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Expanded metal fencing... do you have experience with this?

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  • BransonsBestStorage
    replied
    We have much experience in this area out of necessity after buying an existing facility. Chain link fence is extremely wimpy and opens like a coat zipper in mere seconds, as we learned by watching video of the guy with a backpack, cap, and cover over face. And we have razor wire on top which I would rather remove. It too can be easily defeated. Break ins were occurring about every three weeks. Zero since August 2017. We did several things, some of which won’t be described on this public forum. First move on the fence was to put up wood, yes wood, privacy fence panels in the wooded areas. We have woods on three sides. These were $40 each in 6x8 size. Why wood? Bolt cutters are pretty worthless on them. Crooks don’t come with wood saws, nor would they cut a large hole to get through. These are mounted to the existing posts and to each other.. BUT we have switched to cattle panels. They are cheaper, far easier to install, better in high winds, and still deter the casual thief requiring several cuts versus only a couple. We attach them to posts with large washers and self drilling screws and several hog rings on the inside to avoid ladder effect. The wood panels did cause some fence tilting due to wind.
    Another big security tip: Always change gate code for a tenant that uses moving company or other delivery. Those movers know what got moved and to which unit. Change the lock too if tenant didn’t accompany them. Require disc locks.

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  • Keving75
    replied
    I have been researching Expanded Metal fencing for the last few day before coming here and finding this post. I have the same problem as the OP and this is the same solution I came to. This is an expensive fix, but it is also a final solution in my opinion. Cameras, lights, electric fence, are all not really fixes for the thieves to be deterred from breaking in through you chain link fences. The police do not even act like there is a chance of catching/stopping these guys, and they actually know who they are!! Our criminal systems is more broken than my CL fence.

    I look forward to seeing how your installation looks, and what you decide to do for anchors.

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  • Woodbury85
    replied
    AMICO Security Fence (Expanded Metal Fence Components)
    Alabama Metal Industries Corp.
    3245 Fayette Ave
    Birmingham, AL 35208
    800-366-2642
    205-786-6527 – fax

    We used products from this company on some fences that backed up to "challenging neighborhoods". The panels still utilize the chain link post and rail system but are bolted to this frame work. I'm not saying it can't be cut, but it will take some work.

    Also available is Mini-Mesh chain link fence. Mesh sizes down to about 5/8 - 3/4 inch are available. You can't cut these with bolt cutters either. It's expensive but likely cheaper than the expanded metal. Check with national fence supplier like, Master-Halco or Merchants Metals. A google search will locate their nearest office.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Woodbury85; 22 December 2019, 12:22 PM.

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  • Storman
    replied
    I've seen that too, maybe it'd be a good idea to just put one of those per panel just to be safe. The property next door doesn't have those, I looked for them.
    Thanks for the reminder.

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  • KeelHauler1994
    replied
    I have seen this attached to existing chain link fence with a long piece of metal with holes pre-drilled and using large washers and short carriage bolts. The exterior has the expanded metal with help on the interior holding the metal bar (horizontal) the carriage bolt and washer is pushed through the opening on the exterior through the expanded and chain link through the metal bar to the interior where a nut is threaded. Then to keep if from being removed - they hit the nut/thread of the bolt with a tack weld. Just a thought.

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  • Storman
    replied
    Thanks KeelHauler1994, every night I sleep next to my iPad with the camera views up, but I feel better and better each day as I make plans to harden that fenceline. We'll put the concertina wire across the top too.

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  • Storman
    replied
    Here's a picture of the expanded metal on the left over chain link, and just the plastic inserts in the chain link on the right. The left side is an adjacent business that has not had any breaches with the expanded metal.
    IMG_2774.jpg

    Closer pic of the expanded metal over chain link.

    IMG_2775.jpg

    This is my chain link fence below, and my rinky-dink repair job until I can get the expanded metal over it and get it sewn back up. The bad guys cut the fence into many little pieces to make themselves a doorway, so I couldn't re-thread a removed piece to close the gap. You can see how much smaller the openings on the expanded metal will be, which does not allow the jaws of cutters to fit inside the diamonds. Even if it did, #9 galvanized steel is extremely difficult to cut with hand tools, unlike chain link that you can almost cut with the jaws of pliers. Basically anywhere along a chain link fence line is an easy door for any bad guy to use, I'm fully aware that if they came back they'd just cut a door in the fabric right next to my chain and lock.

    This RV is on a neighbor's property, they cut through his chain link to get onto his property and then cut through my chain link to get onto mine.

    IMG_2776.jpg

    One side effect I'm looking forward to is the smaller metal will keep their trash on their side of the fence better.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Storman; 13 December 2019, 06:38 PM.

