Rows of barbed wire atop commercial chain link fencing are a common sight in many industrial areas, but is that wire something you need to add to your new fence? Before you assume you need it, take a good look at how your property is situated. The point of having barbed wire on a fence is to ward off intruders by increasing the risk of injury to whoever tries to get through the fence. But sometimes that tactic can backfire.
On the pro-barbed-wire side is the need for extra security. If you're in an industrial or commercial area and break-ins and thefts are common, having that barbed wire added to your chain link fence may be a good idea. Chain link can be easy for people to climb up, so the barbed wire makes it nearly impossible for a person to safely get over to the other side of the fence. If this type of intrusion is something you have to prevent, the wire would be a good idea.
Wildlife in the Area
However, if your property is in a rural or suburban area that's near an open green space, the wire becomes problematic. Deer often try to leap over fences and may not see the wire; that can lead to severe injury, which may turn fatal after leaving the deer with a festering infection. Other animals may climb up the fence and slink in over the very top, accidentally cutting themselves on the barbs of the closest wire.
If wildlife live near your property, barbed wire would not be a good idea. Motion sensors and other accessories would be a better choice, as would a monitored alarm system, for catching human intruders.
Lighting and Making It Obvious
One more issue is something you can change. If you determine that you really do need to top your chain link fence with barbed wire, make it obvious at night. While someone purposefully trying to invade your property might not garner a lot of sympathy for hitting unexpected barbed wire, you can avoid extra trouble by making it clear that there is barbed wire on top of the fence. Use lighting and signs to let people know. That eliminates any chances of a brazen thief from trying to sue you for injuries (which would be a ludicrous claim that would likely be tossed out of court, but you'd still have to deal with the initial filings and proceedings).
Regardless of whether you have wire or not, your fence needs to be sturdy and in good shape. As you redo the security measures around your property, consider replacing older fences with new chain link that is built to last.