What Is a Non-Scalable Fence?

What Is a Non-Scalable Fence?

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There are plenty of companies selling non-scalable fence systems out there. However, just saying something is a non-scalable fence doesn’t make it so.

So, what is a non-scalable fence, and how can you be sure you’re getting the right fence for your project? Here’s what you need to know.

There’s No Such Thing as a non-scalable Fence

The first thing you need to know when you’re searching for a non scalable fence is that they don’t technically exist.

Given enough time and the right equipment, any fence (and wall, for that matter) can be scaled. No one can guarantee that any fence system can’t be scaled, and even if it’s never been done before, there’s always a first time.

So, when people in the fence industry talk about non-scalable fence systems, they mean it’s a lot harder to climb a particular fence type than another type, and that gives your security team more time to respond.

What Makes a Fence Non-Scalable?

Even though you know that there is no such thing as a truly non-scalable fence, that is a common term, so we’re going to keep using it. But what is it that makes a fence non-scalable? What should you be looking for in a non-scalable fence proposal? Several things, actually.


The first thing that helps to make a fence harder to scale is height. The higher the fence, the harder it is to climb to the top, the longer it takes, and the bigger the drop on the other side. So, this is usually the first thing that is done to improve the non-scalability of a fence.

Angles and Curves

Adding a curve or an angled section at the top of any fence makes it harder to climb over the top of the fence; however, to make a fence harder to scale, you need to have a fairly significant curve or overhang. If the fence only curves a few inches, it’s not going to slow anyone down!

Aperture Size

Many non-scalable fence systems use some kind of mesh or expanded metal panel. If your fence system does use a wire mesh panel, whether it’s welded, woven or something else, look for something with the smallest possible aperture size.

If you can’t get your fingers into the holes in the mesh, it’s a lot harder to climb the fence!

Verticals Only

Some supposedly high-security fences have additional horizontal rails across the panel. This adds strength to the panel but makes it much easier to climb the fence.

bar fence, ornamental fence and palisade fence should have as few horizontals as possible, as far apart as possible, so they’re harder to climb.

If you want to add security to the panel and make it harder to get through the fence, you can always add a Lexan panel to the fence. It won’t alter visibility, is very strong, and makes it hard to get anything between the bars to manipulate them.

Add Something Sharp

In most cases, you can’t install things like barbed wire or razor wire below about 6’ or 1.8 meters because they will be accessible to innocent passers-by.

However, in most cases, if you’re installing a tall security fence that you want to be as non-scalable as possible, you can install them above that height.

You might also be able to install these kinds of materials on the inside face of the fence, where they won’t be accidentally accessible.

Go High Tech

The final method we recommend to make your fence system a non-scalable fence is to add some technology. Whether it’s a set of infra-red beams that detects movement on the fence line, a fence detection system on the fence that registers vibrations or an electric fence, they all make it a whole lot harder to climb your fence – and give you early warning that something is wrong.

Many taut wire fence systems, fence detection systems and electric fences also plug into a free channel on your alarm system, so you will know as soon as someone starts trying to breach your fence.

What Else Do You Need to Know About Non-Scalable Fences?

The first thing you need to know about non-scalable fences is that they’re usually not cheap. So, if you are looking for a low-cost non-scalable fence, you probably won’t find one.

The next thing you need to know is that not every fence company can install these kinds of non-scalable fence systems, and you need to look for companies that specialise in this type of high-security perimeter fencing to get the best results.

Finally, there are many companies out there making non-scalable fence systems, and they all have big claims. Be careful to evaluate every fence system on offer carefully and take your time comparing specifications and other important information. Get samples of the fence system so you can evaluate them in person, or ask companies to install a sample panel for you to review.

The higher security your fence needs to be, the more time you should take to consider all the options.

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