An electric fence is a barrier that uses electric shocks to deter animals or people from crossing a boundary (wikipedia.org). It is called by several names – invisible fence, intelligent fence, electric guard dog. Depending on the voltage, getting shocked by an electric fence can cause discomfort or death. There are regulations and zoning laws in place, though, to ensure that such fences are safe and not lethal.
Typically, the intruder will get a short, sharp, painful but non-lethal, safe high voltage (from 5,000 to 10,000 volts) electric shock upon contact with any of the electric fence wires. This will trigger an alarm and revolving light.
- To keep nuisance or wild animals from farms or from residential spaces which are in close proximity to bushes and forested areas.Also, to prevent pets from straying away although this approach to confining pets is much abhorred by animal welfare protection agencies such as PETA.
- To secure sensitive areas such as prisons and military installations.
- Electric fences are installed along the perimeter of commercial properties as a theft deterrent. It is reported that a property crime occurs in the U.S. every 3.5 seconds and over 80% of stolen property is never recovered (theftzapper.com).
- Also as a theft deterrent, electric fences are used in homes. Though not yet widespread, such fences are already being used to protect prominent residences in countries like Malaysia and Nigeria.
Electric fences are an effective way to prevent theft or any intrusion from happening. Most often, with signs which warn of an electric fence, would-be intruders simply go away or move on to an easier target. In the event of a perimeter breach, a monitored system will set off an alarm to alert clients and local authorities of the unauthorized entry.