Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Electric Fence Safety


You should always treat an electric fence energiser with respect. An electric fence energiser can deliver a very powerful shock, which may be harmful to children or pets under some conditions.

  • Electric fences should be installed and operated so that they cause no electrical hazard to persons, animals or their surroundings.
  • Electric fence constructions, which are likely to lead to entanglement of animals or persons, should be avoided.
  • Barbed or razor wire should not be electrified.
  • A non-electrified fence incorporating barbed wire or razor wire may be used to offset electrified wires of an electric animal fence. The supporting devices for the electrified wires should be constructed so as ensure these wires are positioned at a minimum distance of 150mm from the vertical plane of the non electrified wires. The barbed/razor wire should be earthed at regular intervals.
  • Never use electric fencing where it is likely to be touched by children or infants. This applies especially near swimming pools or dams where they are likely to be on wet ground with bare feet.
  • Energisers should, if possible, be installed inside a building in a position free from the risk of mechanical damage. If mounted outdoors, they should be mounted on a substantial structure in a position free from the risk of mechanical damage.
  • Never use any part of your household wiring or plumbing as an earth for your electric fence.
  • Each electric fence energiser should be fitted with a separate earth electrode and this should not be connected to any other earthing device.
  • A minimum distance of 10m should be maintained between the energiser earth spike and any other earthing system such as the power supply system protective earth or the telecommunication system earth.
  • An electric fence should not be supplied from more than one energiser or from independent fence circuits of the same energiser.
  • The gap between two separate electric fences with different energisers should be at least 2m.
  • If this gap is to be closed, this should be effected by means of an electrically non conductive material.
  • Crossings with overhead power lines should be avoided wherever possible. If such a crossing cannot be avoided, it should be made underneath the power line, and as nearly as possible at right angles to it.
  • Connecting leads and electric fence wires should not cross above overhead power or communication lines.
  • If an electric fence has to be installed in the vicinity of an overhead power line, the vertical distance between any fence wire or connecting lead and the surface of the earth should not exceed 2 metres.
  • If connecting leads and electric fences are installed near an overhead power line the clearances shall be:
    • Power Line Voltage: Under 1000 volts - Clearance: 3 Metres
    • Power Line Voltage: 1000 - 33,000 volts - Clearance: 4 Metres
    • Power Line Voltage: Over 33,000 volts - Clearance: 8 Metres
  • Fence wiring should be installed so that it is well away from any telephone or telegraph line or radio aerial.
  • An electric fence, when installed in such a position that members of the public might reasonably be expected to touch it, should be identified by suitable signs clamped to the conductor or fastened to the posts at intervals not exceeding 90 metres.
  • The sign should have a size of at least 200mm x 100mm. The inscription on the sign should take the form of either the recognised symbol, or the words “ELECTRIC FENCE”. The inscription should be indelible and any lettering should have a height of at least 25mm. It is recommended that the basic colour of the sign be yellow with black inscription.
  • Connecting leads that are run inside buildings should be effectively insulated from the earth structural parts of the building. This may be achieved by using double insulated high voltage HT cable.
  • Connecting leads should not be installed in the same conduit as the mains supply wiring, communication cables or data cables.
  • Where the electric fence energiser is used to supply a system of conductors for deterring birds from roosting on buildings, no conductors should be connected to earth. A switch should be installed to provide a means of isolating the energiser from all poles of the supply and clear warning notices should be fitted at every point where persons may have ready access to the conductors. The notice should bear the words “LIVE WIRES” in block letters not less than 13mm high. The letters should be red in colour on a white background and the size of each notice should not be less than 62mm x 50mm overall.
  • In periods of extreme fire danger there is a possibility that your electric fence may start a fire. This possibility is greatly reduced if you connect your fence to the low-power terminal of the energiser during the danger period.
  • Lightning strikes during thunderstorms are common. You may have kilometres of carefully insulated fence wires on your property, which will conduct the electricity straight back to your energiser. Apart from the obvious fire risk, this will certainly damage or destroy the energiser. You should disconnect the energiser from the fence, and unplug it from the power source for protection during electrical storms.


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  2. Hi,

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  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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