SECURITY FENCE SYSTEM

A security fence system provides one or more lengths of fence and/or one or more gates, at least one of which includes at least one generally horizontal cable, and preferably earth anchors that secure the at least one cable to the ground. The security fence and/or gates preferably include one or more of the following features: little or no concrete; strong and damage-resistant fence panels that allow authorities to see fairly well through the fence; resistance to prying or otherwise tearing the fence panel away from the posts; resistance to vehicles ramming the fence; or manual and/or automatic gates that are resistant to vehicles ramming the gate(s) and that cooperate with the cable system of the preferred fence. Cables approaching the gate, from the fence, may meet and be secured to each other at a location along the gate. Alternatively, automatically-locking gates may include a hook and loop system that engages only when a ramming vehicle pushes and/or bends the gate. The preferred fence and/or gates has some flexibility and bendability, and may be described as catching a ramming vehicle in a net-like system rather than providing a rigid wall that attempts to immediately stop the vehicle; this allows for a much lighter and simple gate than those intended to remain rigid and immovable upon vehicle impact. The preferred fencing and/or gates do not require the large amounts of concrete typically used for anchoring conventional security fences and/or gates, and, therefore, the preferred fencing and/or gates do not require the time-consuming, disruptive, and expensive excavation and concrete work of conventional security installations.

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Description

DESCRIPTION

This application claims priority of Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/910,780, filed Apr. 9, 2007, and Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/946,964, filed Jun. 28, 2007, the entire disclosures of which are incorporated herein by this reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to fence systems and more particularly to security fencing or barriers for preventing people or vehicles from crossing or passing through the barrier. Applications in which the invented fence system are expected to be particularly beneficial are: national borders or other sites wherein long stretches of the fence are needed over uneven or isolated terrain; and industrial, utility, or military installations wherein a secure perimeter is required but is preferably installed without the extensive and expensive excavation and concrete foundations required for conventional security fences, gates, and other barriers.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present security fence system provides a high level of security while being relatively simple, inexpensive, and convenient to manufacture and install. The security fence system of the present invention may comprise one or more lengths of fence and/or one or more gates, at least one of which comprises an invented generally horizontal cable system, and preferably earth anchors that secure the cable system to the ground. The invented security fence system may be an original equipment manufacture (OEM) system, or a retrofit system that may be added onto an existing fence, for example. The invented security fence preferably comprises some or all of the following features: little or no concrete foundation or implant or other component and, therefore, little or no concrete mixing, pouring and use of water for concrete; strong and damage-resistant fence panels that allow authorities to see fairly well through the fence; resistance to prying or otherwise tearing the fence panel away from the posts or other supports, including resistance to vehicles ramming the fence; small animal doors; and/or manual and/or automatic gates that preferably include resistance to vehicles ramming the gate(s) and that preferably cooperate with fencing according to the invention.

In preferred embodiments, at least one, and preferably two, cables that extend transversely along all or substantially all the length of the fence and/or gate(s), wherein said cables are preferably spaced apart from each other and are at about vehicle bumper level above the ground. Each end of each cable is preferably anchored to the ground by utilizing one or more earth anchors, for example, helical screw anchors installed within the ground by turning the screw anchors into the ground. Such installations according to embodiments of the invention are surprisingly effective in handling and withstanding an active/dynamic impact, such as the sudden force applied by a ramming vehicle; while earth anchors have been used in the past for securing poles to the ground, the inventors do not know of any prior use of earth anchors in an active/dynamic-force situation such as is required for an anti-vehicle fence or gate. It is surprising that the earth anchors used in preferred embodiments of the invention are capable of withstanding the forces involved in ramming of the fence/gates of this invention. Effective handling and withstanding, in this context, means that there may be flexing, bowing, and/bending of the preferred fence and/or gate(s), but that said preferred fence and/or gates do not break, uproot from the ground, or otherwise allow the ramming vehicle to pass under, or over, or through the fence or gate(s).

In especially-preferred manually-locked gates according to the invention, cables approaching from fence portions on each end of the gate meet and are secured to each other at a location along the gate. In especially-preferred automatically-locked gates according to the invention, cables approaching from fence portions on each end of the gate each have a hook on their ends, and cables extending along the length of the gate each have a loop/eye on each of their ends. The hooks do not contact or engage the loops/eyes during normal operation, but do contact and engage when a ramming vehicle or other sufficient force causes the gate to bend, buckle, or otherwise move toward the fence. This engagement, upon ramming of the vehicle or other similar force, causes the gate to become hooked to the fence quickly and automatically without action by a guard or other personnel tending the gate. Alternatively, embodiments may include loops/eyes on the fence cables and cooperating hooks on the gate cables, which will work in a similar manner.

