Cris Francis, Security Consultant at Jacksons Fencing, reviews the security accreditations that facilities managers can refer to when specifying security measures at their site.

In a crowded market of security products and specialists, it can be tricky to specify solutions for each individual scenario with confidence. Every premises is unique, and requires a tailored approach for effective results. Poorly thought out design or cheap, low quality products can lead to greater expense in the long run.

“The dearth of knowledge has led to a proliferation of low-quality products being specified.”

Certifications and regulations, such as the Loss Prevention Certification Board’s (LPCB) LPS 1175 and British Standard Institution’s (BSI) PAS, prove a product has been thoroughly tested to a specific standard demonstrating that item’s strength and durability in various situations.

Industry awareness of these standards is worryingly low, and many decision makers could be better informed than they are. In recent research we commissioned, less than half of respondents had heard of any of the main security accreditations relating to physical security. The dearth of knowledge has led to a proliferation of low-quality products being specified, for example, generic steel palisade fencing.

While generic steel palisade can look intimidating, it does a poor job of resisting attempts at penetration. Despite its popularity and the widely held misconception that it offers an adequate perimeter security solution, it has inherent weaknesses that belie its capability. Its wide pales can hamper surveillance, while the bolted construction is a security risk. Simply removing or breaking the lower fixing on one or two pales would allow them to swing aside to give repeated access to the site without leaving an easily visible sign that the perimeter had been breached.

It’s a false economy, as the initial lower price is offset by the costs and inconvenience incurred by repairs. Specifying a higher quality product that’s fit for purpose makes far more sense in both the short and long term and adds little to the original cost. At Jacksons we often


get inquiries about palisade fencing from specifiers and facilities managers and have to educate them about some of the potential pitfalls.

Instead, decision makers and specifiers should look to products that have been recommended by industry bodies, such as the LPCB, BSI and police initiative Secured by Design (SBD). Investing in effective perimeter protection, such as fencing systems and gates that are approved to LPS 1175, can actually deliver a positive return by reducing the incidence of burglary and vandalism, and their associated costs.

The LPCB undergoes extremely thorough technical evaluation work and rigorous quality audit processes to ensure the security products it tests deliver proven levels of protection. All LPS 1175 rated products are vigorously tested before receiving an accreditation.

Using a specific toolset, a specialist tries to breach the product within a certain length of time which varies depending on the level of rating. These ratings range from SR1, for light security applications, to SR8 for high value, high risk facilities. You can see a test in action here.

Normally, you won’t know if a product works or not until it’s been compromised or attacked. Specifying products accredited by established bodies removes this worry.

“Specifying a higher quality product that’s fit for purpose makes far more

sense both in the short and long term and adds little to the original cost.”

Whilst facilities managers aren’t expected to know what will work best for their sites when specifying security measures, they need to ask specifiers the right questions to ensure their perimeter protection meets their needs. Making sure products specified have tested and proven effectiveness is a good place to start.

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