Installing an electric fence is a key component in setting up a comprehensive security system.  While electric fences have been around for many years, their use in South Africa has radically increased during the last two decades as a result of increased crime rates.  Quite simply, an electric fence is a series of wires that run horizontally around the perimeter of a property.  Initially electric fencing was used for agricultural reasons with a minor shock given to any livestock attempting to leave the farm plot.  Stronger voltage has however been applied to fences that have been electrified for security purposes.  While the military has used electric fences for decades, it has become widely available on the commercial market.
 
Electric fencing can be installed using a variety of widths and lengths.  The voltage can be taloured to deliver a mild shock, severe shock or even lethal level shock.  Not necessarily all wires are electrified when applied to older or more conventional steel fences.  More modern electric fences are a simple series of about half a dozen high tensile wires that are horizontally laid between electric insulators.  An electrical circuit is formed when the wires are touched by a person.  The power energizer will briefly send out a high voltage pulse, shocking the individual.  The earth rod forms on one end of the terminal that is connected to the power energizer and runs directly into the ground.  The other terminal running from the power energizer sends out a constant electric pulse.  When the wires are touched, a person forms a circuit between the two terminals and thus receives a painful shock.
 
10 000 volts is the likely highest voltage to be found on an alternating current charged fence.  This voltage can however vary and weaken substantially if the fence is damaged and this will also result in heavier power use.  It is therefore key that when an electric fence be installed, that the steel wire is of high and durable quality.  Additionally the upright supports – usually plastic need to be spaced evenly to prevent sagging of the wire.  Nowadays in South Africa, electrical fencing can be fitted on top of an existing brick wall.  This ensures not only the benefits of electric fencing for security but also that privacy is maintained whereas older electric fencing left an open field of vision.  When installing an electric fence, be sure to use certified experts and do not attempt this dangerous work yourself.  A consistent and regulated power source is essential for the functionality of the fence and it is often a legal pre-requisite for signage to warn of the implications of shock, should these wires be touched.