An important feature of the preferred embodiments is to provide security fencing and/or gates in an installation that does not require the large amounts of concrete that is typically used for foundations or implants for anchoring conventional fences and/or gates. Further, the preferred embodiments, therefore, do not require the time-consuming, disruptive, and expensive excavation that typically accompanies installation of said large amounts of concrete. According to the preferred embodiments of the invention, relatively quick and undisruptive installation may be done, without shutting down roads, driveways, or other sites for long periods of time. According to the preferred embodiments of the invention, there is no need to wait while excavation and concrete work creates large concrete anchors below ground. Many embodiments of the invention may be installed at a site during use of the site and during normal traffic flow, with the road/drive-way being closed only for a relative short time, for example, a few hours, for installation of the preferred gate(s).

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of one, but not the only, embodiment of the invented fence system.

FIG. 2 is a partial top plan view of one, but not the only, embodiment of an earth anchoring system for anchoring cables of the preferred fence system.

FIG. 3 is a partial top plan view of a the earth anchoring system such as is shown in FIG. 2, wherein the anchoring system for two sets of adjacent cables is shown.

FIG. 4 is a detail view of the preferred cable-to-I-beam connection of the embodiment of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a partial perspective view of a portion of the embodiment of FIG. 1, showing two cables extending up from the ground and being connected to a post/I-beam.

FIG. 6 is a partial perspective view of a portion of the embodiment of FIG. 1, showing two cables extending from (at the left) an adjacent post/I-beam and extending on (at the right) to the next post-I-beam.

FIG. 7 shows a detail of the angle member received and secured inside the interior space of the I-beam post and providing a slot for receiving the mesh panel. In this embodiment, the I-beam post top end lies at about 90 degrees to the length of the I-beam post.

FIG. 8 is a detail of the angle member received and secured inside the interior space of the I-beam post and providing a slot for receiving the mesh panel. In this second embodiment, the I-beam post top end lies at about 45 degrees to the length of the I-beam post.

FIG. 9 is a partial perspective detail view of one embodiment of a small animal door/opening that optionally may be provided in one or more panels of the fence system.

FIGS. 10 and 11 are an elevation, and a top view, respectively, of an alternative embodiment of a fence and a single-swing gate according to the invention.

FIGS. 12 and 13 are top and perspective views, respectively, of a detail of the embodiment of FIGS. 10 and 11, wherein the loops of the gate and fence are shown being distanced apart (FIG. 12) and also together (FIG. 13) in locked configuration.

FIG. 14 is an exploded view of the detail in FIG. 13.

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of the single-swing gate embodiment of FIGS. 9-14, viewed with gate closed and locked from the more-secure side.

FIGS. 16 and 17 are an elevation, and a top, view, respectively, of an alternative embodiment, which is a fence with a double-swing gate.

FIGS. 18-23 are views of an alternative embodiment of a fence with a sliding gate, which has a hook and loop locking/barrier system wherein the hooks and loops of cables on the fence and gate contact and engage upon a vehicle ramming the gate. While the hooks are provided on the fence and the loops on the gate (so that the moving gate doesn't tend to hook other objects or people), it may be understood that the reverse may be effective (one or more hook on the gate and one or more loops on the fence, or a mixture of the two).

FIG. 18 is a perspective view of the closed gate,

FIGS. 19 and 20 are top views of the normal and the rammed conditions of the gate, and

FIGS. 21-23 are details of the hook and loop system.

FIG. 24 is an example of one, but not the only, post or cable securement that may optionally be used as a fence corner, for example, for a retrofit installation.

FIGS. 25 and 26 are a side elevation view and a partial, detail view, respectively, of an alternative embodiment that includes corrugated panel between fence posts, rather than mesh panels, wherein the corrugated panel may includes concrete fill inside some or all of the corrugate “pockets.” This feature is one of many adaptations that may be used, for example, for improving the strength of the panel positioned between fence posts.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to the Figures, there are shown multiple, but not the only, embodiments of the invented security fencing system.

