Factors Affecting The Cost Of Security Fencing
Tackling the issue of cost and security fencing isn’t easy. There are many variables that will affect the cost and it’s important to consider the value a fence will add and what would be detrimental to the site’s security.
The best security fencing will, of course, depend largely on the risks and threats to the site you are securing.
Do you need something particularly impenetrable for the foreseeable future, like Magnox decommissioning programme at Bradwell Power station? Do you have extremely high-value assets to protect? Or is your fence mainly to mark the boundary, rather than providing a formidable barrier to deter and delay attackers?
This post will uncover some of the key variables to bear in mind when considering the cost of security fencing.
Read on to find out more…
Cost Vs Value Of Your Security Fence
Money makes the world go around and often security products are specified on the initial upfront cost. However, in doing so, you may be compromising the value that the fencing and gates provide to your business or client.
The first thing to consider when thinking about how much to invest in your physical security is How much would you stand to lose if an attack were successful?
The damage a successful attack can cause ranges from asset damage, reputation damage, monetary loss, the cost of repair. In some circumstances, a successful attack could have life-threatening consequences. The value of protecting assets is different for each site.
For example, an LPS 1175 C5 fence wouldn’t be suitable for a local village pie shop. Such fences have been tested to prevent access to an experienced attacker using a range of powered tooling for 5 minutes.
- A) The intent wouldn’t be there.
- B) The potential damage done would not reach the cost of the fence.
However, the damage that could be done in a water treatment works that supplies clean drinking water to 1.8 million people would warrant an LPS 1175 C5 fence, like a site of Essex and Suffolk Water.
The value a resilient and robust fence can add can far outweigh the cost. In the first instance, the visual deterrent can go a long way in stopping perpetrators from considering an attempt to gain access. However, if an attack does happen, a formidable fence will keep the attacker out for an extended period, giving the response time to intervene in the attack.
Certified Fences Are More Expensive
Third-party tested fencing systems provide specifiers and customers with peace of mind that products are going to perform as advertised.
Tested fencing systems often have an additional cost – this is because they have been through extrinsic testing programmes to be certified. In addition to this, to maintain the certification the company manufacturing these systems and the products are subject to continuous audits.
However, going back to the value that certified products offer – With 95% of products that manufacturers put forward for the LPCB tests failing – you can see why it’s important for your peace of mind to choose tested solutions.
The Rising Cost Of Steel: A Global Issue
The steel price is probably the most important factor in the cost of metal security fencing, and this is currently the biggest variable. The effects of COVID-19 and Brexit have made steel prices extremely volatile since the end of 2020.
Shortages in the world steel market mean that steel will be in short supply over the coming months. As a result, we can expect steel prices to remain volatile during this period. There are many reasons that are contributing to this issue, including:
- Demand exceeding production
- Quota restrictions on post materials
- Some transport difficulties encountered in the weeks following Brexit
It appears that the demand for steel in China has had a knock-on effect for the rest of the world.
This is something that all UK and European companies who manufacture steel products will have to contend with as 2021 continues, and we are strongly urging our clients to factor in these increased costs to their budget at the beginning of their project.
Lead time may also be affected as a result of the global steel crisis.
Exchange Rates & Export Costs Of Security Fencing
If you are purchasing from overseas, exchange rates, export costs and transportation may impact the cost of your security fencing, as well as lead times. This, too, should be closely considered at the start of your project as you need a supplier who can secure your site at the right time.
Will Your Fence Be Galvanised?
One of the best ways to protect your security fence from corrosion is through hot-dip galvanisation: a process in which the entire fence is coated in molten zinc, providing a barrier between the metal and its surrounding environment.
Recently, some fences are in a pre-galv finish which will be covered in circa 12 microns of zinc, whereas a hot-dipped galvanised product will have circa 70 microns of zinc. Inland in the UK zinc erodes at an estimated 2 microns a year so it’s important to consider your requirement and what you are getting for your money.
What Specification Do You Need?
As the saying goes it’s important to compare apples with apples. if you’re looking for a none tested fence, then the spec of the fence can vary. In recent years, the spec of some palisade fences on the market has fallen below the British Standard.
This is down to cost as the less steel in the fence, the cheaper it will be. However, this comes at a cost – the fence will be weaker and easier to penetrate so we’re back to the value vs. cost consideration yet again.
The Cost Of Installation
A product may be slightly cheaper to buy, however, you may be stung when it comes to unexpected costs during installation. For example, if you require extra materials. Therefore, you should consider:
- Foundation depths (Larger foundations will cost more in materials and take longer)
- Whether it is pre-assembled
- The weight of assembled items and whether lifting equipment is required.
Can Your Security Fence Be Easily Repaired?
This won’t affect the upfront costs, however. If your fence is likely to be attacked and damaged, it’s worth considering how easy it is to repair or replace.
For sites, like the mineral mine in Papua New Guinea which was constantly being attacked by local villagers, StronGuard Palisade security fencing was the ideal solution, because of the construction of the fence.
If the fence is damaged by attempted break-ins, small sections of the fence can be replaced, so that the section doesn’t become vulnerable.
As you can see, gaining a definitive cost of your security fencing is unlikely, since there are so many variables at play. To recap:
- We recommend you choose value over price
- The more difficult a fence is to penetrate, the more of a deterrent it will be
- The global steel crisis will affect the cost of all steel products over the coming months
- Certified fences are more expensive but provide better protection and peace of mind
- Compare apples with apples
- The hidden cost of installation should also be considered
For any more information on your security fencing options, don’t hesitate to speak to an expert today.