Are Metal Access Deterrent Measures a thing of the past?
Updated: Feb 25, 2022
Unauthorised access to property and assets is a chronic menace that costs companies time, money and often reputational damage.
Metal anti-climb products can be a very efficient stand-alone measure to deter unwanted intruders from property. They are visually effective in keeping out unwanted guests and can be physically hard to penetrate. But are they a sustainable solution?
As we enter an era of increasingly stringent regulation and scrutiny of activities, the need to gather asset data gains pace and utility companies are becoming more aware of potentially hazardous situations that exist across their estates. With an absence of suitable alternatives, the use of metal deterrents to protect pipes and crossings has long been the traditional approach.
Metal anti-climb products can be a very efficient stand-alone measure to deter unwanted intruders from property. They are visually effective in keeping out unwanted guests and can be physically hard to penetrate. But are they a sustainable solution? They tend to be visually unsightly, are expensive to purchase and store, and are often tricky to install. The heavy weight of metal products increases the risk of damage and stress to sites - pipes in particular - and can be expensive to inspect and maintain. For this reason, there is often a need for testing and modelling of these products prior to installation, adding unnecessary costs to the process. Metal deterrents are also at risk of theft for their scrap metal value. But on the issue of safety, the biggest downside of using such metal products is the high risk of causing serious injury to individuals.
It is recognised that utility companies are looking for a safer, more cost-effective approach to protecting their assets and limiting their liability.
There are now more innovative and user-friendly products coming to market that are designed to simplify access deterrent measures. The design of these products makes them easier to fit and maintain whilst minimising injury risk. These alternative products are also saving companies thousands of pounds.
At less than half the cost of market alternatives to purchase and install and maintenance free after installation, products such as DefendaStrip are flexible, lightweight access deterrent measures designed specifically for the utility sector. Crafted from a weather-resistant Polypropylene to present an unstable surface to an intruder, the intelligent design minimises risk of harm and associated personal injury claims compared with metal deterrents. These lightweight products are also easy to store and much quicker to fit.
Utilities clients often prefer the visual appeal of using products such as DefendaStrip on their assets. The strips are low level and discreet and can be produced in any RAL colour required to ensure they blend sympathetically with their surroundings, essential in conservation and sensitive areas. Local authorities and planning regulations also specify a more subtle approach than raptors, metal rollers or metal spikes when installing in historical or social sensitive areas.
Often less than half the price of metal alternatives, lightweight products may well be the deterrents of the future.
Sally Sprange is the founder and Operations Director of DefendaStrip.