Kristen Fugere

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Commercial Fences: What is the Best Type to Use for My Business

Posted by Kristen Fugere on Thu, Aug 21, 2014

For business owners, choosing the best commercial fence solution can be a daunting task.

There are an abundant array of options available on the fence market. These options are comprised of three major types of pereimeter structures: chain link, wood, and ornamental fence solutions. 
Picking out the best style of fence for you and your business hinges on two deciding factors: the sort of business you own and its location. Each type weighs in with its own fence material benefits. 

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Chain Link Fences: A general contractor whose business is located in an industrial park would most likely use chain-link fencing in order to safeguard their on-site assets. When using chainlink for security purposes, it is best to strive for a height of 6’ or 6 feet of greater and a thickness of at least 9-gauge in order to reap the benefits from this cost effective fencing. 

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A good general practice is to avoid solid barriers when erecting
security fencesThis will eliminate visual blockades where trespassers could potentially hide.

Ornamental Fence:  For the business owner who runs their operation in areas where fence appearance must be considered, such as in historic Richmond or Williamsburg Virginia, the use of a sturdy ornamental iron fence would be ideal. Attractive security is the predominate objective for many business installations.

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While all ornamental fence facades should be at least 6’ high, there are varied fence rail configurations that can be selected. Pickett fence tops can also be added to prevent ease of access to a fence secured area, and increase the aesthetic appeal of the installation.
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These fence can be comprised of three primary types of ornamental fencing:

Welded Steel Fence:  Black (non-galvanized) steel components are welded together to form a section that is them primed and painted. During installation, the sections are welded directly to the posts at the jobsite. Depending on climate, welded systems can begin to show rust with the first year after being installed and must be wire brushed and repainted periodically. If welded steel panels are added it is highly recommended to add a polyester powder coated finish of the galvanized steel.

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Assembled Component Fencing:  Galvanized steel fence components (using a minimum G-60 zinc coating) are machine punched, and then given a polyester powder-coat finish.
After coating, the components are assembled into sections using drive rivets or retaining rods. Assembled sections are attached to posts using brackets so the coating isn't compromised, which minimizes potential red rust problems.

Aluminum Ornamental Fencing: Manufactured similarly to steel assembled components, these special aluminum-alloy fences are powder coated, and then joined into sections using screws or pop rivets. These sections attach through brackets or holes punched in the posts. Aluminum ornamental fencing should be considered for harsh coastal environments or when corrosive chemicals are nearby. 

Privacy Wood FenceA business run in a residential area may select the wood or stick built privacy fence for security. Commerce areas that are adjacent to residential zones often use them as well. Wood privacy fences are also great selections for dumpster enclosures.

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Great Looking Dumpster Enclosures are possible! These fences and dumpster covers can be built as tall as needed and then either painted, stained or left natural, making them the perfect fence solution for businesses that are looking for a harmonious relationship with neighboring structures. Best of all it won't break the bank. 
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Though there are an array of amazing commercial fence options, an accredited and experienced professional fence company should always be able to provide design and budget solutions for your unique project specs.

Contact a Hurricane Fence Specialist today and schedule a free estimate or quote to get started on your Commercial Fence Installation!

Topics: Ornamental Aluminum, Commercial Fence, Dumpster Enclosure, Privacy Fence, Aluminum Fence

What Are The Different Types Of Athletic Field Fences?

Posted by Kristen Fugere on Fri, Oct 19, 2012

Athletic field fences provide crowd control, venue security, and safety for sporting events. These fences are typically made of chain link and differentiate specific areas of the sporting fields. Whether the fence screens athletes or protects viewers; the fence is part of the sport played. The venue and level of play take a vital role in determining what fencing will be used at the field. Football, baseball, softball, and tennis are all sports where fence is an important consideration.

