As the great English agriculturist Arthur Young said commenting on eighteenth century French peasants’ toil on their small patrimonies, “Give a man the secure possession of a bleak rock and he will turn it into a garden. Give him a nine years' lease of a garden and he will convert it into a desert." Being instrumental in the culture of property, the fence fostered long-term thinking and constructive effort.
Land ownership demanded lasting commitment and care that were beyond the capacity of a single individual, so since very early on land was attached not to the individual but to a family. In early Hindu and Greek law, land could not be sold or transferred to another family, either by bequest or as a dower. A father who had land was compelled to leave it to his sons. If he had no sons he must pass it to the nearest relation. Since no one could take away family land upon marriage, the fence was associated with native home and was helped facilitate inferred communication in a domestic context.
Having a strong visibility bias, the fence is an open declaration of intention. It says on the part of an occupant "I am here and planning to stay." This makes it an appropriate device to be associated with law.
Numa, the second king of Rome laid down in 7th century B.C. that each man should surround his land with a boundary and set up landmarks of stone or modern day bollards. He dedicated these landmarks to the god Terminus, and ordained that sacrifices should be offered up to him every year, appointing the Festival of the Terminalia. This worship of boundaries was meant to celebrate the conquest of the land of Rome from the Latinians and the Sabines originally occupying the region. Victory would not have been possible without the will of the gods and the fence being a symbol of this triumph had to be honored in appreciation. Thus the fence was invested with meaning and gained value.
Further, in 7th century England, the King of Wessex added a new function for private peremiter boundaries: Responsibility. The business of protecting crops from cattle, was on the land-owner. The king proclaimed that a homestead must be fenced winter and summer. If it is not fenced and his neighbor's cattle get in through his own gap, he has no right to anything from that cattle or the the owner of the property it wandered onto.
In New America, John Winthrop, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony even passed a policy stating: "That which lies common, and hath never been replenished or subdued, is free to any that possess and improve it."
Pictured Above: A Worm Fence in Gettysburg Pennsylvania circa 1600.
Circa 1600 A.D., Jamestown Virginians were amazed to discover a fence structure that they'd not seen before. A worm fence is a pereimeter fence that lays logs atop each other at an angle eliminating the need for posts of any kind. The early settlers used their spare logs while yielded and clearing the residential land they forged.
Essentially, any type of fence can be modified to meet AT/FP requirements.
ATFP 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.
While 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.
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 are available in four types:
Whether it’s controlling traffic patterns, securing a gated community, or providing a major deterrent against criminal and terrorist attacks, bollards are an integral part of any perimeter security system that can be obtained at a relatively minor cost.
While some companies can supply specialty bollard systems and most contractors can install any generic stationary bollard, some companies can supply and install both. A qualified company can help you find the right product for your application and answer any of your bollard-related questions.
Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection (ATFP) 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 personnel, intelligence and training. For our purposes we will only discuss the physical security of a site.
ATFP standards set by the federal government can be used to protect areas such as military vicinity, state and local courthouses, banking centers and certain corporate areas. Corporations can deal with security sensitive matters like financial markets and Internet service providing computer farms.
ATFP secured structures can actually be made better able to prevent blasts from having a great effect. This can be done by ‘hardening’ the exterior of the structure by blast proofing the walls and glass. The can be achieved with the addition of concrete and steel wall supports. A “progressive collapse” structural design can be created to limit the likelihood of a complete building collapse in the event of an attack.
Perimeter security is typically created by the addition gates and entry areas and is most often delineated by a fence. ATFP fence is a standard fence that is upgraded or one that is originally manufactured to ATFP fence specifications. ATFP perimeter security can be of a very different nature.
ATFP Entry Systems or Gates are created by using passive and/or non-passive barriers. These systems are specifically designed for the level of protection that the facility mandates.
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 fence gates or can actually be mounted to fence 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.
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. Distance 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.
Bear in mind that it is much easier to implement the AT/FP standards when working on new construction rather than attempting to retrofit the system into an already 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 extreme 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 much easier to initially plan this rather than propose it at a later point in time.
Some additional research should be done to understand ‘K ratings’ (K4|K8|K12). These ratings are somewhat complex and are standards set by the government to quantify and ensure the inflexibility of implemented AT/FP barrier devices. Read ‘K ratings’ (K4|K8|K12 Fence) Informational Blog
Article contributed by fence professional John Lowndes.