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Another Preventable Pool Tragedy

Yesterday, we read the news that a three year old boy from Delacour, Alberta, succumbed to the injuries he sustained from near drowning in an above ground pool.

This is not the first time we've heard a story like this, nor is it, unfortunately, the last time we're likely to read similarly tragic news.

What are anti cut fences?

We've just returned from a trip to Alberta, so we thought we'd address some of the questions we got from Canadian contractors. One of the most frequent was about the definition of "anti cut fencing."

During our whistle stop tour of oil country, we spent a fair amount of time talking to many contractors, and one of the most common questions we got was what the meaning of "anti cut" fencing really was. Not too surprising in a province that is still largely devoted to chain link fence.

Here's what you need to know:

Hollow Steel: Not Great for Canadian Fences

We've just been through a process where our adherence to global best practices in palisade fence design was questioned.

Yes, it costs a little more to use solid steel like we do, and yes, not all North American fences are designed this way, but there's a good reason to trust the global standards instead.

Perimeter security is a matter of time

Many people think that walls, fences and similar physical barriers are supposed to be impervious fortifications, that keep everything out. The truth is, there is no wall or fence on the planet that can keep everyone out, all the time. Sorry President Trump...

But good perimeter security fence systems aren't supposed to keep everyone out. They are designed to do two things:

  1. Convince the average petty criminal that your site is too much effort, and send them on their way, looking for an easier mark, and,
  2. To slow down anyone who is determined to get through long enough to respond.

So when you get right down to it, the success or failure of your fence, much like life, is mostly about timing.

What Does Chain Link Fence Cost

What does chain link fence cost? It's one of the top fence searches on the internet, and yet, no matter what answer you get, it's not giving you the whole picture.

That's because the upfront cost of chain link fence, and the actual cost, are two very different things.

There's some real science in the average anti ram fence

What is anti ram fencing? The short answer to the question "what is anti ram fencing", going by the picture in this article at least, is not chain link.

That's true. Chain link fence can't stand up to most passenger vehicles, let alone pickup trucks or semis, and the lightest touch by most vehicles will result in costly repairs at best, and in the case of deliberate ramming, much more expensive losses at worst.

So it's clear that chain link fence is not anti ram fencing, but what is it, how does it work, and why is it a good idea?

Rusted steel

Everyone's always trying to make palisade fence systems cheaper. They'll show you all sorts of documents that prove that their new idea is just as good, not to mention that it saves them a bundle in manufacturing costs.

There are plenty of companies out there who are selling all sorts of innovative ideas, with all sorts of highly specific tests to back up their claims. Of course, it's what they don't tell you that's really interesting. 

We could do the same, but we prefer to stick to things that we trust. Like solid steel I beam posts.

Sure, we could use roll formed I beams like some of our competitors do. We could slap a cap on top of them and call them watertight. But we don't, because we know they're not as good, and science agrees.

Here's what you should know about roll formed I beams, and why we stick to good, old fashioned, dependable, north American solid steel.

Ever since oil took a sharp nose dive, things have been getting uglier in western Canada in particular. One only needs to look at the sharp spike in gate replacements by local fence contractors to see that there's a definite weak spot in the average perimeter, but what's behind the problem?

The fact is, most of Canada's gates are designed to keep honest people out at best, and they really don't stand up to anyone with less than honorable intentions. That's especially true in places like Alberta, where the business owner in this video discovered first hand how ineffective chain link gates are when it comes to stopping big, heavy pick up trucks.

But what are the specific problems with Canada's gates?

While I was visiting Alberta, I was asked many times by the contractors I was visiting whether we comply with one or another US fencing standard. The answer was no. We comply with the British Standards, and we are currently writing the Canadian standards.

But then I started to wonder if perhaps there was some reason why clients were choosing these US products over ours. I am happy to report that there is not.

Basically, the standards that our US based competitors follow do not meet our standards, and if you choose their systems, you are getting less fence for your money. Here's why.

Is Canadian airport security lacking?

Canada has long enjoyed a level of safety, security and peace that many parts of the world envy. As a country, we are seen as leaders in tolerance and acceptance, and we're regularly proven to be one of the most liked nations on the planet. We're justifiably proud of that.

But is that pride putting us at risk?

In a world where security is being beefed up even in places where they have historically enjoyed the same kind of peace and harmony, are we too complacent?

When it comes to airport security, we'd argue yes.

Cape Town International fence

By Tamara Aspeling


More years ago than I care to remember, when I was still working in the South African fence industry, I went to many different site visits for the fence at Cape Town International Airport.

As you can see in the picture that accompanies this article, the fence on that site is what I like to refer to as a "frankenfence", or a mish mash of revisions, changes and additions to the original fence.

Every few years, the usual group of Cape Town fence contractors would gather on the air side of the fence line, to discuss yet another modification, as the fence that had been there proved to be ineffective against ever more industrious trespassers.

Whether they were actual criminals or just people from the nearby townships gathering firewood as some claimed at the time, the airport needed to keep them out. So over the years, they spent a small fortune attempting to do just that.

Being involved in that experience taught me a lot about planning ahead for your fencing needs. Here's what I think everyone else should know.

Why do we hot dip galvanize afer we manufacture our fences?

So many fence manufacturers in Canada and elsewhere in North America use pre galvanized material, "metalized" coatings or regular old paint instead of hot dip galvanizing their products at all. We're already ahead of the game when it comes to corrosion resistant fencing, so why does it matter when it happens?

The truth is that while hot dip galvanizing will always provide better corrosion resistance than electroplating, pre galvanized materials and other finishes, the timing really is everything, and here's why.


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