High school football athletic field fence is used mainly to separate players and spectators. These fences usually surround the track and are commonly 4 feet high. These chain-link fences are often colored and PVC coated for looks and durability. Double drive gates and maintenance access gates are common at the end of the running track. There are also 4 feet pedestrian gates where players and coaches enter the field of play. An attractive ornamental fence is generally used along the side of the stadium that parallels the road. Specialty fencing is usually a four foot chain-link fence used on the edge of the bleachers to ensure that spectators (mainly children) do not slip between the railings. Most professional football locations do not use fence in the field area, but use railings to separate players and fans.

Football Bleachers Fence  Football Field Fence

Baseball is the most common use athletic field fence. There are numerous variations of fencing on one baseball field. The sideline perimeters of baseball fields are commonly fenced with 4 to 6 foot fence. Backstops are constructed of specialty fence that is three separate sections that are each 30 feet wide and roughly 25 feet high depending on the design with an overhang to prevent foul balls from hitting spectators. Outfield fences are typically 6 feet high and topped with bright yellow tubing. This visual marker allows players to gauge a cautious distance when tracking fly balls also helps players from getting injured on the top rail of the fence. Depending on dugout designs, fence can be attached to front railings or a dugout can be a complete chain link enclosure. Bullpens are also enclosed using chain link fence and can be 8 foot tall and screened with fabric for privacy for the players. Batting cage fences keep baseballs and softballs contained and they are usually made of a thicker 6 gauge of chain link due to it being subjected to such wear and tear.

'Batters eye' screening is a new concept in baseball athletic field fencing. This fence add-on is usually in the center of the outfield fence. It consists of a screen that is 20 feet tall and roughly 140 feet wide. The concept is to give the batter a black background so that the white baseball will stand out. This feature gives the batter a clear and undistracted view of the ball coming from the pitcher. The picture below shows a type of ‘batters eye’ fencing.

Batters Eye Fence Baseball Field Fencing

Tennis is also a sport that encloses its courts to contain tennis balls. Tennis courts layouts vary tremendously, but the fences by and large are the same. These fences are usually 10 feet tall and 11 gauge mesh galvanized or vinyl coated, the most common vinyl coating color being green. The chain link fabric mesh is 1 3/8 inch as opposed to the standard 2 inch diamond width to prevent the tennis balls from getting stuck in the fence. Top and bottom is used for these fences and middle rail is common due to the fence height. The bottom rail is better option than tension wire because it prevents the balls from rolling out of the court. Screening is common on these fences to reduce the effects of wind on the ball trajectory and also helps prevent the tennis balls from getting wedged in the fence. On rare occasions courts are totally enclosed with a chain link roof. This is more often than not for smaller courts in confined areas.

Tennis Court with Windscreening Tennis Court Fencing


Baseball, softball and football fence posts are usually set in the ground with a concrete footing. Tennis fence is usually core drilled into the court, or it can be set before the court is laid down. All fences mentioned above can be vinyl coated for decoration or screened with fabric depending on the needs of the field.

So next time you attend a sporting venue, take a look around to see the many types of fence. Venues use fence to decorate and to serve many purposes.

Article contributed by Nate Poehlman.

Topics: Specialty Fence, Ornamental Aluminum

How Can I Make My Gate Areas ATFP Compliant?

Posted by Kristen Fugere on Wed, Sep 26, 2012

Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection (AT-FP) is generally defined as a federal security program formed to protect personnel, information, and critical resources from outside attacks. These attacks could be attempted by the use of Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG), truck bombs, or any means of weighted attack force. Areas of planned security could include law enforcement buildings, intelligence and training facilities.

Data Center ATFP GateAT/FP Entry Systems or Gate Systems are created by using passive and/or non-passive barriers.  These gate access systems are specifically designed to reach a level of protection that the facility mandates. These mandates are found in the projects specification section and are designed by highly qualified engineers.

Passive Barriers allow the passage of entering vehicles at all times. This can be achieved by placing jersey wall barriers in away that creates a maze for the vehicle to maneuver.  This effectively forces the vehicle to slow down while permitting access.  This is only one example of this type of passive barrier.

