Electric fencing: protecting the public and your employees

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Electric fencing is an effective and robust method for isolating and protecting property or land, to deter intruders or burglars, to keep livestock safe within a designated area or to prevent predators from targeting pets or other animals.

However, if you’re considering installing electric fencing around your property or premises, make sure you adhere to these aspects of good practice, to ensure you keep on the right side of the law:

Location

If you plan to install electrified perimeter fencing in a built-up area or along roads or public rights of way, there should be clear signage at eye level along its entire length. Members of the public should be able to walk safely around the fenced area or, if there is a public right of way – such as a footpath across an open field – through it. If there are telephone or power lines overhead, the electric fence should not cross them or run parallel to them.

Warning signs

Electric fence warning signs, which must be bright yellow to attract attention and ensure maximum visibility, should be at least 20cm by 10cm in size. They should be positioned at a height of 1.5 metres, or 0.8 metres if children are likely to be in the vicinity of the fence, and should be spaced no further apart than 10 metres.

Safe connections

It is important to ensure the earthing electrode is sunk into the ground at a minimum depth of one metre. Connecting leads, both underground and above ground, should be secured with an appropriate insulating material. A minimum distance of 10 metres between the earthing stake and the power supply is also necessary.

Avoiding entanglement

Electric fences may be used alongside other types of barriers, such as barbed wire, but these must not be electrified, to prevent people or animals from becoming tangled.

Emergency access

Before planning the position of an electric perimeter fence, it is important to consider how emergency services will be able to access the property. Electric fences should not hinder access for emergency personnel or the escape of people from your property in the event of a serious incident. Therefore, plan where emergency exit and entry points will be positioned along the perimeter of the fence, without comprising the security of your property.

Remember, that safety is paramount, so attempting to save money by installing substandard electric fences or failing to maintain them appropriately could result in injury or harm to members of the public or your colleagues. At Harper Chalice, our team of specialists can ensure your business enjoys the protection offered by the highest standard of electric security fencing which is fully compliant with British Standards and offered with a guarantee for reliability and life expectancy.

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