Barbed tape, also known as Razor Wire, is a mesh of metal strips or steel tape that is punched in various patterns to form barbs or blades that are much sharper than standard barbed wire. The tape is compressed around a single strand of high tensile wire. Razor wire is manufactured in various sizes, shapes and designs to with the sole intent of inflicting serious cuts to anyone attempting to climb through or over it. It is a great deterrent to would be escape or property egress as well as unwelcomed entry. The manufacture materials used are plain, galvanized and stainless steel. The stainless variety prevents the barbs from rusting to an eventually ineffective bluntness. Typically the core wire is made of galvanized steel and the tape uses stainless. However, stainless over stainless is an offered alternative for permanent or long-term installations.
At one time barbed tape was primarily found in high security prisons and long-term stay mental hospitals. With the development of reinforced barbed tape in the 1980's the military began using it in their facilities in place of then typical barbed wire. Barbed tape takes up little space as compared to barbed wire, and it is fairly easy to install. It is a great entry deterrent and simply offers more reliable security. Barbed tape is currently being used more and more in commercial and light industrial applications. It is now being utilized as a deterrent to vandalism and burglaries.
- Installing can be as simple as adding a single coil to the top of an existing fence or wall for added security at a commercial property.
- lt can be installed in multiple rolls on existing fence tops, vertically or bottoms for maximum security facilities.
- Barbed tape can be used alone by stretching it along the ground or stacked in pyramids for a quick perimeter security.
Barbed tape has been used on a wide variety of facilities. The list includes light to maximum-security prisons, mental hospitals, military facilities, oil refineries, airports, utility companies, nuclear power plants, fuel storage depots, piers, warehouses and commercial properties. Barbed tape is widely used by homeland security and law enforcement for our border protection and other law enforcement activities.
Article contributed by fence professional Terry Lewis.