Don't Fence Me In: Your Options For High Security Barriers

When looking for a way to secure an area, the first thing that comes to most people's minds is a fence. While fences are an effective way to keep certain things in while keeping other things out, there are many products available that can help you protect any area. Police stations, hospitals, prisons, stadiums, airports, schools, malls, government facilities, personal residences--all are places where high security products can be installed to create a safer, more secure space. Read on to learn about what options are available to you, including fences.

In General

In general, it is best practice to install barriers that have been crash-test certified by the Department of State. This certification, called a K rating, measures the stopping power of a barrier relative to the momentum of an oncoming, 15,000 lb. vehicle. Fences, bollards, gates, and other products are all able to be rated under this system.

  • A K4 rating means if a 15,000 lb. vehicle traveling 30 mph impacts the barrier at a 90 degree angle, the vehicle's cargo bed will not extend a meter past the barrier.
  • A K8 rating adheres to the same standards, except the vehicle is traveling 40 mph.
  • A K12 rating is for a vehicle traveling 50 mph.

High Security Fencing

When considering a fence for your security needs, there are many factors to consider.

  1. Material and Style. Fences come in a variety of materials and styles. Iron and steel are the traditional choices, prized for their strength and longevity. And just because it's a security fence doesn't mean it can't be pretty. An ornamental iron fence can secure an area just as well as a plain, unadorned steel.
  2. Extra Features. Fences can be installed on their own, but their effectiveness can be amplified when you add other features designed to discourage climbing, wedging, or cutting. To discourage climbers, consider topping your fence with barbed tape or angling the top portion of your fence outward. Adding wire mesh to your fence or decreasing the spacing between posts can increase delay time for those who would attempt to wedge themselves through the fence or cut it.


You've probably seen a bollard, although you may not have known what to call it. Bollards are short steel posts mounted in an upright position. They can be surrounded with concrete sleeves for added effectiveness. They're usually positioned along roads and parking lots and serve to direct vehicles and create a barrier between traffic and buildings. They're a step up from fencing, as they are typically several inches in diameter and can easily be custom spaced.

Gates And Barricades

If a combination of highly rated fencing and bollards aren't enough, look into adding gates or barriers to your security system. Gates can be as simple as a barrier arm at the entrance to a parking lot or as sturdy as a full-sized, automated, rolling gate. Barricades, from places like City Fence, are typically operated via hydraulics and can act as a single, larger barricade or be installed as several separate entities that are individually controlled.