It is not uncommon to see property in South Africa without any perimeter protection, but this is certainly not the norm.
“An unprotected perimeter is an open invitation to criminals,” said Charnel Hattingh, national marketing and communications manager at Fidelity ADT.
Wall or picket fences, often reinforced with electric fences and other security systems, are most common among homeowners.
Complexes are also protected by electric fences, among other things.
According to Hattingh, perimeter security is a homeowner’s first line of defense against criminals, and electric fences are one of the most effective perimeter security solutions.
But are criminals really deterred by perimeter security?
“Homeowners should always remember that criminals are brash and determined.
“We know they have their own ways of getting through electric fences and other forms of security, but proper perimeter security is a total dislike for criminals.
“They’d rather move on to an easier goal than spend too much time getting good perimeter protection,” Hattingh said.
She points out that there are three things that make an electric fence most susceptible to intrusion:
• The homeowner thinks the fence is electrified when it is not.
• The fence alarm does not work.
• The fence is not affiliated with a reputable armed response company.
“Criminals will try their luck and test whether a fence is electrified. You can try to break through it and then hide nearby to see if the alarm goes off or if an armed emergency vehicle arrives. If neither happens, they will exploit these weaknesses within minutes, ”warns Hattingh.
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Homeowners can ensure their electric fence is working properly for maximum protection at all times by doing the following:
• Check regularly whether the fence is armed, especially during times of load shedding.
• Checking the battery fuse is sufficient to guarantee a service life when the device is switched off.
• Cut back any leaves that could interfere with the fence and trigger false alarms. Trees and branches that protrude beyond a boundary wall are also easy access points for criminals.
• Install the electric fence through a reputable company right from the start and have it connected to an armed emergency service provider so that the control room receives the signal immediately when the fence is triggered.
• Talk to the installer about anti-lift brackets and other devices to protect the fence from tampering.
• Understand the zoning of the electric fence, especially on a large property. This is important because the armed firefighting company must immediately determine which part of the fence has been breached and where the criminals may be.
Comparing home security to peeling back the layers of onion, Hattingh explains that the first layer is perimeter security like walls and electric fences, the second layer is security systems like garden bars and sensor lighting, the third layer is good security gates, door locks and burglary protection, and the fourth layer is a Alarm system and panic buttons.
“Embedded in these security levels, a family should be safe. Add to this good personal safety practices and your home environment should be a safe haven for everyone who lives there. “
She concludes that good home security begins with this first layer – the perimeter.
“If this involves an electric fence, make sure it is always in good condition and that you check it regularly for anything that could affect the fence’s performance.”
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