Many homeowners install a fence around their property without giving much thought to it. After all, any fence is better than no fence, right?
Well, not really. As we’ve already discussed previously, some fences can actually make you a target for burglars, which is the opposite of what you want.
So how do you get a good security fence that will actually help protect your home from burglars?
In general, you want a fence that:
- Doesn’t provide hiding places
- Is hard to climb over
- Cannot be easily bypassed
Let’s look at those in a little more detail…
Doesn’t provide a hiding place
When shopping for a security fence for your backyard, think see-through. You want to be able to see people on the other side of it.
As we discussed in Why Tall Privacy Fences Make You a Target for Burglars, tall, solid fences provide great hiding places for burglars and should be avoided.
Hard to climb over
For a fence that’s hard to climb over, get one that:
- Is at least 8 feet tall. Really, the taller the better here, but most cities and homeowners associations (HOAs) have rules about how high a fence can be. Check with yours before installing.
- Has few horizontal rails. Horizontal rails can literally give burglars a leg up when trying to scale your fence.
- Is spiked or pointed at the top. You have options here. You can get a fence like the one above with a spear top. Or you can install razor wire or anti-climb spikes on the top of a flat-topped fence.
Not easily bypassed
A security fence is no good if a burglar can easily go around it, under it or cut through it. So to make sure that doesn’t happen, get a fence that:
- Is secured into the ground with concrete. Concrete footings along the whole length of the fence are your best bet here. But that can get expensive. So at least make sure posts are all secured in concrete.
- Cannot be cut through. Some common fence types, like chainlink, are actually relatively easy to cut through with bolt cutters.
- Includes secure gates. A fence is only as secure as its weakest point. So make sure your new security fence also has heavy-duty gates that match the security of the fence panel. You’ll also want to padlock the gates.
Our recommendations: metal or wire mesh fencing
The above 3 security requirements are met by these 2 types of security fences:
- Metal security fencing
- Wire mesh fencing
Metal security fences
These fences consist of tall, thin metal rods spaced evenly. They are stylish and low-maintenance. Here are a couple examples.
Steel Ameristar fence from Fence Depot
Security fence available from de Fence
Wire mesh fencing
Wire mesh fencing is a tightly woven grid of wire. It usually comes in panels that are hung between metal poles.
Wire mesh has some of the benefits of chain link fences, without the cons (easy to cut and climb). Check out this video from a wire mesh fence manufacturer on the downfalls of chain link.
Wire mesh security fence from Beikon Fence
A white wire mesh security fence by Anda Wire Mesh Products
Bonus: use a short fence as a hurdle in the front yard
The best option for security is to surround your entire home in a tall security fence like the ones above. But for many homes, that’s not realistic or allowed.
But you can still use a small, decorative fence in your front yard to improve your security. The key is to pick a fence that is tall enough to be difficult to get over but not so high as to provide a hiding place for a burglar (or be frowned upon by your HOA).
Even though a short fence won’t be impenetrable, it improves your home’s security by:
- Serving as a mental barrier. To burglars, your home looks more difficult to break into with a fence around it.
- Making it harder to go unnoticed. It’s easy to walk up to someone’s front door nonchalant. It’s much more difficult hopping over a fence. Neighbors will likely notice.
- Eliminating quick getaways. A burglar wants to be able to easily carry away anything they can grab. A fence around your front yard makes that more difficult.
To be effective, however, the fence should go around the entire front yard. And any gates should be locked. Otherwise, the fence doesn’t add any security and is mostly decorative.
For example, the fence below serves as decoration, but isn’t effective as a security fence because it still leaves an open path to your home.
This picket fence looks great, but doesn’t block a thief’s path. Photo source: DIY Network
Instead, the fence should fully enclose your hard, as in the example below. The small white picket fence serves as a great hurdle. It’s too tall to easily get over but won’t work as a hiding spot. And the pointed tops of the pickets serve as another reason not to jump over the fence.