Most criminals slide under fences rather than go over them, which means that you have to actively protect against this weakness rather than just building a higher fence.
This is according to RSS Security Services CEO Brett Fisher, who said people build higher and higher walls with electrified fencing on top of these walls.
While it is true in some cases that criminals climb over fences, especially when there is a tree that is conveniently hanging over the wall or a telephone pole nearby which can be used as a ladder, it is not the most common method.
In most cases criminals have a lot of time which they use to carefully lift an electric fence and slip underneath it.
These criminals use V-shaped branches to lift one electric wire after the other to ensure the electric fence alarm is not tripped.
An example of this procedure is shown in the photo below.
What you should do to protect yourself
Apart from criminals slipping under fences, there are many other weaknesses which people should be aware of.
In many cases people think their electric fence is on while no electricity is actually flowing through the wires.
Another weakness is that an electric fence’s alarm system does not work, or that it is not linked to an armed response service.
Fisher said criminals regularly test electric fences by pushing the wires together using a twig to see if the fence is electrified.
If they see it is electrified, they hide in a safe area close by to see if the alarm is triggered and whether an armed response car responds to the alarm.
To ensure that your electric fence does its job to protect your perimeter, Fisher provided the following advice:
- Check your electric fence regularly to ensure it is on, especially during load-shedding.
- Check your battery backup to ensure it will last long enough to protect against load-shedding.
- Check for any foliage touching the fence that may cause the current to drop or sound false alarms.
- Make sure there are no tree branches, telephone poles, power boxes, or other items which can be used as “ladders” to get over a fence.
- Talk to your armed response company and make sure that a radio transmitter is linked to the fence so should it trigger, their control room will get the signal and send out a reaction vehicle.
- Check that your fence is zoned correctly. If you have a big property, estate, or business and the fence triggers, the reaction officer needs to know exactly where to go to apprehend the criminals.
- Make sure that you have fixed earth loops or anti-lift brackets fixed to your wall in combination with floating earth loops (see the photo below).
Spikes still have value
While many people believe an electric fence replaces the need for spikes on a wall, this belief is misplaced.
Fisher explained that spikes still have great value and can protect your perimeter – as they make movement on your wall more difficult.
They also stop criminals from sliding under the electric fence on top of a wall.
The photos below show examples of fences with spikes to prevent criminals from sliding under an electric fence.