What Is Taut Wire Fencing and How Does It Work?

What Is Taut Wire Fencing and How Does It Work?

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When most people think of electric fence systems, or at least, electronically managed fence systems, they probably think of traditional electric fences that are designed primarily to deliver a shock and might offer zone monitoring as a secondary feature.

However, there are many types of electric and electronically monitored fence systems out there, and they don’t all shock you. Taut wire is one of those fence types. Here’s what you need to know.

What Is Taut wire Fence?

As the name suggests, a taut wire fence is a type of electronically monitored security fence that uses wires that are tightened to a very specific tension, along with special insulators and sensors. They are usually installed as a supplement to a physical barrier, often on the inside of a high security prison or similar fence, so that they can alert security that there is an attempted breach in progress.

How Do Taut wire Fences Work?

Taut wire fences work by monitoring the tension on the wires of the fence. Because they are tightened to a very precise tension, any weight or disturbance of the wire will change the tension on that wire or those wires. That usually means that someone is attempting to climb or breach the fence.

Likewise, if a wire is cut, the tension on that wire will change, and that will trigger an alarm on the system.

What Components Do a Taut Wire Fence Have?

There are two main components to any taut wire fence: the fence itself and the management or monitoring system.

The fence itself usually consists of simple fence posts, often made from angle iron or another lightweight but strong material. These are precision drilled and prepared for the installation of taut wire insulators and sensors. Taut wire fences can be constructed with smooth or barbed wire, and these wires are attached to advanced tensioning equipment at all tensioning points.

The management or monitoring system for a taut wire fence is usually computer based, and often has a zone layout screen that indicates where there is a problem when the fence is triggered. Sometimes, this software can also integrate other perimeter security options like lighting or cameras.

What Installation Requirements Do Taut Wire Fences Have?

Taut wire fences are a very specialized type of electronically monitored fence that require very precise installation. Every post must be positioned correctly and must be plumb and installed to the correct depth.

Because vegetation along fence lines can often cause problems with monitoring systems, taut wire fence systems are often installed with a concrete slab along the base of the fence. This makes it harder for vegetation to grow close to the fence and makes removing it and keeping the fence clear easier.

What About False Alarms?

When you are installing an electronically monitored fence system, there are always concerns about false alarms. Modern taut wire fence systems are designed to identify the type of tension change on a wire, and to discount those that could not be caused by a human. So, for instance, if a bird were to land on your fence, you would not receive an alarm.

Where Should You Not Install Taut Wire Fence?

Taut wire fence is not suited to areas that have a lot of snowfall. Snow and ice can build up on taut wire fences, and that can affect the tension on the wires. The result is that your fence will be in a near constant state of alarm.

Who Makes Taut Wire Fence Systems?

There are several taut wire fence manufacturers around the world, and most offer sophisticated, high tech options. It’s a good idea to shop around until you find the system that meets your needs, is readily available in your area and fits your budget.

Make sure you also purchase a few additional sensors and insulators along with other fittings, so that if one or two break, you have stock on hand to make a quick repair.

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