Eco Environmental anti-contraband nets have been installed to the exercise yards and sensitive areas of most of the Irish Prison Service as well as numerous UK mainland establishments including HM Prisons and UK Immigration Centres.

Over the years we have improved our anti-contraband installations, designing them to be considerably stronger than standard industry Bird Net installations where these systems originated, to cater for snow settlement/loading making us one of the MOJ’s preferred suppliers.

Eco Environmental anti-contraband netting systems comprise of an effective mesh that provides a discreet and impenetrable barrier that protects the premises from drug and contraband from landing inside sensitive areas such as prison Exercise Yards. Our solutions are tailor made and come with an industry standard guarantee.

The risk of snow settlement on top of the netting has led to further developments in the configuration, installation and on-going maintenance of the anti-contraband systems, these are:

Pre-Determined Failure Points

The installation of a system with built-in failure points so that should snow settle on the net, parts of the net will intentionally collapse thereby releasing some of the weight and reducing the likelihood of the fabricate of the building or fence being damaged. These fail safes are unproven as yet and have not been verified by a structural engineer. If you are interested in having these installed to the system we would be more than delighted to discuss the topic further with you.

Fixed Net Systems (i.e. Non-Retractable)

Will be supplied with an Eco Agitator and in the event of snow settlement, the nets can be quickly and simply agitated in a safe manner to dislodge any snow settlement.

Net Mesh Size

Historically 19mm flame retardant nets have been installed however the majority of the packages launched in to the yards are tennis ball size and above. Therefore one could consider increasing the size of the net from 19mm to 28mm or even 50mm net mesh sizes. It is unlikely that snowflakes could bridge across the twines of a 50mm net.

Retractable Netting – (specialist Contractor removal only)

These systems are installed in a series of nets across a yard with each net having its own perimeter wire. Standard net to wire hog rings are utilised to hold the net to the perimeter wire (these are staple like before fitting and are then pressed into a ring – the tailings of the hog rings have a tendency to become entangled in the net – see pictures to the right). The adjoining perimeter wires are then hog ringed together so that there is no gap between the nets. If snow is forecast Eco should be contacted (giving at least 3-5 working days’ notice) to remove the system which is undertaken by removing a proportion of the hog rings, then sliding the net back to the building and securing in place. Once the risk of snow fall has receded, Eco are to be contacted to reinstate the system. The drawback with this system is the accuracy in forecasting snow fall and having to pay a third party to remove and then reinstate the system.

Retractable Netting

(works department or specialist Contractor) – as above the system will be installed in a series of nets. However, unlike the above system, the fixings used to secure the net to the perimeter wires will have no tailings that can become entangled in the net when it’s drawn back. On the opening side, cable ties will be used to fasten the nets to the perimeter wire/fence and also to keep the two tandem wires together that span the middle of the yard. Below each end of the supporting wires an Ecoblock will be fitted which are used to withdraw the nets and then once the risk of snow has receded will then be used to return the net to its position.

Operation Manual

All installations will be supplied with a briefing note explaining what the prison can and should do in the event of a snow forecast.

Adverse Weather Warning Alert

Subscription to our free severe weather email alerts provided by the Met Office can help you stay ahead of potentially adverse weather conditions.

Maintenance Contract

This will involve the following: Visual inspection of the net, wire, turnbuckles and hog rings replacing any defective components; Adjust the wire tension; Annual pull test of the chemical anchor fixings. The inclusion of nominated prison staff on to Eco’s snow forecast warning service.

Snow Guards

Another source of the system failing is snow sliding off a roof and crashing on to the net below causing it to collapse. We would recommend the installation of snow guards to the roofs where this poses a risk.


If you would like to find out about our discreet Contraband & Prison Netting solutions, please request a call back or call us on 01752 669 009

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