Street Use

Glass Shard Home-Protection Device

Throughout Asia in my travels I found glass shards used to line the top of walls to form a cheap alternative to barbed wire to keep introders out. Glass bottles and window glass are common sources. An entire wall will have this along the ridge, perhaps on several levels. This method was very common several decades ago, but has been eclipsed by strips of metal pikes in many places as they develop. It looks neater than broken glass but I doubt it is more effective. This stuff looks very scary.


Posted on May 10, 2007 at 6:08 am | comments

  • When I went to Costa Rica about 8 years ago with my then girlfriend to visit her family, they (and most of the homes in the village) had this same setup.

  • I’ve seen this throughout Latin American countries. Even around really nice hotels. It’s interesting because it seems to work just as well as any other security system and even works when the power goes out.

  • Pat

    I see this quite often in the cities in Morocco around some lovely homes. With more youth learning parkour it is a good idea. On the rural farms, thorn bushes are piled on rock wall fences for additional protection.

  • Stephanie

    You must all be young! Glass along the top of factory walls was normal in England when I was young.

  • Gil

    Yep, that’s vulgar enough here in Portugal too.
    I always hate the solution because it really doesn’t work if you want to pass over the dam wall, but can be dangerous if you are unware of it, to innocents that is. Or animals.
    It’s a stupid jerks thing.

  • Anonymous

    When I was in Ireland in 1990, I saw several walls topped with broken glass. The most notable one was a Catholic monastery!