Breakthrough in anti-climb fencing

July 2003 Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection

First DeFence II - a perimeter security specialist based in South Carolina, USA - has pioneered and patented the unique arched barrier system. Now, Bekaert Bastion - the South African manufacturing subsidiary of the world's largest independent steel wire producer, Bekaert - has entered into an exclusive agreement with First DeFence to introduce this system at maximum-security prisons and other institutions throughout South Africa.

This system is designed to arch inwards or outwards, preventing any form of climbing - from within or without. It provides security without the appearance and cost of traditional high security fencing and the arched fence system obviates the need for either razor wire or a double fence system.

Managing director of Bekaert Bastion, Michael Rodenburg explains: "The system is quite ingenious because it uses the principles of gravity to make it secure. Potential escapees from a jail, for example, would find that their own body weight would work against them and their inability to gain a foothold decreases as they climb higher. The toe and finger proof mesh also prohibits climbing."

The First DeFence perimeter security system has been tested by physical perimeter specialists from the United States Army Special Forces, NASA, the Air Force and by thousands of inmates at 63 correctional facilities throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. Official tests were conducted and showed that the arched barrier delays the climber's attempts by as much as 24 times that offered by conventional fences of the past.

Not only effective in the prevention of convict escapes from prisons, the arched barrier system can be applied to any site that requires security from intruders too because it is a true barrier and acts effectively either way. It eliminates the need for a 'two fence system' by providing the level of requisite security and, thereby, reduces the cost outlay for high security. For example, one interesting installation - and obviously one that requires the highest security available - is at the NASA Test Site at Cape Kennedy.

As Michael Rodenburg adds: "This system is so right for the South African market as security in this country is of national importance - and not only in our prisons, of course. Another bonus with this system is that it is more aesthetically acceptable than standard high-security fencing. By creating the maximum obstacle to climbing breaches, we are providing effective perimeter security that is not an eye-sore."

For more information contact Bekaert Bastion, 021 905 4535 or

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