Where Would You Find Lethal Electric Fences?

Where Would You Find Lethal Electric Fences?

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Most people will avoid touching an electric fence if they know it’s an electric fence. No one wants to get shocked. However, even though electric fences are legally required to have warning signs in most parts of the world (and some regulations require them to be hard to touch accidentally), most modern electric fences are non-lethal.

This raises the question: Do lethal electric fences still exist, and where are they used?

What Makes an Electric Fence Lethal?

Before we get into where you might find a lethal electric fence, it’s worth explaining what makes an electric fence lethal in the first place.

You might be surprised to learn that it’s not the fence's voltage. In fact, most non-lethal electric fences also have thousands of volts running through them.

The thing that makes an electric fence lethal or not is the amperage or the resistance.

Non-lethal electric fences have very high voltage but very low amperage, and that’s why, while it will feel like you’ve been punched when you touch one, it probably won’t kill you.

It also helps that non-lethal electric fences have pulsed current. This means that there’s a moment between current pulses when you can pull your hand off the fence. Since electrical current tightens your muscles, it’s very hard to let any live wire go without this feature!

Where Are Lethal Electric Fences Still Used?

A long time ago, lethal electric fences were used to keep prisoners in concentration camps during World War II. You can still see their remains at some historic sites.

These days, we have much better security technology that usually makes lethal electric fences overkill. We can monitor perimeters so well that we know when someone has cut or is attempting to climb a fence. We can also integrate lighting and cameras to see the affected zones from a guardhouse and take appropriate action.

However, some places in the world still use lethal electric fences, and many American prisons are among those places.

Other places where you might find lethal electric fences are probably high-security military and top-secret government locations – but you’re unlikely ever to find out because you probably won’t ever visit one!

Huge Legal Liability

One of the biggest issues with lethal electric fences (aside from the enormous risk of accidental death or life-changing injuries) is that there’s a huge amount of legal liability for the owner of the fence.

This kind of fence cannot simply be installed anywhere, and you will probably have to have one or more fences that are not electrified between any members of the public and the fence to prevent accidental contact.

You will also need to have lots of signage and other warning devices that help to protect anyone near the fence from accidentally touching it.

In short, if you did have a lethal electric fence, you would probably spend a lot of time and money preventing anyone from ever touching it. So unless you have a very good reason for needing one, you’d probably be better off with a modern, non-lethal, integrated perimeter security system.

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