Welcome to Barkers Fencing’s pillar post, where we delve into the importance of hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) solutions, and whether specifying crash rated fencing could mitigate your risk.

In an age where security concerns have become increasingly complex and pervasive, safeguarding public spaces, critical infrastructure, and commercial facilities has never been more important.

Whether you’re specifying hostile vehicle mitigation, or looking to learn more about crash rated fencing, this guide can provide you with all the information you need.

In this guide we cover all the information you need to know about crash rated fencing, and offer top tips on what you need to consider when specifying the right hostile vehicle mitigation  for you.

Here is the chapter layout:

Where Should Crash Rated Products Be Used? – Learn where crash rated fencing is often specified and whether your site needs it.

The True Cost Of Crash Rated Fencing Key Factors To Consider – Consider the pricing process behind crash rated fencing when specifying the right product for you.

When Do You Need To Provide Crash Rated Fencing? – If you are specifying high-security fencing, when do you need to consider crash rated products?

How High Should Hostile Vehicle Mitigation Fencing Be? – Each site is different, how do you know you have the right fencing height to efficiently protect it?

What Are K4 Security Ratings? – You might have heard crash rated fencing be specified to a K4 standard, but what does this mean?

What Size Of Vehicle Will Vehicle Crash Barriers Stop? – Consider the size of vehicle crash barriers needed to efficiently protect your site.

What Is The Impact Of Vehicle Damage To A High-Security Site? – Vehicles can cause major damage. Learn how to avoid this type of impact.

What Speed Of Vehicle Can Anti Ram Barriers Stop? – It’s important to specify the right crash rated fence for your site, so considering the speed in which vehicles can gather is crucial for efficient protection.

Is Crash Rated Fencing Available With Anti-Climb Mesh? Anti-climb mesh adds another level of protection to crash rated fencing, so is it possible to specify both?

Landscaping Vs Fencing: Which Provides More Crash Protection? – Although crash rated fencing is a popular choice for protecting against hostile vehicles, there are alternatives. What are they?


Looking for more information on crash rated fencing and HVM? Click on each chapter title to view the full blog post where we expand on the section in this pillar post, helping you gain as much insight as possible.


Where Should Crash Rated Products Be Used?


Crash rated products play a vital role in safeguarding critical spaces and protecting the public.

From barriers and gates to and fences, these products provide robust protection against unauthorised access, intentional attacks, and accidents.

It’s important to clarify that not all crash rated products are the same – which is why it’s crucial for specifiers to choose appropriate levels of protection to mitigate the risk to ensure efficient protection of their site.


Crash rated products include:


Crash-Tested Barriers: These include crash-rated barriers and bollards that are designed to prevent vehicle intrusion and protect buildings, infrastructure, and pedestrians.

Crash-Rated Fences: Crash-rated fences are designed to withstand vehicle impact and prevent unauthorised entry. They are commonly used to secure sensitive areas, such as military installations, airports, and government facilities.

Crash-Tested Gates: Crash-rated gates are designed to control vehicle access while providing a high level of security. They are often used in high-risk areas such as industrial sites, military bases, and critical infrastructure facilities.

Crash-Tested Vehicle Barriers: Vehicle barriers, including crash-tested anti-ram barriers, are used to protect buildings, checkpoints, and other sensitive areas from vehicle-borne threats.


Crash rated products should be used to protect people, property, and critical assets.

It’s important to assess the threat level of your site before considering which crash rated products to invest in.

For example, the accessibility of your building will have a huge impact on the level of protection you need.


The True Cost Of Crash Rated Fencing Key Factors To Consider


Crash rated fencing, designed to withstand deliberate vehicle attacks, has emerged as a key solution in safeguarding high-risk facilities from the risk of vehicle impact.

While the initial cost of installing crash rated fencing may seem high in comparison to anti-personnel fencing, it is important to consider the benefits this investment can provide.

A crash rated fence will provide you with an anti-personnel fence and a crash barrier. There are alternatives to this system, such as specifying a security fence alongside bollards or a wire rope, which may differ in cost.

So, how do you know you’re efficiently protected whilst specifying the most cost-effective product in line with your business’ needs?


  • Initial Cost Vs Long-Term Investment

Investing in impact tested fencing, rather than a fence and additional crash-rated components such as wire rope, is likely to be cheaper.

A successful security breach can result in expensive damage to property, stolen belongings, and damage to reputation – which is often the hardest downfall to fix.

  • Installation and Repair Costs

Regular inspection and maintenance can help identify issues before they become more significant. Common maintenance and repair issues for crash rated fencing include damage caused by weather, attack, or impact.

  • Difference In Materials

For example, physical landscaping can provide a natural barrier but may not be as reliable in preventing forced vehicular impact. It would be easy for a vehicle to drive through certain bushes.


