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Your Guide to Perimeter Security

Gated Communities

Perimeter security begins at your property line - or in the case of gated communities - at the entrance to your neighborhood.  Gated communities provide residents with their first level of security by requiring pass codes, biometric identification or other credentials like a remote control or swipe card upon entry.  For homes outside of gated communities, the electric fence often constitutes the first level of security. 

The Electric Fence

An electric fence can protect your home from burglars, vandals and even wild animals.  It also acts as a deterrent to solicitors and trespassers. It works by sending an electrical pulse down the line once each second, making it highly unlikely that an intruder can get by without getting shocked.  Law requires that electric fences are marked with warning signs that alert the public to the presence of an electric current.  Safety standards limit the maximum voltage to 10,000 volts and  the pulse length to 300 microsecond, so even when the voltage is at its highest, it still is not even close to being lethal.  The shock  administered is an unpleasant stinging sensation, but in reality it is something that can be withstood for very short periods of time.

The electric fence  is connected to your main security console (aka control panel), which can sense any change in voltage (the overall voltage drops when an object touches the fence).  When the change is significant, an alarm is sent to the central station who monitors your home security.  Depending on the level of sensitivity, the central station will sometimes be alerted if foliage, grass or undergrowth is in contact with the sensor, so it’s important to keep all plant life at a reasonable distance.   

Electric fences are more common in rural areas and are often used primarily to keep animals in the yard and secondarily as a security measure.  Fences don’t have to be electrical to ward off intruders; often a locked gate is enough of a deterrence.  Perimeter lighting is a great complement to gates, but can also be quite effective alone.  When triggered by motion detectors, perimeter lighting can dissuade criminals before they have a chance to do any damage.  Lights should be placed in darker areas like garage doors, back yards, shrubbery and walkways. 

Tips for Protecting the Perimeter of Your Property

If you are away from home, you might want to consider coordinating your interior lighting with a timer that turns the lights on and off at random intervals. For those who are serious about security, CCTV cameras can be placed at strategic locations around the perimeter or otherwise unobserved entry points.  Motion detectors using passive infrared technology can also contribute significantly to making your property impervious to attack.  They can be programmed to alert you, whether at home or away, that an intruder has breached the premises.