What Are Wire Guards and Why Are They Used?


In many high-traffic and high-activity areas, it’s easy for items hanging on the walls and ceilings to become damaged or stolen. Whether it’s a stray ball in a gymnasium or a mischievous sixth-grader who thinks taking the clock off the wall would be a funny prank, wire guards protect the items hanging on your wall from going missing or becoming broken.

Wire guard products come in many different shapes, sizes and styles to suit a range of specific applications. Plus, the designs are functional for either indoor or outdoor use. When you choose to work with a custom wire guard manufacturer, you can order protective wire guards for fixtures, signs, lights and more of all shapes and sizes.

Everyday Applications of Wire Cage Guards

Every wire cage guard can serve a different function based on its design. The most significant benefit of protective cages is that they keep the items safe from vandalism, accidental damages and theft while also ensuring they are still accessible to staff and other authorized people.

Here are seven common applications you can use wire cage guards to protect in your facility.

1. Fire Alarms

Having a metal guard over the fire alarms in a building is the best way to protect both the fire alarm itself and the people who occupy the facility. If a fire alarm were to be hit with a stray object, it could break. However, fire alarms must be easy to pull in case of an emergency, so the wire guard must be simple to remove or access.

In general, there are two options for fire alarm wire guards:

  • Hinged: Hinged wire guards allow a person to flip open the guard to pull the fire alarm in case of an emergency. When closed, they will protect the alarm from damage, as well as from being pulled accidentally.
  • Open-faced: The other option for fire alarm wire guards is an open-faced guard, which protects against stray objects or students pushing and shoving in the hallways, but still allows for easy access to the fire alarm. By measuring the exact dimensions of the fire alarms in your facility, you can choose a wire guard for your fire alarms that has plenty of space for someone to reach their hand in and pull the alarm, but still a small enough opening that something couldn’t accidentally hit it.

Smoke detectors and sprinkler heads are two additional fixtures you may want to protect with a wire guard to ensure the safety of your building’s occupants.

2. Clocks

Clocks are another example of a fragile item that hangs on a wall and has the potential to be broken. By investing in protective cages for clocks in your facility, you’ll end up saving money by avoiding to replace your clocks before it’s necessary.

Clock wire cage guards are available for clocks of all shapes and sizes, so you can protect the clocks in your facility no matter what kind they are. Some popular types of wire guards for clocks include:

  • Round clock guards
  • Digital clock guards
  • Large shot clock guards for gymnasiums

Most clock wire guards are also hinged so it’s easier to access them for any reason, whether it’s to set the clock forward or backward during daylight savings times, install an upgraded clock or replace any dead batteries if needed. Hinged wire guards are the ideal solution for items you may need to access on short notice but still want to protect from damage.

3. Exit Signs

Exit signs are often illuminated so people can see where to go in case of an emergency. While you want to protect this sometimes costly signage, you must also ensure they are completely legible and visible. Protective wire guards are the perfect durable but non-obstructive solution for keeping your exit signs safe from vandalism and accidental damages while also ensuring they can still serve their primary purpose.

Since the size of your exit signs will vary depending on their placement and the doorways they’re labeling, choosing to install custom wire guards ensures your signs will be fully protected.

4. Bells

Does your school still follow the traditional “when the bell rings” technique for signaling the end of classes or the entire day? Many institutions have switched to an electronic bell, but some still have physical bells in the hallways. If your school does still have the standard bells, you’ll want to protect them with wire metal guards.

Bell guards can also be used on exterior bells used to signal the start and end of recess, as well as periods during sporting events. Be sure to choose a zinc-plated wire guard or one made of another material that can withstand the outdoor elements for several years.

5. Thermostats

Thermostats may be one accessory on your walls that is attractive to thieves. If they can remove the thermostat from the wall without damaging it or losing any parts, they will likely be able to turn around and sell it for a profit. Multiply the cost of all the thermostats at your facility, and you’ll be looking at a severe dent in your budget.

Keep your thermostats protected by installing wire guards around them. With openings that are wide enough for a person to reach their hand in for tasks like setting the temperature or turning the thermostat on and off, wire guards provide excellent protection against any tampering, theft or damages while also allowing the right people to access it whenever necessary.

6. Flood Lighting and Other Emergency Lights

If you have flood lighting or other emergency lights either inside or outside your facility, it’s smart to protect them with wire cage light guards. Protective cages for lights still allow plenty of light where it’s needed, but they keep your lights safe from purposeful or accidental damages.

Security flood light wire cage guards are particularly useful because they protect your lights from the outdoor elements and dangers such as thieves, pranksters and wildlife. When you install wire guards over your lighting fixtures both inside and outside, you’ll know your security lights will be able to serve their purpose and keep your building’s occupants safe.

7. Ceiling Fans

It may seem like it’d be difficult to put a protective case around a ceiling fan, but you just need a bigger wire guard. Custom wire manufacturers can design wire guards to encase fans of all shapes and sizes. The right ceiling fan industrial metal wire cage guard will allow plenty of room for the fan’s blades to spin at full speed without an issue. It will also be open enough that it will not affect the airflow the fan provides.

