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Will Your Electric Fence Keep You Safe?

Will Your Electric Fence Keep You Safe?

It is difficult to not notice all the electric fences around houses and estates when driving through suburbs these days. It seems that they are all the rage, but how effective is your electric fence?

Let’s start off with how an electric fence works:

An electric fence converts power from your mains, a solar panel or a battery into a high voltage pulse.

When contact is made with the fence it completes the circuit and the fence delivers a short pulse of energy. This pulse is what delivers the shock to the person. The shock that is delivered is not lethal but will be very unpleasant for whoever touches it.

The voltage that normally passes through an electric fence is around 9000 volts and is capped at 10 000 volts. The effect that the intruder experiences depends on several factors.

An electric fence should not be your only defense, but it is another layer of protection between yourself and the bad guys.

Does an electric fence really keep criminals out?

If your electric fence has been installed correctly is will certainly aid in keeping your property safer, although is important to note that it should not be your only means of defense against intruders.

Here are a few tips to watch out for on what criminals will do:


  • Criminals will often hit an insulator(bobbin) or two off the bracket or strike the fence wires with an object to damage the strands of wire. They will wait to see if a security company responds or if the fence is checked by the resident. If nothing happens after the alarm stops, they will enter the property. Remember that if your fence is not reset and it stays in alarm mode, it will not activate again until it is reset.


  • Intruders have been known to throw rubber mats over the fence to climb over. If your fence has been correctly installed it could still activate the alarm as chances are the exposed wires may still touch.


  • There are also rumours that crocodile clips are used on the fence and the wires are then cut without activating, as the current still runs through the fence. Although this is a possibility, there is also a chance that the wires will touch somewhere along the line and activate the alarm.


  • Some criminals fold parts of a rubber hose over the electrical wire strands to prevent them touching and setting off the alarm.


  • Weak electric fence design makes it possible for criminals to bend the fence down, and then climb over without detection.


  • Criminals have also started lifting the bottom two strands of fences fitted to 1.8-metre walls to slip through underneath be using v-shaped sticks.


  • The right wall is also very important. People will very often install an electric fence on top of a precast wall. Criminals can break one of the precast slabs and crawl though. Some criminals also create a short in the fence hoping it will malfunction.


Security to the home is often referred to as multi-layer. Make sure that an electric fence is not your only means of detecting unwanted people coming into your property. Outdoor beams, a home alarm system and CCTV cameras add to the layer and makes it more difficult for intruders to gain access to your home.

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