Perimeter security – are you covered?

WALL-TOP electric fencing is a common sight around the country as a first line of perimeter security, however Ivan Govender, district manager at Fidelity ADT Security says that 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, and 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 should 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 a wall with elaborate pillars makes it more of a challenge to plan and install an electric fence correctly,” he said.

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Fidelity ADT believes that choosing the correct installer is also crucial and he highly recommends getting several quotes before choosing an installer.

“You should consider getting a qualified consultant to write a technical specification for the fence. This specification should take into account all previously mentioned factors. The specification should then be sent to electric fence installers operating in the area in order to compare pricing, quality and advice.”

He said any installer considered for the job must be registered to issue a Certificate of Compliance. It is recommended that you check all references and look at some of their recent installations before contracting them to install your electric fence.

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“In many 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,” he said.

Govender said 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 existing security equipment or personnel.


Other perimeter security tips worth mentioning include:

· Gates – Make sure that your gate opens and closes as quickly as possible. This means less time sitting in your driveway or the road where you are a vulnerable target to hijackers. Also ensure that the motor has a locked box covering it to stop any attempts at tampering.

· Bushes and trees – Make sure that bushes and trees on your property are checked regularly to ensure they are not affecting your perimeter security. Branches should be cut back to prevent blocking or impeding the effective functioning of your perimeter security, or where they may be used to climb into and access your property.

· Beams – Make sure that beams are installed correctly and at the most optimal angle to increase their range and effectiveness. It is also important to make sure that these beams are not obscured by shrubbery, or near reflective surfaces to prevent excessive false alarm activations.

· Servicing your entire security system – It is very important that you have your security system serviced on a regular basis. Fidelity ADT recommends that you have your alarm serviced at least once a year, and that you test your security system at least once a month.


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