Don’t Fence Me In

Here’s how perimeter systems can fit with open campus environments.

Most colleges, universities and hospitals exist in open campus environments. Does this mean that control of access onto campus grounds must be sacrificed? No. It just means that the design and role of fences in an open campus must change. 

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Rather than preventing access, fences in open campus environments are designed to limit the number of access points to areas where that activity can be observed and or recorded. Fences will also be used in conjunction with landscaping features to create boundaries that blend with campus architecture and the feeling of openness.

Here are a few guidelines that can help perimeter systems fit with open campus environments:

1.    Use fences and architectural features to limit access to areas designed specifically for that purpose.

2.    Formalize entrances through uses of archways, changes in roadway pavers or other devices to clearly mark campus boundaries

3.    Use the best no-cut no-climb fence materials in areas that have high vulnerability or those that offer few surveillance opportunities.

4.    Use fences and landscaping to guide movements onto and through the campus.

5.    Use fences and landscaping to deny quick access to secluded areas around entry points.

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About the Author


Jim Grayson is a senior security consultant. His career spans more than 35 years in law enforcement and security consulting. He worked for UCLA on a workplace violence study involving hospitals, schools and small retail environments and consulted with NIOSH on a retail violence prevention study.Grayson’s diverse project experience includes schools, universities, hospitals, municipal buildings, high-rise structures and downtown revitalization projects. He holds a degree in criminal justice and a CPP security management credential from ASIS. He is a nationally recognized speaker and trainer on a wide range of security topics.He can be reached at Note: The views expressed by guest bloggers and contributors are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Campus Safety magazine.

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