The preferred system of fence panels, posts, and cables, and/or gates with cables, provides what may be called a slightly flexible or resilient system or “net” that is not so prone as prior art systems to being broken, shorn-off, or otherwise crashed-through. While some damage can be done to the fence and/or gates by unauthorized parties or vandals using bolt-cutters, a sledge hammer, or a ramming vehicle, for example, the “net” formed by the preferred system serves to slow down said unauthorized parties or vandals to an extent that allows law enforcement personnel to notice, approach, and stop and/or capture the unauthorized parties or vandals.

The preferred security fencing system may comprise one or more embodiments of the invented fence with or without gates, and especially with or without the invented gates, or one or more of the invented gates used in conjunction with conventional fences or between other structures, for example, between building walls, begins, and/or other defense/barrier structures. Preferably, new fence or existing fence is provided with the cable system of the preferred embodiments, and new or existing gates are supplemented with the preferred cable system, so that the fence and gates cooperate together to form a cable-perimeter barrier that extends all the way around the protected area, with few or no gaps in the cable-based protection. The preferred embodiments are also particularly well-adapted for retrofit onto existing fences, for example, conventional security fences in the past that have simple posts installed in the ground and large-mesh extending between the posts. The preferred embodiments are also well-adapted for special fence materials and designs that provide a stronger and, especially, less easily-cut panel of mesh, metal, metal plus concrete fill, or other materials.

In one group of embodiments, an example of which is portrayed in FIGS. 1-9, a particularly durable and secure fence may be provided in locations wherein there are few guards or attendants available to monitor the fence. A series of fence bays may be built, wherein vertical posts of sufficient size and strength to suit the security level desired are installed within the ground to a depth of approximately six feet and set approximately ten feet apart. These dimensions and specifications may be altered as needed for the desired security level. The height of the fence above ground would be determined by security requirements, but preferably is approximately twelve feet. Within each bay, one bay being defined as an area of the fence encompassed horizontally by two posts and vertically by the ground and the top of the fence, a wire mesh comprised of horizontal and vertical wire components, of sufficient material strength, diameter and spacing to suit security requirements, is installed and secured to the vertical posts. Preferably, the horizontal and vertical components are steel rods or bars welded together so that the vertical spaces between the horizontal rods/bars are less than the space through which a human finger may fit. The bottom of the wire mesh may extend below ground level to prevent tunneling beneath the fence. Alternatively, but not preferably, the lower ends of the vertical posts and the lower portion of the wire mesh may be encased or otherwise supported in concrete to increase strength and security; preferably, however, the posts are vibrated into the ground by means known in the art, and concrete is not necessary.

To prevent the fence being compromised by a vehicle being driven into and through it, the system of cables may be installed between the vertical posts in an appropriate number and at an appropriate height above the ground, wherein each cable is slidably connected to most or all of the posts and wherein the ends of said cables are anchored at various points along the fence by helical ground screws, or other earth anchors. With the cables each independently anchored to the ground and slidably connected to the posts (preferably not welded or otherwise rigidly or immovably fixed to the posts), the cables further provide a “net” effect wherein a cable that is pushed or stretched by an oncoming force may slide and/adjust in its position relative to the posts and is less likely to snap or pull any of the posts out of the ground or significantly bend any of the posts.

The preferred posts for the fence of the type shown in FIGS. 1-9 are generally of I-beam configuration, which provides one portion for connection of the fence panels/mesh and one portion for connection of the cables. The I-beam configuration also provides an interior space near the web of the I-beam that receives the edges of the mesh panels so that the fasteners and location of fastening of the mesh panels to the posts is shielded/hidden from unauthorized parties and vandals, so that, preferably, all fasteners used within the fence system are inaccessible from the less-secure side of the fence.

The general type of fence portrayed in FIGS. 1-9 may be described as comprising:

    • a plurality of panels of fence material that are resistant to damage from humans and vehicles and that are resistant to humans trying to climb up over the fence;
    • posts for anchoring the panels to the ground and for connecting the panels together over a long stretch of fencing, wherein the posts are preferably adapted to be installed by vibrational means rather than post-hole digging and/or being set in concrete;
    • fastening systems between the panels and posts that are tamper resistant and preferably entirely or substantially shielded or otherwise unavailable for access by parties trying to break through the fencing;
    • extensions of the panels and posts into the ground a distance that both provides strength and support to the fence and that interferes with parties trying to tunnel underneath the fence; and at least one, and preferably two, cables that extend transversely horizontally along all or substantially all the length of the fence, wherein said cables are preferably spaced apart from each other at about vehicle bumper level above the ground, wherein, preferably, the cables are anchored to the ground by utilizing earth anchors, such as helical screw anchors, installed within the ground by tuning the screw anchors into the ground.