The decision to invest in crash rated fencing should be based on a careful consideration of all factors involved, including the materials used, installation costs, maintenance needs, and security requirements compared to a two-solution fence including bollards or rope.


When Do You Need To Provide Crash Rated Fencing?


Has your site been deemed at risk of vehicle impact or have you been victim to a vehicle borne incident before?

If you are concerned about the risk of vehicle impact, because your site perimeter borders a busy road, or because your high-security site, could be a target you should enlist a professional to carry out an Vehicle Dynamic Assessment (VDA) to determine your threat, including the speed and angle.

What are some common uses for crash rated fencing?

  1. Safeguarding Critical Infrastructure With Crash Rated Fencing

Critical infrastructure, such as power plants, are the backbone of our society’s day-to-day.

As critical infrastructure sites are often prime targets for malicious individuals or groups seeking to disrupt operations or cause harm, installing crash rated fencing deters unauthorised access and mitigates the risk of intrusions.

  1. Securing Government and Military Facilities

Government buildings and other high-security installations require robust perimeter security to safeguard classified information, protect personnel, and defend against potential threats.

  1. Highly Populated Locations: Fortifying Airports, City Centres, Shopping Centres

As terror attacks have sadly been more frequent in recent years, it’s crucial to have the right fencing and anti-ram equipment present to protect the public.

From preventing unauthorised vehicle intrusions to deterring potential security breaches, crash rated fencing offers a physical barrier that enhances perimeter security.


How High Should Hostile Vehicle Mitigation Fencing Be?


When specifying your high-security fence, deciding on design features such as height can be tricky.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, there are some key factors to consider when specifying your HVM fencing height.

So, what should you be considering?

  • Design Intent

Clarifying the objectives and desired purpose of the fence design influences its height and strength requirements.

  • Safety Standards And Regulations

Compliance with safety standards ensures that the fence is designed, installed, and maintained in a manner that prioritises safety, effectiveness, and legal requirements.


What Are K4 Security Ratings?


K4 ratings are still referred to regularly, particularly in the APAC region (East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania), which can raise some confusion now that K4 ratings are used less frequently in the US and UK as the standard isn’t maintained anymore.

Achieving a K4 security rating meant that the vehicle mitigation could stop a 15,000lbs American style vehicle at 30mph in under 50 feet.

In 2020, this security rating was replaced with ASTM F2656.

Just because a certain standard has been specified, it doesn’t mean that is the only standard that can be used.

Hostile vehicle mitigation is all about mitigating the risk of penetration from the vehicle – whichever standard you adhere to.

For example, StronGuard RCS is a fence that is impact tested against the PAS68 standard, able to stop a 7.5 tonne (16,500lb) vehicle at 30mph. This is equivalent to the K4 rating.

As long as your fence meets the following impact performance requirements, any specification is valid.

  • Vehicle Classification
  • Impact Speed
  • Impact Angle
  • Penetration Distance


What Size Of Vehicle Will Vehicle Crash Barriers Stop?


The term “crash barrier” is used to mean any barrier designed to mitigate vehicle momentum, whether accidental or intended.

Becoming familiar with the types of vehicle crash barriers is the first step in specifying the right product.

What are some common crash barriers?

Here are some of the most popular used vehicle crash barriers.


  • Bollards
  • Concrete Barriers
  • Water-Filled Barriers
  • Wire Rope Barriers
  • High Security Fencing


Crash barrier crash testing is a systematic process that evaluates the barriers’ performance under various impact scenarios, simulating real-world crash conditions. Standards such as the ASTM and PAS68 standards are commonly used.

Contrary to popular belief, crash barriers do not guarantee the complete stoppage of vehicles; rather, they are designed to mitigate the risks associated with collisions.

For this reason, it’s important to specify a vehicle crash barrier dependent on the speed and size of vehicle you believe to be at risk of.


What Is The Impact Of Vehicle Damage On A High Security Site?


Breaches in perimeters and physical barriers resulting from vehicle damage can lead to unauthorised access, compromising personnel safety and sensitive information.

Vehicle damage to a high-security site poses immediate security threats to the premises, both to personnel and property. During a successful attack, the safety of personnel within the high-security site is compromised, with potential risks to their well-being and lives. Furthermore, physical damage to a high-security site resulting from a vehicle incident can have significant consequences.

Although not instant security threats, when a vehicle collides with or damages the building or its critical infrastructure, it can lead to operational disruptions and a temporary halt in normal activities within the site.

Also, the costs associated with the incident can arise from various factors, including repairs, asset replacement, legal fees, and compensation.

