If you have young children, a fence to provide a safety barrier is a wise option for your yard. You want to give your kids some freedom to play while ensuring they don't wander off or enter into a bad situation. When choosing a fence, there are some mistakes you want to be sure to avoid. Knowing the following errors can help you design a better fence.
#1: Choosing a climbable design
Some fences are simply easier for a child to climb than others, so you don't want to provide any type of foothold on the inside of the fence. All crossbars and supporting framing should be on the outside of the fence. Just keep in mind that this can make the fence easier for a possible intruder to climb as well, so you may want to skip this design if the fence faces a public space like a sidewalk. One option is to use vinyl fence panels – they are smooth with no cross beams. Another option is to sandwich the cross supports on a wood fence between two panels.
#2: Ignoring slat widths
Slatted fences with space between the pickets can be attractive, but small children can get into all sorts of mischief. First and foremost, the width of the openings must be too small for a child to squeeze through or to get their head through. Exceptionally narrow openings can also be a problem, as a child may get an arm or leg stuck. Generally, a solid fence is a better idea. Also, beware of the openings on chainlink fences – children can often use these to climb. A coated chainlink is often a better option because the openings are too small for a child to find a toehold.
#3: Not considering height
A five-foot fence may seem awfully tall compared to a 3-foot child, but many kids can scale these fences. As a general rule, if a child can jump and grab the top of the fences, they may be able to pull themselves over. This is why 6-foot panels are generally a good idea. Also, make sure there is no large gap between the bottom of the fence and the ground that a child could squeeze through. Finally, never stack anything near the fence that the child could climb to reach the top.
For more help in designing a safe fence, talk with a fencing company Gatlin Fence Company in your area.