Referring specifically to FIG. 1, it may be observed that a section of fence is shown, wherein a total of four posts are shown with mesh panels between them. It may be understood that this fence system may extend for many feet and even many miles by installing many of the “bays” of fence, wherein each bay, as described in the Summary, may comprise two posts with a mesh panel in between. The fence system 10 is comprised of vertical posts 12, which may be constructed of steel I-beams or other material of suitable size, shape and strength to resist wind forces and provide the security level desired. An I-beam configuration is preferred, for reasons discussed elsewhere in this Description, but as will be understood by one of skill in this field, other posts and other panels may be used. Dimension A represents the total length of a section of fence (defined generally by the bays connected by one set of preferably two cables), which is typically 500-1000 feet long. Dimension B represents the horizontal length of one bay which is also the center to center distance between two adjacent posts. Dimension E represents the height of one bay and also the vertical distance of the fence above ground, which is approximately twelve feet. Dimension C indicates the depth to which posts 12 are installed within the ground, preferably about six feet. Dimension D indicates the depth to which wire mesh panels 14 are installed below ground level, wherein approximately one foot is preferred. The cable system is comprised of cables 16, securely, but preferably slidably, fastened to each post 12 and secured at each end to anchors 18 buried within the ground G.

Referring now to FIG. 2, it may be seen that helical anchors 18, widely used in the construction industry but novel to impact security fencing, are rotated by machine into the ground at an appropriate angle and to an appropriate depth to securely fasten cables 16 at the ends of each length A of fence. Cables 16 are passed t-rough holes at the upper ends of anchors 18 to form a loop which is then secured using cable clamps 20, or, alternatively, other fastening devices or means that may be used to fasten the cables to the helical anchors. Helical soil anchors of various types may be used, preferably with each anchor having two or three helical flights. Such soil anchors may be obtained from various manufacturers, such as Chance (as shown in Appendix A, downloaded from the Chance website on about Apr. 5, 2007), and are installed by being turned into the ground by a backhoe, Bobcat™, or other vehicle with an appropriate attachment. Alternatively, other anchors within the general category of “earth anchors” may be used, for example, pronged or spiked anchors, multiple-leg anchors, or other earth-grabbing anchors that become anchored to the ground by engaging the ground rather than by virtue of a large buried or large-mass member. For example, rather than using a large-mass concrete block or other concrete shape buried or resting in the ground, the earth anchors engage the ground with multiple, narrow (relative to a concrete block) prongs, spiral edges, spikes, or other protruding members, that serve to resist the earth anchor being pulled out of the ground. While such anchors have been used for poles in the past, it is surprising that such earth anchors can withstand the dynamic forces that exist upon ramming by a vehicle; it may be that multiple features of the preferred embodiments combine to provide this surprising result for the cables of the preferred embodiments that are secured to the ground by said earth anchors.

Referring now to FIG. 3, a configuration of cables 16 and anchors 18 are portrayed at a point where two separate lengths of fence are near one another. The preferred cables are approximately ¾ inch outer diameter steel. Preferably, no part of the earth anchor or of the cables is set in or secured by concrete.

FIG. 4 illustrates the configuration of cables 16 residing on a post 12 near where the cables are to be anchored to the ground. Cables 16 are securely fastened to post 12 using cable clamps 22. It will be observed that cables 16 are preferably installed upon the more secure side 30 of the fence 10, while the wire mesh 14 is installed upon the non-secure side 40 of fence 10 but preferably still shielded/hidden at its terminus by a portion of the I-beam. To secure and support wire mesh 14 upon posts 12, angles 24 are welded to posts 12 at a position which allows wire mesh 14 to be secured in the slot/space between angles 24 and the web 25 of post 12, utilizing a multitude of power actuated fasteners (or “nails”) 26, such as those available from Hilti (“power-actuated nail fasteners”) Fasteners 26 are inaccessible from the non-secure side 40 of the fence 10 and preferably cannot be removed utilizing standard hand tools. The length of angles 24 is approximately equal to the height of wire mesh 14. The fasteners 26 preferably extend through the angle 24 through the mesh, and only partially into the post; most preferably, no part of the fasteners 26 extend to be visible or accessible on the less-secure outer surface 112 of the posts 12