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  • KeelHauler1994
    replied
    I looks like you have a plan (that is cost effective and gets the job done) - I would think about razor-wire across the top, if that does not deter from any aesthetic you hope to achieve, so they can not go over the wall. Without a footing, they might try to go under but at great risk of bodily harm.

    I had a customer, who was from Florida and did not end up renting, that asked why I had bars on the windows and doors. I told him to keep people from breaking in since there is cash and private personal and financial information in the office. He responded by saying, do you have a problem with thefts and break-ins, I told him 'no', because we have bars on the windows and doors.

    Your right, to set up your facility to look less appealing to any junkie, would be thief, than any neighboring business. Since this bozo that entered your facility was on foot - he is at the local homeless shelter, park or back alley or lives in the area.

    You will probably be on high-alert for a few weeks until the upgrades are complete, but it will pass and you will move back into your comfort zone.

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  • Storman
    replied
    I agree Lenmay, I wouldn't spend $45,000 on ten times the length either. As I mentioned, in 32 years, the only issue I've ever had is due to someone coming through my fence, so this is my fix. Nothing is 100% impenetrable, they couldn't even keep convicts on Alcatraz, but for the casual tweaker that sees a chain link fence and assumes there are priceless hidden treasures behind a few storage doors, this should be enough. I have to do something, and for my application this fix seems to be at the intersection of cost and effectiveness.

    They could most certainly cut hog rings too, they'll be probably 30 or so hog rings or wire ties per panel, which they'll have to cut one at a time, which will then release a 100 pound sheet of 8' tall expanded metal into their hands. I'm looking at not even using hog rings, but instead a thick gauge wire that I'll twist very tightly with an impact drill on the inside of the fences. I've purchased a drill bit that accepts the two ends of a wire and twists it mechanically much tighter than you can by hand. This will also make it extremely difficult for a bad guy to get a purchase on from the outside with any kind of cutting jaws. After finding all of those tie points and cutting each one and disposing of the 100lb. panel and the attached razor wire at the top, then they can cut through the chain link. My hope is that they see the steps involved and choose a different target.

    Adjacent to my facility is a corporation yard used by AT&T. They have many thousand dollar spools of wire sitting in their yard, which is easily recyclable for drug money. I called and spoke to the head of AT&T security because I noticed they had expanded metal panels over their chain link fencing. He told me they have had no break-ins whatsover through their fence lines. I also like that the expanded metal greatly reduces the visibility through the fence, making the storage doors less attractive.

    In addition, I'm in the process of installing alarms in that original phase building as the units become available.

    I'm curious Lenmay, if you did have a breach of your chain link fence, what would you do to address it? I assume you'd do more than just sew up the hole and hope it didn't happen again.

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  • lenmay
    replied
    I am not trying to be a spoil sport to the idea ... BUT ... if you can install them with hog rings, they can be quickly removed with the same nippers that cut fence. It adds another minute or two, but it really doesn't slow them down much. Nip, Nip, and the extra security falls over.

    Also, it has been my experience that they rarely come through the fence. They come through the gate with a code.

    It might be worth it for an advertising message. But for me, we have ten times that length of fence. $45,000 is just not realistic. And that doesn't include labor.

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  • NebraskaStorage
    replied
    I love this idea! We are looking to beef up or chainlink fencing too. I have one question. How do you plan on attaching it?

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  • Robert
    replied
    Did you consider getting microphonic cable and threading it through your fence? It can detect cutting and climbing attempts and trip an alarm.

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  • Storman
    replied
    I like that Gina, great idea!

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  • Gina6k
    replied
    Originally posted by Storman View Post

    Worst part of all this is I can no longer say it's been 32 years without a break in.
    I'm so sorry to hear about this and the additional headaches it brings with it. Personally I can still say "I've never had a break-in while I was in charge." Places I've been can't say the same now. You've done an amazing job and I think you can admit to one if someone asks and then explain you were already being proactive in upgrading your facility, they got in before upgrades were complete. And while a break-in did occur, they didn't manage to steal anything. #savingface Or play the semantics game and state you've never had anything stolen from your property.

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  • KrisinWA
    replied
    Originally posted by Storman View Post
    ...and I'm happy to report that the two units that were entered seem to be missing nothing. The next day I found some items on the main street outside the neighboring business fence lines, which were clearly from these two units. I returned the items to the units and when the tenants came they said they could find nothing missing. I credited them each a free month of rental and apologized profusely, in addition to explaining to them the upgrades I'm making on the facility. Both tenants were very happy and thanked me for the call and wished me a Merry Christmas.

    Both tenants admitted their locks were substandard, so I also gave them both a free disc lock. From now on if anybody rents in my phase 1 building they will get a free disc until I can complete the alarm and fence upgrade.

    Worst part of all this is I can no longer say it's been 32 years without a break in.
    It's the worst when you can't brag about being break-in free. I feel ya.

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