Your temporary construction fence should be your first line of defense at your construction site. 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.
According to the Chain Link Fence Manufacturers Institute, “a fence system will only delay or reduce intrusion.” There are a few 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 higher the fence the harder it is to climb. Further, high fences can serve as a psychological deterrent as well. Temporary fencing typically comes in 6 and 8 foot heights. You are more secure going with the 8 foot heights because it is a better deterrent for the impulse vandals and trespassers. However, check your local ordinances before selecting a fence taller than 6 foot.
2) Does your fence have barbed wire?
Barbed wire at the top of a chain link fence makes climbing much more difficult. Barbed wire is another excellent psychological deterrent. It sends a clear message that you are serious about keeping others out.
3) How big is the mesh on your fence?
The smaller the mesh the harder it is to climb or cut. 2 inch mesh is most common however chain link is available in much smaller mesh size making it difficult to cut and climb.
4) How wide is your clear zone?
Have you cleared brush, trash and storage away from the fence? Next to your fence, this may be the best means of protecting your site. Remove items for others to climb or hide behind next to your fence both inside and outside.
5) How many gates in your fence?
The more gates you have the easier your perimeter is to breach. Minimize the number of gates through the perimeter if possible. This is also important for general liability as you can control traffic coming and going from the site with just one construction entrance.
6) How big are your gates?
Narrower gates are better, but make sure they’re at least 20 foot wide to allow 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?
You will see a decrease in equipment and material loss if you require others to park outside the fence and have a controlled access.
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.