FIG. 5 illustrates the cables 16 passing through cable clamps 22 at post 12 and angling downwardly toward anchors 18 (the anchors 18 not shown in this figure). It will be observed that angles 24 preferably completely secure the edges of wire mesh 14 along all or substantially all of the height of post 12, or at least provide a backing structure nearer the secure side (30) along all or substantially all the edge of the mesh 14. The number of fasteners 26 may vary, but it is preferred that the fasteners 26 be installed every 1-2 feet along the edge of the mesh, as the closer the fasteners are, the more durable and tamper-resistance is the connection between the mesh 14 and the posts 12.

FIG. 6 depicts cables 16 at a post 12 where cables 16 are not to be anchored to the ground, in which case cables 16 are secured to post 12 utilizing J-bolts 28.

FIG. 7 illustrates the top of a post 12 and wire mesh 14. The dimensions of wire mesh 14 are preferably such that a person attempting to scale the fence 10 would find it impossible to obtain finger or toe holds upon the wire mesh 14, as the vertical distance between the horizontal wires (F) is preferably approximately ½ inch or less.

FIG. 8 illustrates an option wherein the top of post 12 may be configured such that, should a person reach the top of the fence, the top of post 12 does not permit the person to sit upon it. Also, one may note that there is preferably no horizontal fence rail along the top of the fence mesh panels (or, for that matter, preferably none on or in the fence). The vertical wires/bars of the mesh are exposed at their tops, and may catch, snag, or hurt a person sitting on or grapping the mesh. The preferred mesh bars/wires are in the range of 6-9 gauge, with thicker/heavier gauge being preferred to resist bolt cutters and crow-bars, for example.

FIG. 9 depicts a wire mesh 14 that may have a small opening 50, approximately six inches by six inches, constructed within it to allow for the passage through the fence of small animals so as not to impede the migration of said animals.

The preferred embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 1-9 are economical and relatively easy to install, even on rough and uneven terrain and even far from towns and utilities. The preferred fence system apparatus and the installation methods are not very sensitive to the contour of the ground upon which it is being installed. Further, burying the fence panels about 1 foot (preferably 1-1½ feet) by trenching along the fence-line location allows placement of a metal barrier underneath the ground; which, combined with back-fill of dirt against the bottom of the panel and the far-down-reaching posts, provides great stability and strength to the fence as a whole. Further, the “screw-in” helical anchors or other earth anchors provide an anchoring and a net effect without massive “dead-men” or other concrete, rock, or stone anchors. The preferred embodiments represent, in the inventors' opinion, an excellent optimization, wherein excellent strength, see-through-capability, and ease-of-handling are obtained in the panels and posts, with fastening techniques that do not require expensive and inconvenient hardware.

FIGS. 10-15 illustrate another embodiment of the invented fence system, such as may be provided on a conventional chain-link fence or other fence with a swing open gate. As will be understood by one of average skill in the art, after reading and viewing this document, the cable system of FIGS. 1-9 may be applied to a chain-link fence or many other types of fences, as a generally horizontal barrier system that covers a small portion of the fence, relative to the height and length dimensions of the fence, but is provided at a location (generally bumper-high) and with a strength and earth anchor system that allows it to “catch” ramming vehicles and prevent them from breaking through the fence. Thus, a conventional perimeter fence, which by itself will probably not withstand a ramming vehicle, may be made substantially or entirely vehicle-proof by addition of embodiments of the invented cable system. The cable system, and/or gate system of embodiments of the invention may be provided at the time of installation of the fence or may be added to existing fences.

The fence 200 in FIGS. 10 and 11 comprises fence panel sections 205, and a swing-open gate 210. The gate 210 is a single gate that swings on a set of hinges on one edge of the gate. Cables 216 are attached to the fence along one side, preferably the more secure side, of the gate. The cables 216 preferably extend continuously all along the fence, with the cables 216 being connected to the fence preferably by j-bolts, u-bolts, or other brackets or fasteners at intervals along the length of the fence. Preferably, the brackets or fasteners capture the cables in a way that holds each cable in its preferred horizontal, straight position, but that allows some horizontal sliding of the cable through the bracket or fastener, as discussed above. Preferably, each cable is captured by such brackets or fasteners at each fence post and also at or near each side edge (hinge edge 221, and free edge 222) of the gate 210. This way, when the gate 210 swings open, the cables 216 swing with it, rather than sagging, falling to the ground, or otherwise becoming a nuisance or danger to those opening or closing the gate.

