Patent application title: CLIMB RESISTANT SAFETY SECURITY FENCE
Stephen J. Adler (Alton, IL, US)
IPC8 Class: AE04H1700FI
Class name: Fences top guarded
Publication date: 2009-02-05
Patent application number: 20090032788
A large, hollow cylindrical top rail is installed along the top surface of
a security fence. The rail has a lengthwise groove and fence post holes
cut from the bottom of it. The hollow round rail is placed over the fence
and fence posts and secured to the fence by removable fasteners. A spacer
may also be inserted between the top of the fence post and the top of the
rail to increase the height of the security rail. Lights, security
cameras or motion detectors may be placed inside the hollow top rail.
Once the top rail is in position, expandable foam is injected into the
hollow area of the rail. The foam adheres to the fence and posts and the
top rail is permanently attached to the fence. The fasteners may then be
removed. The rail is slick, round and approximately a foot in diameter.
This precludes anyone attempting to scale the fence from obtaining a
handhold on the top of the fence. The top rail is weatherproof,
electrically insulated and immovable and not only prevents anyone from
scaling the fence but also protects the fence from the elements,
vandalism and damage. The top rail may be applied to existing security
fences or may be a new installation. The top rail makes the security
fence virtually impossible to breach but is not as dangerous as barbed
wire or razor wire topped fences.
1: A security rail device attached to the top of a fence and posts
comprising an essentially cylindrical hollow top rail affixed on the top
of a fence and posts.
2: A security rail device attached to the top of a fence and posts as in claim 1, further comprising a plurality of post apertures for receiving said fence posts and a lower longitudinal groove between said post apertures for receiving said fence.
3: A security rail device attached to the top of a fence as in claim 1, wherein the top rail is affixed to said fence posts by metal fasteners.
4: A security rail device attached to the top of a fence as in claim 1, wherein the top rail is affixed to said fence posts by filling said inner hollow area of said top security rail with expandable foam.
5: A security rail device attached to the top of a fence and posts as in claim 1, further comprising conduit located along the longitudinal length and inside of said top rail cylinder.
6: A security rail device attached to the top of a fence and posts as in claim 1, further comprising one or more security cameras located inside and along the longitudinal length of said top rail.
7: A security rail device attached to the top of a fence and posts as in claim 1, further comprising a plurality of motion detectors located inside and along the longitudinal length of said top rail.
8: A security rail device attached to the top of a fence and posts as in claim 1, further comprising a plurality of lights attached inside and along the longitudinal length of said top rail flush with the outer surface of said top rail.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to the field of security fences. More particularly, a rounded smooth top rail for a security fence is presented that has characteristics that make the security fence both safe and difficult or impossible to breach.
In the field of security, fences are often placed around an area or building. These security fences have a dual use. They may be erected to keep intruders out of the area or building or they may be erected to keep prisoners, mental patients or juveniles inside the enclosure. For either use, the top of the fence has been the subject of much innovation and research.
A key problem in the use of security fencing is to keep the fence secure so that no one can scale the fence and breach the security perimeter. One must keep in mind that extremely dangerous conditions may not be warranted under all applications of the security fence. While inmates of prisons have a low expectation that authorities will provide safe security fences, inmates at a mental institution or juvenile facility may have a higher expectation of a safe security fence.
Some security fences, particularly at a maximum-security prison, have used barbed wire to top the security fence. Barbed wire is wire having sharp metal barbs protruding from the wire at specific intervals. The metal barbs inhibit a prisoner from going over the top of the security fence. Even if a prisoner is able to scale the large fence surrounding the correctional institution, he may be stopped from breaching the fence by the barbed wire at the very top of the fence. The barbed wire is also a deterrent to vaulting over or otherwise breaching the top of the security fence.
Another innovation to keep the security fence from being breached is the use of razor wire or concertina wire to top the fence. Razor wire or concertina wire is similar to barbed wire but has razor edges placed along intervals of the wire. Razor wire is generally strung in a helical pattern and is placed on the top of a security fence or wall. Should a prisoner or inmate come into contact with the razor wire he will likely be cut, sometimes severely. Razor wire is a very good deterrent to anyone attempting to breach a security fence or wall.
Both barbed wire and razor wire fences have a drawback in that they are quite dangerous when deployed. Serious physical harm to an escaping prisoner attempting to breach a security fence is acceptable in prisons. Dangerous barbed or razor wire deployment may also be quite acceptable in other environments such as national security installations, nuclear plants, military bases, advanced research plants, highly valued buildings or similar secure settings. However, the use of dangerous barbed or razor wire may not be acceptable in situations where the expected breach may come from a patient or inmate at a mental hospital or institution or at a juvenile detention facility. These institutions face a higher standard of care, as their primary function is treatment rather than incarceration. In such cases, it may be desirable to erect a less dangerous yet effective alternative to barbed or razor wire. It is an object of this invention to provide an effective top security rail for a security fence that is not as dangerous as barbed wire or razor wire.
