Electric Fence Safety


A well maintained and correctly installed electric fence is safe for humans and animals. However there are several rules that must be adhered to:

  1. An electric fence must be constructed in a way that is unlikely to lead to the entanglement of animals or persons.

  2. You should never electrify barbed or razor wire.

  3. If the electric fence intersects a footpath or highway you must provide a non-electrified gate or stile so the fence can be crossed.

  4. If the fence is to be installed along a public path or highway warning signs must be displayed at a minimum of 10 metre intervals.

  5. You must avoid running electric fences parallel with any overhead power or communication lines, as this could cause dangerously high voltage on the fence line.

  6. If the fence must cross overhead power or communication lines you must do so a right angle and ensure the fence does not exceed the height of two metres.

  7. You must never use electric fencing where there is likely to be small children or infants.

  8. You must never use electric fencing anywhere that there is likely to be bare feet on wet ground i.e. near a swimming pool.

  9. An electric fence should not be supplied power from more than one energiser at any time.

  10. If setting up more than one electric fence, a minimum of two metres must be given between the fences.

  11. Each energiser in use should be connected to a separate earth stake. No household wiring or plumbing should ever be used for earthing.

  12. Connection leads should never be installed within the same conduit as data cables, communication cables or mains supply wiring.

  13. Lightning strikes are common on electric fences during thunderstorms. This can cause a fire risk and can damage or destroy the energiser. You should disconnect the energiser and stop power going to the fence during these extreme weather conditions.

  14. If possible an energiser should be installed indoors in a position which is free from any risk of damage.

  15. If mounted outdoors it should be mounted on a substantial structure in a position free from the risk of mechanical damage.