Is an Electric Fence safe?
Yes. A correctly installed electric fence, installed in direct accordance with our Government Legislation is definitely safe. Higher voltage electrical current is not lethal because the electrical current is not constant as it uses AC voltage, which consists of intermittent electric pulses. The intermittent pulses therefore prevent the electric fence being shorted out & electrocuting a person or animal to death.
What happens if someone tries to get in or over the fence?
All electric fences installed by Radiant Security Specialists, are installed with a siren. The siren is set off from basic breaching attempt such as: shorting the fence wires, cutting a live wire, cutting the earth wire. All new residential electric fences should be wired in series.
Can I link my fence to my armed response company?
Yes. Radiant Security Specialists can link your energizer / electric fence directly to the alarm radio transmitter remotely. This also limits the potential of lightning damage to your security radio transmitter & alarm systems. This should be done in conjunction with your armed response company.
What is the standard guarantee period on a domestic installation?
Any reputable electric fence installer should be able to offer a minimum of three year guarantee on their workmanship. Regardless of the guarantee period, it is still a good idea to have a professional inspect / service your fence every few months. Making sure trees and other obstacles don’t obstruct operation or damage the system. A person can alternatively choose to enter into a maintenance agreement with the installer.
What sort of maintenance does an electric fence require?
As with anything, an electric fence needs to be maintained. The customer can either choose to maintain the electric fence themselves as a DIY, or enter into a maintenance agreement with the installer. Trees and vegetation such as creepers are the biggest causes of false alarms and electric fence shorts, and need to be dealt with frequently. This forms part of Radiant Security Specialists maintenance service contract. Regular tensioning is also advised, depending on the type of tensioners used.
What happens when the power goes out?
All electric fences installed by Radiant Security Specialists are installed with a back up battery pack, as a standard feature.
Can I install electric fencing on top of any type of perimeter boundary?
Electric fencing can be installed on just about any type of boundary or perimeter walling.
I have seen electric fencing that is vertical, horizontal and slanted
The design and type of wall will determine the type of bracket to be used. There are different brackets for different applications, and your approved installer should be able to advise you on the correct brackets to be used. It is vital that the correct bracket be used for the relevant application.
I believe there are different types of wire?
The most common type of wire is galvanised braided cable. It is effective for most properties and a fairly good conductor of electricity. Many installers advocate the use of stainless steel wire purely because they don’t know any better. Stainless steel is NOT a good conductor of electricity and is more costly than other types. The best conductor to use would be aluminium wire. Besides being extremely rust resistant, is it also the ONLY super conductor on the market. The only fault is that it is a soft compound and may prove an issue when being tensioned. Once again, a reputable installer will be able to advise you not only on the correct wire to use, but present the various pro and cons to the client.
I notice people have different numbers of wires. Why is this, and how many does the average person need?
In the past the norm was 4 or 5 wires. This was when electric fencing was still relatively unknown. Unfortunately with our current crime situation the need is for effective security, not just a token fence. Although the majority of electric fences are being installed with 10 strands or more, ones needs to take into account the height of the perimeter walls, as it may not be necessary to install 10 strands but 6. This will naturally also impact on the overall cost of the electric fence being installed. It is and will remain a vital part of Radiant Security Specialists business ethic to save our customers money where possible, without compensating on the quality and objective of our customers.
When installing an electric fence, how do I know if a contractor that is reliable, reputable and a good operator? And that the installation crew will not give information about my property to criminals.
- That is a difficult question to answer. My advise would be to limit ones risk by requesting / accessing the following criteria.
- Try and select companies that have physical addresses versus post boxes
- Make sure the installer has an office number, as well as a contract cell number. NOT a pay as you go cell number.
- Establish whether the contractor doing the installation has his own crew, and that he is not using non-reputable sub contractors. Many sub-contractors pick up casual labour on the morning of an installation!
- Also establish whether the installation company is an approved installer.
How do I know which sort of energiser to choose?
Some energisers are a lot better than others and also a lot more stable. Guarantees also vary depending on manufacture. Electric Fence energizers are selected considering a number of factors including size of fenced area and number of strands being used. An approved installer should be able to present a client with an honest recommendation of which energizer to use, as well as the different features of the energizer, including the different prices of the energizers.
What about lightning strikes?
There is actually very little you can do about lightning strikes. Lghtning diverter kits can aid the situation but this depends on the distance your fence is from the strike. If the strike lands with a direct hit to the fence it’s going to fry. It is also very important, that the area between your electric fence and the energizer is earthed properly. There is also no guarantee on the energizer unit, for damage caused by lightning strikes.
What should the distance between brackets be?
Brackets should be spaced 3 m apart. Because of the tensile elasticity of most metals, the further brackets are spaced apart, the easier it is to separate the wires. The distances between brackets are critical for the effectiveness of the electric fence. The total number of brackets required, will also be influenced by the type of walling, and the number of steps in the wall.
Are all the wires live?
Is it possible to touch one or two wires and not get any shock at all?
Not all wires on an electric fence are live. There are earth wires in between the live wires to facilitate an alarm if a perpetrator attempts to lift wires i.e. live shorting against earth. You need earth wires to ensure the shock capability of the system. The better the fence is earthed, the greater the shock. If the fence is not earthed, you cannot be shocked.
Can criminals place blankets over the fence & climb over?
No blanket can insulate you from an electrical shock. With a correctly installed fence the wires will short out, activating the siren.
Is it possible to cut the fence wires?
Yes. This is why it is critical to wire your electric fence in series, Live and Earth. Of course it is critical to install an energiser with earth monitoring capabilities. This is a phenomenal feature that, when correctly installed and wired, will activate the siren when any single strand of conductor on the fence gets cut. However, the number of installers out there that can wire the live and earth wires of any electric fence in series is minimal. Again we cannot stress the importance of using a reputable company with fully trained staff.
Does legislation prevent a charge that will kill someone?
All energiser outputs are governed by legislation not to exceed 9900 Volts. However, the shock capability of the energizer is determined by its earthing. The “first” earthing spike should be placed as close as possible to the energizer (As a rule of thumb, 1.2m). The placing of additional earthing spikes is determined by the earth voltage measurement, which ideally should not exceed 500 Volts. This can only be measured with high voltage measuring equipment. The above requirements are crucial for the effective functioning of the system.
How long should it take to install a fence?
On average, a fence measuring between 1000m and 3000m should take two to three days.
Is installing electric fencing something I can do as a DIY project?
Unfortunately we have never come across a decent DIY installation, but it is not impossible. However, in terms of the new legislation regarding electrified fencing all current and new do-it-yourself electric fence installations are illegal. One unfortunately needs to make sure that the company installing the electric fence, is performed by an approved installer.
Do I need any certificate on the sale of my property?
Yes. According to the government legislation, as from the 01 December 2012 one is required to produce a separate COC certificate for new electric fence installations, including major repairs to existing electric fences, when selling ones property. This certificate is similar to the one required by your electrician for your house, the only difference being, that a normal electrician cannot issue a COC certificate for your electric fence, unless he / she is registered to issue such a certificate. The services of an independent electric fence installer permitted to issue a COC certificate will therefore need to be contacted. An approved electric fence installer will be able to assist you in getting the relevant COC certificate issued.
Are there any legalities?
Yes. All existing electric fence installations have to comply with legislation as per Government Gazette No: 23648 dated 26 July 2002.