In the civil setting, many factories, research institutions, stores, car lots, storage units or other commercial buildings or grounds utilize safety fences to protect the lots or buildings within the fenced area. As in the case with trap guns, which are lethal weapons set to discharge and cause great bodily harm or death when an intruder trips a wire, or other unreasonably unsafe security measures, the use of barbed wire or razor wire may subject the owner of the fence to civil liability in certain circumstances. While such lawsuits are rare, they do indeed occur. It would be an advancement over the prior art to install a top security barrier for a fence that is both impenetrable and reasonably safe. It is yet another object of this invention to provide a top safety barrier for a security fence that impedes or prevents anyone from scaling the security fence yet is practically and reasonably safe.
In many other modern settings, a person may be in the custody of authorities because that person is a danger to himself. Such would be the case in mental institutions and grounds. In other settings, the person is in custody because he is not capable of acting like a responsible adult. Such would be the case in juvenile detention buildings and grounds. It would be an improvement over the prior known art if a suitable security barrier could be affixed to the top of a security fence such that the barrier would impede or prevent elopement but pose little or no risk to the person attempting to scale and defeat the security fence. It is another object of this invention to provide a top safety barrier for a security fence that inhibits or prevents anyone from scaling the fence without the use of a dangerous element such as a metal barb or razor protrusions.
One other drawback of barbed wire or razor wire is that the wire itself may be used to pull the escapee up from the vertical wall of the fence onto the top of the fence. While barbed wire or safety wire pose a threat to the safety of anyone coming into contact with the wire, particularly desperate attempted escapees may nevertheless ignore the personal safety and use the wire as an aid to breaching the fence. It would be desirable to provide a top safety device for a security fence that may not be used for an aid to climbing and hence breaching the fence. It is still another object of the instant invention to provide a top safety device that may not be utilized to aid the climber in hoisting himself onto the top of the security fence.
Other and further objects of this invention will become apparent upon reading the below specification and claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
A new security fence top rail or a top rail modification for an existing security fence consists of a long cylindrical tube placed over the top of the security fence. The cylindrical top rail has a diameter between six and eighteen inches, depending on the size of the existing horizontal rails of the fence. The lower part of the cylinder has a groove cut out along the lower longitudinal surface and has fence post apertures at appropriate intervals to accommodate the horizontal fence rails and vertical fence posts, respectively. The hollow cylindrical top rail is installed by first placing the cylindrical rail over the top of the fence rails and posts. The top of each fence post is abutted against the top inner surface of the cylindrical rail. Removable stainless steel fasteners then connect the rail and fence post. After the top rail is secured in place by the removable fasteners, the entire inner portion of the top rail is filled with expandable foam to secure the top device to the existing fence as well as prevent nesting birds from entering the top rail. The removable fasteners may then be removed if desired. Since the cylindrical top rail is much larger than a normal top rail for a fence and is rounded and smooth, a climber is unable to get a grip on the top of the security fence. A standard three-inch diameter top fence rail covered by a twelve inch PVC cylinder increases the outside gripping circumference by 300%, from 9.4 inches to 37 inches in size. In addition, the height of the security fence may be increased by the use of spacers if desired. Security cameras or motion detectors may also be implanted into the top cylindrical before the foam is applied.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a bottom view of the security rail showing the post apertures and longitudinal groove.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the rail showing the longitudinal groove and post apertures.
FIG. 3 is a side view of the security fence with the top rail installed.
FIG. 4 is an end view of the security rail showing the fence post with the top security rail attached.
FIG. 5 is an end view of an alternative embodiment of the device using a spacer to elevate the security rail.
FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view of the spacer and fastener.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
A climb resistant top cylindrical rail for a security fence replaces dangerous barbed wire or razor wire. The top rail is both more aesthetically pleasing to the eye and less dangerous to the climber.
The rail is intended for use when less than maximum security precautions are required. The top rail 1 may be used on standard two-inch chain-link or cyclone style type security fence 5 or other types of security fences that commonly employ smaller (usually 1/2 inch) meshes to impede finger holds in the mesh. As shown on FIG. 3, the top rail 1 may also be used on security fences that have a thin layer of top mesh 13 on them. When the security rail 1 is affixed to such top mesh fences that already preclude gripping the fence, breaching the security fence is virtually impossible without the use of a ladder or other climbing tool. The top rail 1 also protects the security fence from vandalism or tampering.
The top security rail 1 may be conveniently made of hollow PVC or sewer pipe having a diameter of anywhere from six to eighteen inches, depending on the size of existing horizontal fence rails. Twelve to eighteen inch diameters are preferred. The characteristics of the top rail pipe include a slick outer surface to prevent a person from gripping the top rail and using it to pull him or her up the vertical part of the security fence. The large diameter of the top rail 1 and the slick outer surface makes the fence too large and too slick to allow a handhold. The top rail also covers the existing posts and railings. The top rail 1 may be painted to enhance its appearance or may have warnings or other labels placed on the outer surface of the rail.
