Electronic fencing in the neighbourhood

Residential Security Handbook 2021: Secure Living Residential Estate (Industry)

An electric fence can be upgraded to an electronic fence, to provide information on factors like electric shorts, wire damage, power cuts, battery failure and the fence being turned off. With this information one can respond appropriately, avoid unnecessary call-out costs and take note of potential threats.

The upgrade consists of software and a 3G modem which plugs into fence energisers. The software is Windows-based, easy to use and has a visual representation of the fence/s. There is also a multi-site version. This Devtron system has been successfully employed at top security estates throughout South Africa and at mines.

The data from the fence can be carried over networks (both wired and wireless) via secure servers to multiple end users, such as guard houses, computers, third-party control rooms, fence technicians and others. The system was designed for users with multiple fences and/or fences that run over large distances.

This same system can easily benefit individual fence owners by linking their fences into a larger zone. In this way neighbours, blocks, suburbs and communities can link their data in order to increase surveillance and security in an area. Even a suburb traversed by a large open public space, such as a nature reserve, could electronically link all the fences along the border. This enables communities to work together to monitor their security zones and further improve on their own safety.

By working with the intelligence capabilities of an energiser on an electric fence, the modem is able to open an information highway. By linking up separately owned electric fences in a neighbourhood onto the electronic highway, the effect of privately-held security installations are magnified to give neighbours an effective tool to work together as they will now have historical and real-time data to work with.

An electronic fence can also help to protect the security system itself from theft, vandalism and sabotage. The cost of cameras and batteries can be exorbitant and can make the actual security equipment attractive to criminals. It’s worth remembering that electric fences can still be easily damaged and the size of the electric shock may make no difference to a criminal that is determined to get through a fence. For this reason, it is important that the energiser on the electric fence has electronic communications capabilities.

Layers of security for less

The modem also has expansion facilities, which allow other devices to be added to the network. This means other layers of security can be added without necessarily having to incur additional infrastructure costs, for example, additional gates and warning lights. Another possible added benefit could be attracting economies of scale in the neighbourhood with enlarged buying power with regard to armed response, fence repairs, maintenance and other security expenses.

Ultimately, the way to reduce crime in an area is to reduce response time and increase awareness so that criminals know that the neighbourhood has no security gaps. Making that circle bigger increases the safety zone in many ways.

There are considerable cost savings and benefits that can be realised when independent sites with private security work together and electronically upgrade their own installations to one large site with zones. The perceived advantages of estates can then be extended into communities that have a willingness and ability to work together. Using the modem and software, electronic solutions can be tailor-made by taking into account resources, existing networking capabilities, skill sets and needs of the community.

Networks are fulltime operations and it is therefore important that communities choose the best kind of network for their security system. Networks need to be easy to manage, easy to restore in the event of a crash and must be able to expand when additional layers of security are added. A professional risk assessment can maximise the planning, implementation and benefits.

For more information contact Phillip Krinsky, Devtron, +27 21 919 5321, phillip@devtron.co.za, www.devtron.co.za

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