Non-Passive Barriers are actually permanent entry obstacles. These are things like bollards, wedge barricades, drop arms, slide gates and newly designed net systems. These barricades can be used in conjunction with fences and gates or can actually be mounted to fences and gates. They are used more often than passive barriers because they can be moved in and out of their location with ease. This allows instant entry and immediately re-barricaded areas. Pop up bollards and wedge barriers are a favorite among these non-passive barriers for their reliability and relative indestructibility.

To understand the AT/FP entry systems and their requirements, one must also understand the overall perimeter requirements of the system. ATFP passive perimeter security can be accomplished with the use of steel cables or steel guardrails. This can also be setup by any combination of natural and manmade features when natural barriers are not sufficient or present. This can be achieved with ditches and berms, or large bolder (3ft. x 5ft.) placement and forestation. Distance can also be a great ATFP device when used in combination with an uneven or bumpy surface. This will slow down any moving vehicle or a truck bomb that is attempting to implode a building surface. Remember that AT/FP perimeters are specifically intended to stop only vehicle traffic. This perimeter prevents a bomb threat, not theft.  

ATFP Compliant GateIt is easier to implement the AT/FP standards when working on new construction rather than attempting to retrofit the system into an existing environment.  When retrofitting, much of the plan design work will be required to be done onsite and in an emergent way. This can lead to design difficulties and can turn out to be very costly. Conceiving a building or site around AT/FP barrier implements is much easier than situating the AT/FP elements around already existing structures. Imagine attempting to widen the distance between a building and the adjacent road line. It would be simpler to initially plan this rather than propose it at a later point in time.

Another method of obtaining this level of protection is to utilize Engineered K4|K8|K12 Ratings.  These engineered barriers have not undergone the Department of State authorized test, but does meet engineering criteria for equivalent levels of protection. Most Non-DOS Certified systems (other than U.S. Army Corp of Engineers USACE or Military Handbook MIL-HDBK specified) will require an engineer stamp indicating compliance assuring the expected level of protection.

Article contributed By Meagan Stone.

Topics: ATFP, Gates, Maximum Security Fence

Where Is ATFP Fence Needed?

Posted by Kristen Fugere on Tue, Sep 18, 2012

Data Center Fence

AT/FP perimeter security systems are needed in any area that is in danger of attack from outside forces. Most commonly, we think of military bases, federal buildings and jails for this type of elevated security fencing. Other fence customers that are currently using this type of security are schools, banks, high tech data centers, and many other purposes. Typically any place that is housing large quantities of information, important people and money are high on the terror watch list. These fences are also commonly used by military and civilian airports and at nuclear power and industrial plants. In addition to these, federal institutions utilize this product for reserve banks, the Federal Bureau of Investigations and many other government fence needs. Very high levels of protection are essential in the mentioned target areas. ATFP fences are used for the protection of products, personnel and the general public. These types of institutions have been terrorist targets in the past, and because of this, AT-FP fence was developed.

ATFP stands for Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection, as defined by the US Army and other federal entities. The term refers to the amount of force a structure can withstand without being penetrated by an incoming vehicle. AT-FP ratings are achieved by reinforcing a fence structure with steel cables that run along the fence, into the ground, terminating into large concrete footers. Cable fence reinforcement consists of 2 cables stretching laterally at heights of both 30 and 35 inches. These specific heights are set at 30” to address cars and 35” for trucks. These cables are installed to meet Anti-Terrorism Force Protection fence standards. With these reinforcing ATFP cables and/or beams, a structure achieves certain ratings as detailed below. These ratings are typically referred to as “K” ratings, or crash ratings.  

A ‘K' rating is a Crash Test Certification issued by the Department of State (DOS) to a fence, gate, barrier or bollard indicating the perpendicular impact penetration of a vehicle of a specific weight at a specific speed. In other words, it measures the particular stopping power of a barrier in relation to the speed and weight of an incoming vehicle.  The K-rating weight of the vehicle is standard at 15,000 lbs. These DOS standard barriers allow the truck to penetrate no more than 36 inches past the bed. There are three ratings that are achievable; K4, K8, and K12.