Preferably at or near the free (not hinged) edge 222 of the gate, the cables 225 extending across the gate 210 meet and mate/mesh with the cables 227 extending from the cooperating portion of the fence. As shown to best advantage in FIGS. 12-14, the loops 231 of the gate cables slide between or adjacent to the loops 232 of the fence cables, so that the openings 233, 234 align coaxially and a fastener or lock may be inserted through the axial space represented by axis 240 in FIG. 14. The fastener or lock may be of various designs, but a preferred lock 250 is shown in FIGS. 13 and 14. Lock 250 includes a pin 251 with a head 252, wherein the pin 251 slides into the axial space (on axis 240) and the head 252 prevents the pin 251 from falling through the axial space. A transverse peg 253 may be inserted through, and locked to, the pin 251 below the loops 231, 232 and below plate 254, so that neither the lock 250 can be removed, nor the loops 231, 232 separated, nor the gate 210 opened, by accident or by unauthorized action. Other locks, fasteners, or latches may be used, but a simple, single member (such as pin 251) that extends through all the loops at the same time is preferred.

This way, when the lock 250 is removed, the loops 231, 232 are still aligned and near each other, but the gate 210 may be swung open. To accomplish this best without interference and abutting of the various loops of the cables, cables 225 and cables 227 are positioned at slightly different elevations on their respective portions of fence and/or gate. This may be seen to best advantage in FIG. 10, wherein the top and bottom of the two cables 225 are slightly offset to lower positions than the top and bottom of the two cables 227. Thus, when brought together, loops 231, 232 preferably do not hit each other or abut each other but, rather, become “leafed” between each other, as shown in FIG. 14.

FIGS. 10 and 15 are particularly good views of the closed gate 210 from the less-secure side, and the more secure side, of the fence, respectively. The cables extend all along the fence and gate, with the only discontinuity in the cables being secured by the lock 250 connecting the cable ends.

FIGS. 16 and 17 are a side elevation, and a top view, respectively, of a similar system provided for a double-swing gate 310. Cables 325 extending from the fence portion 330 (at the left of the drawings) also extend along gate portion 331. Cables 327 extending from the opposite fence portion 332 (at the right of the drawings) also extend along gate portion 333. As was discussed above for the single-swing gate 210, the portions 341, 342 of the cables that extend along the gate portions 331, 332 are preferably slidably attached to their respective gate portions, so that they are carried by the swinging gates and do not sag, fall to the ground, or otherwise become a nuisance or danger to those opening or closing the gate.

The cables portions loops interleaf and may be locked together when the gate portions 331, 332 are closed, in a similar manner as in the single-swing gate. In the double-swing gate 310, the cables portions 341, 342 on the gate portions are supported, preferably near their loops, at the inner edges 360 of their respective gate portions. In the single-swing gate embodiment, the cable portion on the gate and the cooperating cable portion on the fence are each supported, preferably near their loops, at the inner edges 260 of the gate and the fence. While the j-bolts, u-bolts, or other fasteners are now shown in FIGS. 10-17, it will be understood from this document that such fasteners are provided at intervals along the fence and gate, preferably at each post of the fence and each main vertical member of the gate. As an example, see call-out numbers 22 and 28 in FIGS. 5 and 6 for examples of some, but not the only, fasteners that may be used.

FIGS. 18-23 illustrates one, but not the only, embodiment wherein a gate, during normal use in both open and closed positions, has cables that are separate and not touching cables that are on the adjacent fence portions. When rammed by a vehicle, however, the gate approaches the fence portions, and the separate cables engage each other. Preferably a hook and loop engagement is used.