Vehicle damage to a high-security building can also have severe reputational and regulatory consequences for your business. This loss of trust can have long-term implications, including potential damage to business relationships, decreased customer confidence, or a tarnished brand image.


What Speed Of Vehicle Can Anti-Ram Barriers Stop?


When specifying an anti-ram barrier, you should consider the speed in which the vehicle is travelling in order to protect your site from it.

It’s important to consider the following things before asking the question of “up to what vehicle speeds can the barrier stop”:

Risk Assessment: Begin by carefully evaluating the level of security risk that your facility faces. This assessment is the foundation of your barrier choice. The higher the risk, the stronger your barriers should be.

Types of Barriers: There’s a range of anti-ram barriers to consider, like sturdy bollards, strong concrete structures, and specialised gates. To pick the best one, you need to understand what your specific location needs.

Crash Ratings and Impact: A key factor in barrier effectiveness is their ability to mitigate the damage caused by moving vehicles. This is where “crash ratings” come in. They help you know how much energy a barrier can handle from an impact.

Placing Barriers Strategically: Figuring out where to put your anti-ram barriers requires careful thought.

When it comes to specifying anti-ram barriers, understanding the concept of crash ratings is essential.

For example, a higher crash rating, such as 50 mph (80 km/h), indicates that the barrier can withstand a more forceful impact from a faster-moving vehicle.


Is Crash Rated Fencing Available With Anti-Climb Mesh?


Mesh fencing is often seen as more aesthetically pleasing than palisade alternatives, which is why it has become a popular choice in recent years.

Many mesh fencing, such as SecureGuard 358 fencing, is often considered to be anti-climb mesh due to its tight apertures.

If you want to make your fence harder to climb, you need to invest in a fence that is not only high, but topped with something that will make climbing really difficult without being injured.

For example, by adding a fence topper, you can mitigate the risk of entry from an intruder, even if they manage to climb to the top of the fence.

When Crash Rated Fencing and 358 mesh also known as Anti-Climb Mesh are combined, the result is a holistic security solution.

Barkers’ SecureGuard™RCS is the only standalone PAS68 accredited mesh fence, tested to stop a 7.5t vehicle at 30mph. In terms of being anti-climb, SecureGuard RCS has a choice of mesh infills to add a guaranteed delay factor.

If you choose to specify this fence, you can benefit from the mitigation offered by being crash-rated (accredited to PAS 68), alongside the aesthetic features of mesh fencing.


Landscaping Vs Fencing: Which Provides More Crash Protection


By examining the roles of both landscaping and fencing in minimising collision risks, we aim to shed light on how these options can work in tandem with traditional safety measures.

Whether it’s the visual barriers that landscaping provides or the structural reinforcement of fencing, each approach offers its own advantages in safeguarding high-security buildings.

Different types of landscaping can be strategically employed to provide protection for buildings against potential vehicle collisions.

For example, trees and landscaping can be used as part of a strategy to protect buildings from vehicle impact.

While they might not provide the same level of protection as engineered barriers like bollards or reinforced structures, well-placed trees and landscaping elements can still play a valuable role in mitigating the impact of collisions and enhancing overall safety.

When comparing the safety levels of using landscaping elements like bushes against fencing for mitigating vehicle impact, a fair evaluation is essential.

For example, as there is no test for landscaping to provide reassurance, this solution leaves specifiers feeling unsure.


On the other hand, crash-rated fencing, engineered with reinforced materials and designed for optimal impact resistance, provides a higher level of protection against a wider range of vehicular threats.

Below are some of the considerations you need to pay attention to when choosing landscaping vs fencing:


  • Risk Assessment
  • Purpose and Use
  • Impact Potential
  • Regulations and Standards
  • Aesthetic Considerations




In this comprehensive pillar post, we have explored the world of crash-rated fencing in hostile vehicle mitigation and its application in providing a security solution.

Hostile vehicle attacks have proven to be devastatingly effective, targeting vulnerable sites.

With the knowledge gained from this guide, you are better equipped to make informed decisions and contribute to the creation of secure environments.

Crash-rated fencing is designed and tested to mitigate the impact of a hostile vehicle. By recognising the critical importance of crash-rated fencing for high-security sites, you have taken a significant step towards the safety and security of your high-security site.

By discussing your security needs with a reputable security fencing manufacturer such as Barkers Fencing, you can benefit from expert knowledge and support from a member of the team to be confident in specifying crash-rated fencing for your site.


Adam Savage

Adam joined Barkers in August 2000 as a sales estimator. He rose through the ranks looking after UK and Export Sales before becoming Marketing and Sales Director in April 2021.

In his 20+ years in the industry, Adam has seen the evolution of the security market and he has extensive knowledge of the pains and requirements of the industry