Electric fence issues addressed

August 2015 Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection

Wall-top electric fencing is a common sight around the country as a first line of perimeter security. But, says Rodney White-Sharpley, business development manager at Tyco Retail Solutions, the effectiveness of these fences can be compromised if the wrong fence is selected and the installation done incorrectly.

There are general errors that residents should be aware of, says White-Sharpley. “Certain aspects including the wiring and structure of the fence, the height, number of zones required, and the lifespan of the fence, have to be considered but are often overlooked.

The structure of the fence is determined by the height, quality and width of the wall. Some walls provide a challenge as to how the fence can be attached to the wall. The ideal wall will have minimum steps on it, will be more than two metres high and consist of a double row of bricks. Residents need to be aware that adding aesthetically pleasing plinths and corners to the wall with elaborate pillars makes it more of a challenge to plan and install the electric fence correctly.”

Choosing the correct installer is also crucial. “I highly recommend getting several quotes before choosing an installer. Most complexes, for example, require three quotations for any capital investment of which an electric fence is normally one of the largest. You should consider getting a consultant to write a technical specification for the fence. This specification should take all the factors previously mentioned into account. The specification should then be sent to electric fence installers operating in the area,” he says.

It is imperative that any installer considered for the job must be registered to issue a Certificate of Compliance. He also recommends that you check all references and look at some of their recent installations. “Always specify that you require a bill of quantities in the quote. If an installer provides a quote which is much lower than the competition, it is important to ensure that the totals in the bill of quantities are correct.”

While installing electric fencing can be challenging there are common errors made that can be avoided. Ineffective covering of the perimeter structure and using the wrong type of metals in combination in the construction of the fence are two such errors. “Not providing enough stays to cover a step on the perimeter structure or purchasing a cheap type of fence where it is possible to bend the stays or remove the stay from the wall are common errors.”

In many of the cases where a criminal has managed to enter over or through an electric fence, it is mainly due to some defect in the planning of the fence. While, realistically, most electric fences can be bypassed and penetrated by a knowledgeable intruder, it is possible to design a fence that will be a deterrent and an intrusion detector.

An electric fence should also be seen as the first layer of defence and not the entire security solution for your property. Bear in mind that often the electric fence is an aid to the patrolling guards or used as a trigger for CCTV systems, for example.

He highly recommends that you make use of a security consultant to assist with the planning for a fence and to evaluate the final product before signing off the fence. “There are many types of electric fences, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. With effective planning the best possible result can be achieved to protect your property.”

For more information contact Tyco Retail Solutions, 086 12 12 910, eas@tyco.com


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