options to consider that can significantly improve the delay time and reduce the motivation of potential thieves. If potential thieves want to steal; it is only a matter of which site has the least amount of security. Use this list below and you will significantly improve the security of your site. These are also questions you can ask your fence company that will help you determine just how effectively your fencing will delay or reduce intrusion.
1) How high is your fence?
The taller the fence the better. Not only is it difficult to climb but it is a psychological barrier. Temporary fencing is typically available in 6′ and 8′ heights. Check your local ordinances as most will not allow fencing taller than 6′ You should also make sure the location of your temporary fence is permitted so that you don’t block line of sight for driveways and intersections.
2) Does your fence have barbed wire?
Place barbwire at the top of your fence and you will have no worries about others climbing over. Barbed wire is another excellent psychological deterrent. It sends a clear message that you are serious about keeping others out. This is a very inexpensive option for the added security.
3) How big is the mesh on your fence?
The smaller the mesh the harder it is to climb or cut. Your standard mesh for temporary fence is 2″. However, chain link fence is available in mesh size as small as 3/8″ This small mesh is perfect for those highly sensitive areas where you don’t want others to climb or cut.
4) How wide is your clear zone?
You should establish a clear zone on the inside and outside of your fence. We recommend 5′ on both sides. This not only removes items for others to climb but also removes items for potential thieves to hide behind.
5) How many gates in your fence?
The initial opinion is the more access points the better. Too many gates makes it difficult to control and witness access to and from the site both during working hours and afterward. We strongly recommend only one access point in a highly visible location. A back gate may appear to be a good idea but it is an easy access point for thieves who simply have to cut a padlock or chain.
6) How big are your gates?
Narrower gates are better for maintenance. However, make sure you have a large enough gate for access coming and going. The opening should never be clogged which could prevent access for emergency vehicles. Gates should be operational by one person. Try to avoid wheels dragging on the ground. Gates should be cantilevered so that the gate swings freely over temporary rock surfaces.
7) How high is your fence above grade?
Does the bottom of your fence touch the ground? Any gap at the base of your fence is a possible point for a break-in. Others see these gaps as an opportunity to lift the fence and crawl under it.
8) How is your fencing secured to the ground?
Ideally the fence is set with posts driven in the ground. This is not always possible so using sand bags is necessary to secure the fence over paving. Make sure your fence contractor provides at least two sand bags per post.
9) Do employees park inside or outside the fence?
Limiting access to your site is always recommended. By requiring employees to park outside the secure area, you are less likely to see tools and materials disappear in the back of a trunk. Any vehicles parked inside the secure area is also your responsibility to secure. This is the general belief which just further exposes you to liability in the event of a accident or vehicle damage.
10) Do you have adequate fence signage?
It is not enough to simply have a physical barrier. You must have adequate signage that explicitly tells others to stay-out and stay-clear. Though it may be obvious; for insurance purposes, it will significantly reduce your liability if you communicate a clear message. The general rule which is recognized by most authorities is a sign every 20′. This may be a little overkill but if someone can say they didn’t see the sign; they didn’t know it was an issue to access the site.