Perimeter fence maintenance is a crucial, but often forgotten, aspect of site security. Gallagher’s Pedro De Jesus, sales manager for Queensland and Papua New Guinea, and Greg O’Neill, business development manager, discuss the importance of maintaining perimeter fencing.

A monitored pulse fence is a significant investment, but one we believe is worthwhile for superior protection of people and assets. Supporting this investment with regular, planned maintenance is vital to ensure the reliable performance of your security system when it’s needed.

A neglected fence becomes a hindrance. Missing or broken wires make a fence appear weak and ineffective, turning your site into a target for thefts and vandalism. Overgrown vegetation and broken components can trigger false alarms, leading to a system you can’t rely on and which can cost a fortune in guard callouts.

Perimeter fence maintenance shouldn’t be an after-thought; it’s something that needs to be considered before the fence is even installed. The fence location, environment, and locations of conduits, controllers, and underground services should be carefully thought through to enable site maintenance plans to be implemented and easily carried out by a qualified technician.

Preventative Maintenance vs Reactive Maintenance

For any perimeter solution there are 2 approaches to maintenance – preventative maintenance and reactive maintenance. Preventative maintenance involves regular, scheduled maintenance to ensure the fence detection system remains operational. Reactive maintenance reinstates correct fence operation following an unexpected event – such as an attack, accidental damage, or animal activity.

By taking a proactive approach to maintenance, issues can be identified before they become critical. While reactive maintenance has a place in responding to issues, it is not a complete maintenance solution and shouldn’t be solely relied upon to keep your fence operational.

Preventative maintenance creates efficiencies. Not only does it maintain the performance of your fence, preventative maintenance can also save you time and money. Any repair or replacement work can be performed during standard working hours, rather than expensive after-hours callouts, and the subsequent reduction in maintenance-related alarm activations saves costs through fewer guard patrol dispatches.

We recommend maintenance is carried out by a qualified technician, who will check the conditions of the fence and components, clean tensioners and insulators, carry out an oxidation assessment, and remove any rubbish, debris, and vegetation from around the fence. We see some strange repairs out in the field – fences quickly mended with whatever equipment was on hand, like PVC pipe or even plastic hose connecters.

We advise technicians to always carry out repairs with the correct replacement parts. Incorrect parts are likely to raise faults in the monitoring system and can cause false alarms, rendering the fence more ineffective than before the repairs were carried out.

Minimising Environmental Influences

Environmental factors such as vegetation, rubbish, oxidation, and contamination can affect the performance of your security system. While these can’t be eliminated, regular maintenance can minimise their effects. No 2 sites are the same, so it’s important to consider local conditions and create a custom plan for managing environmental factors on your site.

As part of the preventative maintenance schedule, technicians can address environmental influences by inspecting for damage caused by corrosion or oxidation; cleaning the fence components to remove build-up of contamination and dirt; removing any rubbish and debris within the fence vicinity; and maintaining a vegetation clearance of at least 500mm on either side of the fence line.

Businesses often don’t realize the value of fence maintenance until it’s too late. Preserve your investment by working with your security provider to create a maintenance plan that will protect your fence, your people, and your assets.