Sentinel Group

A Short Guide to Security Fasteners

There are many security fasteners on the market, and they all have different applications and security levels. Our comprehensive guide to security fasteners will help you navigate the large number of choices in this category, making it easy for you to select the right products.

Read on to discover what the different security levels mean and how fasteners are used in correctional facilities, defence buildings, security fencing and public installations like playgrounds and street furniture.

Why are Security Fasteners Important?

Security fasteners require special tools for removal, or cannot be removed at all after installation. They include bolts, nuts, screws and concrete anchors. They are important for use in public spaces, to prevent the risk of theft, vandalism and tampering. They are particularly important in prisons and defence buildings for security reasons – by keeping people in or out of designated areas

Are Some Security Fasteners More Secure than Others?

Not all security fasteners are made equal, and some are more secure than others – this is due to the availability of tooling for removal of the fasteners. It is easy to purchase common security bits in hardware and auto shops, but those types of fastener only offer low security. The level of security will make all the difference in how effective they are, and there are three levels to look out for.

Three Levels of Security

Our fixings are divided into three levels of security, and each one of our products has been labelled with the appropriate security indicator

LEVEL 1: Normal Security

No restriction or control on distribution of the driver/removal tools

LEVEL 2: High Security

Removal tools do exist but distribution is controlled

LEVEL 3: Maximum Security

Fasteners usually require cutting off or drilling out for removal – no tools available. In some cases tools are custom made with a unique recess shape which is exclusive to a single user

Four Common Applications

Security fasteners are used in a variety of applications, the four most common ones being:

  • Correctional facilities
  • Security fencing
  • Defence buildings
  • Playgrounds and street furniture

Correctional Facilities

It’s vital to use the correct security fasteners in prisons. Items with an internal drive recess should be avoided, because an external drive makes it harder for inmates to tamper with or remove the fasteners. Self tapping screws and machine screws are used on door hardware, kick plates and air conditioning registers. Items such as beds, desks and chairs are often fixed into concrete panels or core-filled blocks. Prison fencing also requires high security fasteners.

Examples of security fasteners used in correctional facilities:

Kinmar removable bolts: these feature Sentinel’s patented “Kinmar” style driver sockets. Kinmar drivers are only available from approved distributors, giving you an extra level of security

Shear bolts: these high security bolts are non-removable, and can be installed with standard tools. The hexagonal part shears off under the torque, leaving a tamper resistant cone.

Pentaforce machine screws: these have a 5-sided pentagon recess to stop all standard driver tool shapes. Only registered Pentaforce driver tools can be used for installation and removal.

For the entire list of security fasteners used in correctional facilities, download the free PDF “Security Fasteners Made Easy”.

Security Fencing

There are different methods of constructing a security fence or barrier, however most rely on the fasteners to make them a true security fence. Pentaforce self-drilling screws can be used to securely fix fencing brackets and shear nuts are commonly used with cup head bolts to achieve a permanent fixing on both sides of a security fence. For maximum security it is possible to use Uni-Set self tappers, a system which enables every customer to have their own unique drive key

Examples of security fasteners used in security fences:

Pentaforce self-tappers: these feature a 5-sided pentagon recess to stop all standard driver tool shapes. Only registered Pentaforce driver tools can be used for installation and removal

Pin Hex self-tappers: these feature a high torque hex drive with chamfer to assist driver tool insertion. They are suitable for screwing into a pre-drilled pilot hole.

Two hole self-tappers: the two hole driver system is tamper resistant, and popular for visual effect. These are suitable for screwing into a pre-drilled hole.

For the entire list of security fasteners used in security fencing, download the free PDF “Security Fasteners Made Easy”

Defence Buildings

Security is of the highest importance in defence buildings, as the assets housed in these facilities are necessary to defend our national security. Security fasteners play a significant role in these areas, and are often required on metal clad roofs and walls to prevent undetectable entry and exit. Metal air grilles need to be permanently secured into place, and shear nuts are often used as permanent security fixings on security perimeter fencing.

Examples of security fasteners used in defence buildings

Kinmar permanent self-drilling screws: these non-removable self-drilling screws are designed for metal roofing and cladding installation. They provide maximum security.

Kinmar permanent nuts: these are superior to the shear nut, as they leave no unplated surfaces. Driver sockets will only tighten this nut – there is no tool for removal.

Scroll nuts: these are a patented, high security nut. Stocked in 30 grade stainless, they can also be custom made in 316 grade. Available in sizes up to M24.

For the entire list of security fasteners used in defence buildings, download the free PDF “Security Fasteners Made Easy”.

Playgrounds and Street Furniture

Playgrounds and street furniture are prime targets for vandalism, costing a significant amount of time and money for councils when it comes to making repairs. This can also pose a safety issue for members of the public, if equipment is damaged or removed. Security fixings reduce this risk by deterring vandals and increasing the lifespan of equipment. They are also necessary in some public spaces in order to comply with council regulations

Examples of security fasteners used in playgrounds and street furniture:

Stellar barrel nuts: their attractive polished finish makes them ideal for high profile locations, and are ideal for clamping wide timber fixtures for a high end look with added security.

Resytork barrel nuts: these feature 6 lobe high torque drive with pin to resist tampering, and are internally threaded with metric and imperial options.

Fastdrive anchors: these provide hammer-in security for concrete. Fast and easy to install with no special tools required, they cannot be removed once applied.

For a more comprehensive guide to fasteners and their applications you can download our free PDF, “Security Fasteners Made Easy”. This handbook is your ultimate resource when it comes to understanding security fasteners.