Specifically, in the embodiment of FIGS. 18-23, gate 410 is a sliding, rolling, or otherwise moveable gate that moves from a closed position across the fence opening and parallel to the fence, to an open position away from the fence opening but still parallel to the fence. This may be accomplished by various manual or automatic sliding/rolling gates as are known in the industry. Gate 410 is portrayed as hanging from, and rollable in the top beam 412, and may be powered by mannual movement of the gate, or by a chain or gear system, or other means. Gate 410 will move/slide to the right in FIGS. 18 and 19, for example, by a conventional power system (not shown). In the normal gate-closed position, shown in FIG. 19, the gate 410 is distanced from and not touching the fence portions to the left and right. This spacing remains the same or generally the same through the gate-opening procedure, as the gate slides to the left in FIG. 19 along the fence.

When a vehicle rams the gate 410, however, from preferably any angle or at any location along the length of the gate, the gate locks to the fence. Upon the impact, the entire gate is pushed in the same direction as the movement of the vehicle. Also, the gate buckles, curves, or otherwise bends, to be concave from the perspective of the vehicle and convex from the perspective of a person on the more-secure side of the fence/gate (at the top of FIG. 20). The impact brings the edges 421, 422 of the gate, and, hence, the loops 431, 432 slightly inward toward each other and nearer to the hooks 441, 442 of the cables on the fence. This way, in an instant, the loops approach and engage the hooks, and the loops of the gate cables are captured by the hooks of the fence cables; the gate is thus secured to the fence and the vehicle is prevented from further pushing the gate or from opening or breaking the gate.

A close-up of the preferred hook and loop system is shown in FIGS. 21-23. FIGS. 21 and 23 show a typical relative position of the hooks and loops when the gate is in normal use in the closed position. FIG. 22 shows the capture of one of the loops by one of the hooks when the gate is rammed or otherwise forced in a way similar to a ramming. As illustrated to best advantage in FIG. 23, an arrangement of two cables may be used on both the fence and the gate, for example. Such an arrangement will result in a total of four loops being caught by four hooks, two loops and hooks being on each of the right and left edges of the gate.

FIG. 24 illustrates one, but not the only, embodiment of a cable securement that may be used, for example, at a corner of a pre-existing fence, in order to ensure that a corner of the fence is not rammed to loosen the entire cable system. The securement pillar 501 may be concrete or other material, but may typically be installed conveniently because it will not be on or near a road or driveway and its installation will not block traffic for an extending period of time.

FIGS. 25 and 26 disclose an alternative embodiment for a panel that may be used with a fence according to the invention, wherein the panel includes features adapted for improving the strength of the panel positioned between posts. These features may be particularly beneficial for preventing an unauthorized person from cutting through the fence which a hand held tool. For example, the design illustrated in FIGS. 25 and 26 uses I-beam-style posts, and the metal and concrete panel is adapted to stop individuals from cutting their way through the fence in a speedy fashion. For example, the fence should grant a 15 minute delay time for a 2×2′ hole cut with any portable tool. The embodiment of FIG. 25 is one example of a fence panel that utilizes two sheets of corrugated metal and/or a single corrugated sheet plus a flat sheet, forming pockets in-between the sheets. Concrete or aggregate fill may be poured into the pockets, for example, vertical, horizontal, or combination horizontal/vertical rib configuration pockets in the field after construction. This design incorporates steel and concrete into the wall to delay cutting while also allowing for the punching of holes through the material to allow for visibility and water passage.

The security fencing system may be described as including a horizontal cable system wherein a plurality of cables are provided at vehicle bumper lever and are anchored to the ground by one or more earth anchors. The security fencing system may also feature one or more of the following features: little or no concrete component, and especially no concrete blocks or “deadmen”; and, therefore, little or no concrete mixing, pouring and use of water for concrete; strong and damage-resistant fence panels that allow authorities to see fairly well through the fence; resistance to prying or otherwise tearing the fence panel away from the posts or other supports, including resistance to vehicles ramming the fence; and small animal doors. The preferred fence comprises; a plurality of panels of fence material that are resistant to damage from humans and vehicles and that are resistant to humans trying to climb up over the fence; posts for anchoring the panels to the ground and for connecting the panels together over a long stretch of fencing, wherein the posts are preferably adapted to be installed by vibrational means rather than post-hole digging and/or being set in concrete; fastening systems between the panels and posts that are tamper resistant and preferably entirely or substantially shielded or otherwise unavailable for access by parties trying to break through the fencing; extensions of the panels and posts into the ground a distance that both provides strength and support to the fence and that interferes with parties trying to tunnel underneath the fence; and at least one, and preferably two, cables that extend transversely along all or substantially all the length of the fence, wherein said cables are preferably spaced apart from each other at about vehicle bumper level above the ground, wherein, preferably, the cables are anchored to the ground by utilizing earth anchors such as helical screw anchors installed within the ground by turning the screw anchors into the ground.