  • A K-4 system, which is two 3/4" cabling with concrete anchoring deadman will stop a 15,000 pound vehicle traveling at 30 miles per hour.
  • A K-8 system with two 3/4" cabling and 1" cable with concrete deadman will halt a 15,000 pound vehicle at a maximum speed of 40 miles per hour.
  • A K-12 system with three 1" cables will prevent penetration of a 15,000 pound vehicle with a maximum acceleration 50 miles per hour.

K-rated crash test

These k-ratings can be achieved by any combination of natural and manmade features when natural barriers are not sufficient or present. Distance alone can be a great ATFP device when used in combination with an uneven or bumpy surface. This can also be achieved with ditches and berms, or large bolder (3ft. x 5ft.) placement and forestation. This will slow down any moving vehicle or a truck bomb that is attempting to implode a building surface. Remember that AT/FP perimeters are specifically intended to stop only vehicle traffic. This perimeter prevents a bomb threat, not theft.

These ratings are also being covered by American Society for Testing and Materials or ASTM. ASTM International is a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards. Today, some 12,000 ASTM standards are used around the world to improve product quality, enhance safety, facilitate market access and trade, and build consumer confidence. ATSM fence is also available by qualified fence professionals.

Article contributed by Meagan Stone

Topics: ATFP, Military Fence, High Security Fence, Terrorism

What Type Of Fence Styles Can Be ATFP Compliant?

Posted by Kristen Fugere on Wed, Sep 05, 2012

Essentially, any type of fence can be modified to meet AT/FP requirements.

Data Center Security FenceATFP stands for Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection, as defined by the US Army and other federal entities. This term refers to the amount of force a structure can withstand without being compromised by an incoming attack.

The AT-FP ratings are achieved by reinforcing a fence structure with steel cables that run along the fence, into the ground, terminating in concrete footers. These ratings are typically referred to as crash ratings, or “K” ratings. There are three K ratings that are achievable; K4, K8, and K12. The different ratings refer to the amount of weight the structure can resist and remain intact. 

Typically, if business or government institution is going to spend this amount of money on a high tech fence, they may also want a good-looking fence. The most aesthetically pleasing type of fence that can be modified to achieve ATFP ratings is ornamental fence. Ornamental fence is often referred to as “wrought iron”, but are in fact made of aluminum or steel. Iron is an outdated material. These contemporary fence alternatives are more economical, as well as outlasting their dated counterparts. These style fences are often found around the perimeter of military institutions, data centers, federal buildings or even schools.

Alternatively, jails and other institutions that must remain secure without the superficial attributes can also apply K rated cables to chain link fences, achieving the same degree of security. These ATFP compliant chainlink fences are usually constructed of 6 gauge wire as opposed to the more commercially applied 9 gauge wire. This thicker wire, coupled with cable reinforcement and either SS 40 or SCH 40 pipe, can achieve AT/FP federal security standards.

Data Center FenceWhile ornamental styles are the most common installations of crash rated fences, even a wooden fence could be modified to reach the same standard. One way to achieve AT/FP compliance in this type of fence installation is to install a line of bollards, again reinforced with steel cables, in front of a wood fence. This would allow it to attain a K-rated fence standard. Bollards are short, vertical posts used to protect potentially vulnerable structures or objects from damage by moving vehicles. Designed for versatility, these posts range in size from 24” to 42” in height, and come in variable diameters to meet a location’s specific security requirements. Bollards can be used to maintain a more natural look, while providing crash-rated security.

As you can see, Anti-terrorism Force Protection (ATFP) standards can be met in any number of ways in the fence industry. A knowledgeable fence contractor has the capability to help customers design and build crash-rated fences out any material the customer desires. As our society continues to evolve, so do potential acts of terror, and Top Notch Fence Company’s will stay on the cutting edge of technology to continue to provide our customers with ATFP compliant crash rated fences.

Article contributed by Meagan Stone.

Topics: Bollards, ATFP, Military Fence, High Security Fence, Terrorism, Maximum Security Fence

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