High Security FAQ
What can American Fence Company do for my high security fence?
We offer our expert design assistance. Having completed two nuclear power stations, two data centers, 12 prisons and 22 airports, we have the Midwest’s most experienced design personnel to assist you in selecting your layout and products.
- Field Installation – We are the Midwest’s only certified installers and have installed over 200,000 running feet of razor wire. We maintain over 35 installation crews who can build your fence in a timely manner.
- Maintenance – Only American Fence Company has a full-time gate operator repair person on staff. We maintain the Midwest’s largest inventory of gate operator parts. Once your automated gate is in place, who is going to service it?
- CAD – American Fence Company has a team of seasoned CAD designers on-board to provide you with an illustration of your high security fence and gate design.
- Specialty Fabrication – With a host of certified welders and a 10,000 square foot fabrication shop, we can fabricate your crash barriers, sallyport systems, grenade barriers, shooting stations, explosion deterrents and more.
What is available today in the high security industry?
Since the horrific events on September 11, 2001, the high security industry has developed significantly. Particularly in the fencing, gates, gate access control, fixed barrier and cable restraint industries. There are truly limitless options for securing your property. To get you started in the right direction, we have listed a few of the most popular installations used today.
Vehicle Barriers: Vehicle barriers are categorized as either passive or passive. Active and passive barriers can be movable or fixed, depending on how they are made, operated, or used. Some commercial barriers are dual-classified, when they meet the requirements for both categories (e.g., fixed-active, portable passive, etc.) There is no industry-wide standard terminology for vehicle barriers. For this UFC, the following definitions will be used:
Passive Barrier Systems: A passive barrier has no moving parts. Passive barrier effectiveness relies on its ability to absorb energy and transmit the energy to its foundation. Highway medians (Jersey), guardrails, posts or bollards, reinforced fences, tires and ditches are examples of passive barriers.
Active Barrier Systems: An active barrier requires some action, either by equipment, personnel or both, to permit or deny entry of a vehicle. The system has to have some form of moving parts. Active barrier systems include gates, moving bollards, active tire shredders, barricades and beams.
Portable/Movable Barrier Systems: A portable/movable barrier system can be relocated from place to place. It may require heavy equipment to assist in the transfer. Hydraulically operated, sled-type, barricade systems, highway medians, or filled 55-gallon drums that are not set in foundations are typical examples. Portable/movable barrier systems can be either active or passive.
Fixed Barrier Systems: A fixed barrier is permanently installed or requires heavy equipment to move or dismantle. Examples include hydraulically-operated rotation or retracting systems, pits, and concrete or steel barriers. Fixed barrier systems can be either active or passive.
Cable Restraint Systems: These are typically ¾” to 1 ¼” diameter cables installed at such a height to capture and stop a vehicle. Systems may be both certified or uncertified. Certified systems carry a K-Rating which boils down to how far a vehicle of specific size and weight traveling at a specific speed will stop once the vehicle has encountered the cables. The cables are strewn between posts to keep the system at a specific height. At specified lengths, the cables are terminated with the use of a deadman system.
Hydraulic Crash Bollards: These are steel bollards that can be recessed to ground level and rise in under three seconds to stop a vehicular threat traveling at an excessive speed. Able to work in conjunction with a simple three button station or sophisticated security system, the bollards are easily operated. You will find hydraulic bollards protecting our United States embassies and federal facilities throughout the United States and abroad.
Hydraulic Pop-Up Barriers: These are large immovable barriers that generally run the length of the drive. The barriers are at or below ground level designed to rise quickly in an effort to divert a vehicular threat traveling at excessive speeds. Once given a signal to rise, hydraulic pistons quickly raise the large steel road surface. These barriers can be easily installed on a temporary basis in under 15 minutes.
Barrier Arm Gates: Much like a parking arm gate, these barrier gates raise and lower with a large tubular steel boom that has a cable assembly running through the tube. Once in the closed position, the cable automatically is looped over a large steel saddle horn. Again, these barrier arms are designed to stop a vehicular threat traveling at an excessive speed. These gate arms are available in electrical /mechanical or manual operation.
Crash Barrier Cantilever Gates: Designed to stop both foot traffic and vehicular threats traveling at an excessive speed, these gates are popular with airports that are concerned about anyone or anything approaching the aircraft. These gates require an electrical gate operator to move the gate at a speed of two feet per second to meet FAA requirements.
High Security Prison Gates: Prison fencing must be high, void of any gaps that allow penetration, and absolutely fool proof. TyMetal Corporation’s Plus System is the nation’s leading overhead track fully enclosed gate system used in today’s correctional facilities. Operated from a remote site, this gate with its unique locking column and fully enclosed track and chain assemblies, cannot be foiled by hands-on intervention.
Concertina Wire: The severe form of commonly know “razor wire,” concertina wire is used at almost every correctional facility and nuclear power plant throughout the United States. In a variety of diameters and varieties, this material is finding its way into the private sector as an impenetrable threat. Once only used in prison facilities, today’s criminals are unprepared to deal with this awesome threat. However, consideration must be given to public safety prior to installation.
Gate Access Control: From fingerprints, retina scans, anti-passback, three strikes and tail gating, today’s gate access control devices are out of this world. With the use of a personal PC and telephone entry device, you can not only decide if people can access your perimeter but how often and what time of the day. The options are limitless.
Who do I talk to about high security fencing, gate and barrier requirements?
If you are a public facility, we recommend contacting your primary agency for requirements and specifications. Most public high security applications are governed by a set of specifications or by a specific intent, (i.e. airports abide by the FAA, and nuclear power plants abide by the NRC). If you do not know where to start, we can help.
If you are aware of your requirements or are a private institution, please contact any of our service centers for design and materials assistance. With over 55 years of securing our nation’s federal buildings, prisons, nuclear power plants and airports, American Fence Company is the premier choice.
Can I count on American Fence Company to provide a turnkey installation?
Absolutely, American Fence Company has the experience, knowledge and leadership that allows us to work in conjunction with all the construction trades to complete your installation. When you are looking for an automated gate operator, you can count on us to provide not only the gate and operator but we will provide all the gate access control devices, including telephone entry, intercom, proxy readers, keypads, etc. Then, we will bring our contractors on board to bring the system together, including electrical, telephone, communications and any site work.