Keeping vandals and thieves at bay 08 December 2023

Bridges are not just concrete and steel structures; they are lifelines that connect communities, facilitate commerce, and contribute to the overall infrastructure of a region. Ensuring the longevity, safety and functionality of these essential structures is of paramount importance. 

One often overlooked, yet critical, aspect of bridge maintenance and safety is the use of security fasteners, which, as this article will discuss, as well as offering substantial cost savings and benefits when incorporated into bridge infrastructure, also help fight crime. 

The Golden Jubilee Footbridge in London, over the River Thames and near the famous London Eye, is just one example of security fastener use in bridging. Here, the structure uses 5-Lobe Pin security fasteners, from Hafren Fasteners, to secure the steel footplates that protect sensitive electrical equipment for lighting systems. These fasteners were selected for their enhanced security level, rated level 2, and their drivers and tools, which are manufactured for precise, high torque applications. The fasteners, in the case of the footbridge, were also selected as they’re made from non-reactive, austenitic A4-70 stainless steel, which offers excellent corrosion resistance, even in marine environments. 

When it comes to bridge maintenance and repair, this often places a significant financial burden on local governments and transportation agencies, but by adopting security fasteners for bridge infrastructure work, important cost savings can be made in a variety of ways. When using traditional fasteners, for example, which are susceptible to tampering, corrosion, and wear, frequent maintenance and replacement cycles are often required. Hafren security fasteners, however, which are designed with tamper-resistant features and durable materials, are more resistant to these issues, which, in turn, translates to longer intervals between maintenance activities and fewer replacements, thereby significantly cutting down on associated costs.

A further associated benefit from the reduction in the frequency of maintenance and replacement activities is that not only does this save money, but it also contributes to a smaller environmental footprint; because fewer materials are consumed, less energy is, therefore, expended in the production, transportation and installation of replacement parts.

Enhanced security and protection of these bridging infrastructures are also major issues. Bridges often house valuable equipment, such as lighting, hand/guard rails, electrical components and monitoring systems. These items are susceptible to theft and vandalism, which can disrupt operations, compromise safety and lead to significant financial losses. Using security fasteners acts as a deterrent to unauthorised access, safeguarding valuable equipment and preventing potential disruptions. As a result, the overall lifespan of the bridge and its parts are extended, reducing the need for costly replacements. 

However, without their use, acts of vandalism or equipment theft can lead to service interruptions and even bridge closures, causing inconvenience to the public and hampering economic activities. However, by using security fasteners to protect critical infrastructure, bridge owners can ensure uninterrupted services and maintain the trust of a community. Also, while the protection of key equipment through the use of security fasteners prevents service disruptions, it also safeguards the public and bridge operators; faulty or tampered equipment can often lead to accidents, injuries and legal liability, but by prioritising equipment security, bridge owners also prioritise public safety and, as a consequence, also shield themselves from potential liability claims.

All in all, the incorporation of security fasteners – such as those from Hafren – into bridge infrastructure is likely to be a sensible investment with multifaceted benefits. From reducing maintenance and replacement costs, to protecting valuable equipment and preventing service interruption, security fasteners play a crucial role in enhancing the efficiency, safety and sustainability of bridge operations.


Content Director

Will Lowry Content Director t: +44 (0) 1727 743 888


Will joined Fastener + Fixing Magazine in 2007 and over the last 15 years has experienced every facet of the fastener sector - interviewing key figures within the industry and visiting leading companies and exhibitions around the globe.

Will manages the content strategy across all platforms and is the guardian for the high editorial standards that the Magazine is renowned.