Providing adequate security on commercial properties is a vital concern for every company. Depending on your line of business, the assets that you are protecting can include inventory, employees, customers, information systems, and even intellectual property. It is impossible to account for every possible scenario in your security plan. However, providing layers of security that counter different types of threats will provide protection and act as a deterrent to criminal activity. The first line of defense is a proper fence.
Fencing around a commercial or retail location can serve multiple purposes. It defines your property line to keep out would-be trespassers, but it can also add privacy. The type of fence you choose to install can either conceal what you want to keep hidden or reveal crimes in action. Both types can work in your favor.
Before you can identify the best type of fence for your business, it is essential to take an inventory of your assets and define the function you need the fence to perform.
- Do you have valuable equipment or inventory that could be stolen? If so, you may want to look for a solid or nearly solid type of fence that can conceal your property partially or entirely to keep valuables out of sight.
- Would solid fencing obscure the view of security cameras? Many business owners prefer an open line of sight across their property. Fencing that obscures the view into corners or creates dark areas on your property may provide a way for trespassers to evade your security cameras.
- Do you need to maintain a welcoming image for customers? Security fencing prevents people from entering your property illegally. However, you don’t want to make it look so scary that your offices look dangerous or feel like a prison. You may need to balance appearances with security.
- Is your fence permanent or temporary? Some fencing types are easier to install and adjust or move if necessary. These fencing types may not add much aesthetic to your commercial space, but they can get the job done.
While chain link may have a bad reputation in the movies for being easy to scale or crawl beneath, it is a popular choice for fencing around large commercial spaces. It is inexpensive, and the open structure allows you to keep an eye on possible threats with your security cameras. If you want additional privacy, you can add vinyl slats into the mesh to block the view from outside your property.
The security provided by the fence depends on how it is built. Wise decisions about the construction and fencing materials used in your chain link fence can make all the difference. Chain link made of galvanized steel that is nine-gauge or less is a challenge to cut through, and adding bottom rails leaves little room to squeeze underneath the fence. Installing fine mesh with 3/8” gaps make the fence much more challenging to climb, and topping it all off with barbed wire or razor wire on top is sure to deter even the most determined of thieves. Before adding something that may cause injury to others, though, be sure you are acquainted with laws in your area.
If you have something to hide, concrete fencing is a great option. It is impervious to prying eyes, which is great if you keep a large volume of inventory on your lot. People are much less likely to break in to steal something they can’t see. Unfortunately, this solid obstruction also blocks the view from inside, preventing you from tracking suspicious activity outside your property lines.
Often used along highways, concrete fencing also works well as a sound barrier. This fence can cut down on sound pollution to adjacent neighborhoods. It is also extremely low maintenance, needing only occasional washing to keep it looking good. It can even be painted to resist graffiti.
If you are looking for a welcoming fence, wood is a great choice. You can stain a wood fence in warm tones that can put clients at ease while providing privacy around properties such as medical offices. You can adjust the spacing between pickets to vary the style and the amount of privacy the fence offers. Installing wood fencing with the rails on the inside makes the fence more difficult to climb and provides more security. Partial wood fences with pickets or lattice are excellent for screening vulnerable areas such as back entrances but can also hide electrical boxes and other eyesores, enhancing the appearance of your retail space.
Aluminum and wrought iron fences are more welcoming than chain link but still provide a high level of security. People are used to seeing ornamental metal fences around government buildings and palaces. They can look regal and majestic. Made of unyielding metal, these fences are hard to bypass. A full-grown adult would have a difficult time squeezing between the pickets. Pointed tops on the pickets also discourage trespassers from trying to climb over. Installation costs may be a little higher, but without yearly maintenance, you may come out ahead in the long run.
Taking steps to protect your commercial property before an incident occurs is wise. Installing a fence in addition to security cameras, locks, and computer passcodes can help protect your physical property and your employees. Investments in security will pay for themselves by saving you the potential loss of time and money.