The top rail 1 preferably is made of hollow PVC or other non-metallic material. Use of this non-conducting material electrically insulates the metal fence and posts from lightening strikes or other electrical dangers. Since the top rail is made of essentially weatherproof material, the maintenance of the fence and top rail is minimal or non-existent.
As best shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 4 the top rail 1 is essentially cylindrical and hollow prior to installation. The top security rail 1 has a lower longitudinal groove 11 and a plurality of post apertures 2 cut out of the bottom part 3 of the top rail 1. The size, number and placement of the post apertures 2 are dependent on the size, number and placement of the fence posts 4. In most applications, the fence posts 4 are placed approximately eight feet apart. Accordingly, corresponding fence post apertures 2 are placed eight feet apart at the bottom 3 of the top rail cylinder. Running along the length of the bottom 3 of the security rail 1 between the expanded fence post apertures 2 is a lower longitudinal groove 11. This lower groove 11 is wide enough to accommodate the fence 5 but each side of the lower longitudinal groove fits snugly against the fence. The fence post apertures 2 are wider than the longitudinal fence groove 11 to accommodate the size of a fence post 4.
To install the top security rail 1, one simply slides the hollow top rail 1 around and on top of the fence posts 4 and fence 5. The posts 4 slide into the post apertures 2 while the fence itself slides into the longitudinal groove 11 between the posts 4. Alternatively, the longitudinal groove 11 may have the same width as the post apertures 2. The top rail 1 is abutted between each side of the fence 5 at lower edges 6 and 6' of the longitudinal groove 11. The hollow inner area 12 of top rail 1 would then be filled with expandable foam as will be explained later.
As best shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 the top hollow cylindrical rail 1 is lowered around and on top of the fence 5 and posts 4 until the upper inner surface 8 of the top rail 1 is in contact with the top surface 7 of the fence post 4. A removable stainless steel pin or metal fastener 9 is then inserted through the top of the top rail and into the top of the fence post 4 to affix the top rail 1 to the fence posts 4 as best shown in FIGS. 3 and 4.
Once the top cylindrical rail 1 is affixed to the fence 5 and fence posts 4 by metal fasteners 9, an optional conduit 10 for optional connections may be inserted inside and along the longitudinal length of the top rail 1. This conduit 10 accommodates any electrical wiring, fiber optic cables or other pipes or lines that may be required for the optional security cameras or motion detectors.
Optional security cameras or motion detectors (not shown in the drawing figures) may be placed inside the top rail 1 at various intervals along the longitudinal length of the top rail and may be wired through the conduit 10. Lighting may also be applied along the length of the top rail by placing small LED lights which are installed flush with the outer surface of the top rail. While this invention is directed to the placement of the cylindrical top rail 1 on the security fence 5, it is within the spirit and disclosure of this invention to include lighting, security cameras, motion detectors or similar equipment within the hollow inner area of the top rail.
After the top cylindrical rail 1 has been attached to the fence 5 and fence posts 4, and any accessories have been installed inside the rail, the inner area 12 of the rail 1 is filled with expandable foam. This foam is pressure applied to the entire inner area of the rail and expands against the inner circumferential sides of the rail. When the expandable foam is injected into the top rail and has hardened, the fasteners 9 may be removed. The top rail 1 is now secured and affixed to the fence and fence posts.
End caps may be applied to the ends of the top rail. Alternatively, the foam may be cut evenly with the ends. Once the foam has been applied, it bonds with the fence and posts, making the top rail virtually immovable.
The addition of the large, rounded, slick top rail 1 raises the height of the fence as desired. This factor alone enhances the efficiency and utility of the security fence.
In an alternative embodiment of the security rail shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, a spacer 14 may be used to increase the height of the fence and security rail system. An elongated fastener 9' is placed inside the spacer 14. The fastener 9' and spacer 14 are placed between the top of the vertical fence post 7 and the upper inner surface 8 of the security rail 1. The spacer 14 and elongated fastener 9' may increase the height of the fence and security rail system as desired. As in the other embodiment, an accessory conduit 10 and foam may then be utilized to complete the elevated fence and security rail system.
The top rail may affixed to existing security fences with little or no modification to the existing fence or may be constructed as a new installation. The modification of an existing security fence or the construction of a new security fence utilizing this new invention is cost effective. Although the preferred embodiment of this security rail is essentially hollow and cylindrical, other non-circular cross-sections could also be used in practicing the teachings of this device.
In addition to the other advantages of the security rail system described above, the top security rail 1 also adds an element of shock absorption and protects the fence from falling limbs, small trees or debris. The top security rail 1 is easily installed and repaired, and requires no electrical hook up.