The preferred system of fence panels, posts, and cables provides what may be called a slightly flexible or resilient system or “net” that is not so prone as prior art systems to being broken, shorn-off, or otherwise crashed-under, crashed-through, or crashed-over. While some damage can be done to the fence by unauthorized parties or vandals, the “net” formed by the preferred fence serves to slow down said unauthorized parties or vandals to an extent that allows law enforcement personnel to notice, approach, and stop and/or capture the unauthorized parties or vandals. The preferred OEM fence may comprises a plurality of vertical posts, wire mesh panels and high-strength cables designed to prevent the entry of unauthorized persons or vehicles within a secured area. Such security fencing provides for a high level of security while being relatively simple, inexpensive, and convenient to manufacture and install.

Security fences and/or gates according to embodiments wherein vehicle ramming is a concern, but wherein there are more guard personal and/or other monitoring capability, may be simpler and/or more conventional in their panel and post construction. Still such embodiments may utilize the preferred cable and earth anchor apparatus and methods. Also, gates for driveways and roads may be provided that also comprise embodiments of the invented cable technology. Such gates may use manually-locked cables connections or may use “automatic” locks that engage when the gate is rammed. Both the manually-locked and automatic-locked gates preferably use loops, or hooks and loops, on cables portions that are brought into contact and cooperation when the locking is desired or forced by the ramming.

Although this invention has been described above with reference to particular means, materials and embodiments, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to these disclosed particulars, but extends instead to all equivalents within the broad scope of the following claims.

Claims

1. An impact barrier security fence system comprising:

a plurality of vertical screened panels supported and secured in the ground, and said panels being arranged side-by-side, and extending from below the ground to a certain desired height of the fence; and
a generally horizontal cable extending the length of said plurality of panels, said cable being connected to the plurality of panels, and being secured in the ground at least one end by an earth anchor.

2. The fence system as in claim 1, wherein the earth anchor comprises a helical screw portion.

3. The fence system of claim 1, which comprises a plurality of said generally horizontal cables, with each of said cables being secured in the ground at least one end by an earth anchor.

4. The fence system as in claim 3, wherein said earth anchor comprises a helical screw portion.

5. The fence of claim 1, wherein the cable is moveably connected to the panels.

6. The fence of claim 5, wherein the cable is moveable relative to the cables by sliding horizontally.

7. An impact barrier security fence system comprising:

a plurality of spaced impact vertically extending I-beams, said I-beams being arranged on the fence line, and being supported and secured in the ground, and extending from below the ground to a certain desired height of the fence; and
a plurality of vertically extending screened panels sections extending between each pair of vertically extending I-beams, said panel sections being secured to an inside of a flange of the I-beam by being placed in a slot between the inside web and an angle secure to the web of the I-beam.

8. An impact barrier security fence system comprising a fence portion with a generally horizontal cable, the fence system also comprising a gate, the gate comprising:

a generally horizontal cable extending the length of said gate, the gate cable having a loop on the end of the cable next to the gate opening for cooperating with the cable of the fence portion.

9. The fence portion of claim 8 wherein the cable of the fence also has a loop on the end of the fence cable next to the gate opening which cooperates with the loop of the gate cable by means of a pin which is adapted to pass through both loops.

10. The fence system of claim 8 wherein the cable of the fence has a hook on the end of the cable next to the gate opening which cooperated with the loop of the gate cable upon impact to the gate or impact to the fence near the gate.

11. The fence system of claim 10 wherein the hook on the fence cable is spaced apart from the loop on the gate cable until an impact to the gate or to the fence.

Patent History

Publication number: 20080308780
Type: Application
Filed: Apr 9, 2008
Publication Date: Dec 18, 2008
Applicant: SLOAN SECURITY FENCING, INC. (BOISE, ID)
Inventors: EDWARD H. SLOAN (BOISE, ID), COLLIN R. SLOAN (BOISE, ID), GREGORY J. SLOAN (BOISE, ID), RUSTON K. SLOAN (BOISE, ID), BRICE E. SLOAN (BOISE, ID)
Application Number: 12/100,401

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: Braced (256/31)
International Classification: E04H 17/24 (20060101);