All construction sites need some kind of fencing. The type will depend on the location of the site, the type of construction, the length the job will last and other variables, including local building regulations. On some big, long-lasting major construction, contractors may install semi-permanent fencing, with poles sunk in the ground and secure gates. Little jobs like sidewalk repair may get by with some plastic fencing.
The most secure type of construction fencing is chain link, either secured to posts set in the ground or installed in big panels which are chained or tied together. Many companies rent temporary chain link panels, formed with steel posts and rails, typically 6 or 8 feet high. For very secure sites, panels may be topped with barbed wire or "no climb" barriers, slanted outward at a 45-degree angle. For best security, panels should be secured to the ground. For maximum security on long jobs, set posts in the ground in concrete and fasten chain link to them with metal ties.
Make temporary construction fencing on smaller job sites with welded wire panels, similar to those called "cattle panels" used to make temporary livestock corrals. These are less secure than chain link; the openings are bigger and the wire is smaller. They work well on sites where not many expensive tools or materials are left overnight and where the main goal is to prevent injury from people entering the area. These also may be rented.
Fence smaller and less hazardous job sites with plastic fencing. This typically is orange, with 2-inch squares, secured loosely to stakes in the ground. This style is frequently used to define areas of fresh concrete or similar construction, where the main need is to prevent injury to people who unintentionally walk into the area. This fencing also is common on short-term jobs, where a site needs to be marked only overnight or for part of a day.
Use another type of plastic fencing around site preparation jobs, where earthmoving or other equipment will be clearing debris or moving dirt. This fencing typically is solid black or green plastic, 2 or 3 feet high, fastened to stakes in the ground. It serves a dual purpose, to warn people away from the work area and to retain dirt or mud displaced by the work and keep it from flowing into streets or neighboring properties.
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