8. Speakers

Most schools, hospitals and other high-traffic areas will have an intercom system to allow people inside the complex to communicate quickly, easily and to a mass audience. The speakers in this intercom system will likely be scattered throughout buildings on a campus, and there may even be some in outdoor areas.

For valuable electronics like speakers, the cost of protecting them with wire guards is minuscule compared to replacing them if they are damaged, tampered with or stolen. Plus, due to wire guards’ open nature, the sound will not be muffled or difficult to hear due to low volume. Instead, anyone inside your building or around outdoor speakers will still be able to hear your announcements clearly.

Where Are Wire Guard Products Used?

Protective wire guards are tools you might not notice at first, but you’ve probably seen them used in more locations than you may realize. Here are three of the most common facilities that use wire guards to protect the items hanging on their walls or ceilings, as well as the applications they typically use them for.

1. Schools

Schools must follow especially stringent safety codes and regulations to protect the welfare of their students, so they are one of the most popular locations where you’ll find wire guards. Elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges and technical schools should all use wire guard products to protect the items hanging on their walls.

School gymnasiums are one room where wire guards are extremely useful. Think of your average gym class — it could involve kickball, basketball and other games that involve throwing slightly heavy objects around the room. Plus, if it’s a gym that sports teams use for practice indoors during inclement weather, even more opportunities for damage will present themselves.

Wire guards for fire alarms, in particular, are especially important in schools, as teenagers and young children might find it to be a funny prank to pull the fire alarm during a class they might not enjoy. On top of this, fire alarm wire guards make schools safer for kids because they prevent the theft of fire alarms. If all of a school’s fire alarms were damaged or stolen, there would be no way of alerting staff and students in the event of a fire or another emergency that could require the use of an alarm.

Educational institutions will also typically need wire guards for their clocks, sprinkler systems, bells, speakers and more.

2. Hospitals

Hospitals are undoubtedly one of the most fast-paced, hectic environments for both staff and patients. Plus, similar to schools, hospitals must put a heavy emphasis on safety. If a fire or another emergency were to break out, staff need to be alerted quickly so they can act fast to help both themselves and their patients.

Protective wire guards make safety in hospitals more possible, as it ensures alarms, bells, sprinklers and other systems will be working properly in an emergency. On top of this, wire guards prevent patients who may not be completely coherent from unknowingly accessing things like fire alarms, thermostats and more.

3. High-Traffic Areas

If you manage a retail space, strip mall or shopping center, your facility sees a lot of foot traffic. Most of the time, you have no control of the people who patronize your establishments, either, so you can’t ensure people with weapons or bad intentions aren’t lingering around. Placing protective wire guards over items like clocks and exit signs will protect your property and keep the citizens using your facility safe.

Outdoor malls and shopping areas are especially susceptible to vandals and theft of exposed signage, lighting and other fixtures. High-traffic areas like these are common targets of criminal activity as the escape route is typically easier, and security may be less tight at outdoor facilities. Rather than spending your funds on paying additional security guards or adding expensive security cameras, add protective wire guards to items that you don’t want to become damaged or stolen.

Safety Protection for Metal Wire Cage Guards

The primary purpose of metal wire guards is to protect the sign, clock or other feature underneath it from becoming broken or unusable. By serving as a barrier between your signage, fire alarms, clocks and other fixtures on your facility’s walls and ceilings and external forces like people, nature and objects, wire guards will take the hit instead of what’s underneath them.

Some of the factors wire guards will protect your fixtures from include:

  • Vandalism: At schools and outdoor high-traffic areas specifically, you may experience your hanging items being tampered with or vandalized. In some instances, vandals may attempt to break or smash fixtures like exit signs, fire alarms and more. Having tightly secured wire guards will prevent vandals from being able to access these items.
  • Theft: Electronic fixtures like speakers and even thermostats are at high risk of being stolen. Some pranksters may even think it’d be funny to steal all of your school’s fire alarms and sprinklers. By covering everything you can with high-quality, durable wire guards, you’ll ensure no one will be able to get away with removing a fixture from behind the guard.
  • Accidental damage: Just because you don’t think anyone at your facility would purposefully damage something on your walls doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Accidents happen all the time — and often, they happen at the worst times, whether due to events and logistics or budgeting and finances. Having protective guards over your valuable hanging items and fixtures will minimize the number of surprise damages you’ll have to deal with at your facility.

Due to the affordable cost of custom wire guards, you’ll save money in the long run by installing them rather than replacing or repairing the items and fixtures in your facility if that they are stolen or damaged.

Choose Madsen Steel Wire Products for Your Industrial Metal Wire Cage Guards

No matter what kind of application you have for your protective cages and wire guards, Madsen Steel Wire Products is the premier custom wire manufacturer in the Midwest. You can trust our team to create the protective wire guards you need for an affordable price and on your schedule. Contact us online or give us a call at 260-829-6561 to get a quote on the wire guard products you need.

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