Why is it compulsory to have an electric fence COC?

As stated in the regulations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, an electric fence COC proves that the electrical work on your electric fence is up to date with the regulations needed  by the South African National Standards (SANS 10222-3:2012). 

A EFCOC certificate ensures your electric fence is installed properly and most importantly safely, preventing any potential shocks to the public. 

An EFCOC is very important for the homeowner as it means insurance will cover the costs if anything is to happen, like a fire. It also stipulates the electric fence material quality as well as erection standards, ensuring your electric fence is installed professionally using materials of a high quality.

Living in South Africa we hear about crime happening on a daily basis, to make sure you do not become a statistic, electric fencing is a necessity for both residential as well as commercial properties. Many homeowners become desperate and hire a contractor who is cheaper than the rest but is not compliant, this is a crime and can cause harm.

Who should carry out an electrical fence certificate of compliance inspection?

(As per SANS 10142) only registered electricians may wire homes and business premises, with that being said only registered electric fence installers can install electrified fencing. For this reason, you as a homeowner should make 100% sure that the electrician you decide to hire has a valid registration number.

A licenced fencing electrician can be verified via the E.C.A. (Electrical Contractors Association)—https://ecasa.co.za, or the Department of Labour—www.labour.gov.za.

Cost of the Electrical fence certificate of compliance.

The electric fence compliance certificate can cost anything from R550 to R650. This price only covers the certificate of compliance and excludes any adaptations or repairs which need to be made. This will need to be quoted on and paid over and above the electrical COC. 

Electric fencing regulations in South Africa.

When having an electric fence installed there are a few areas which need to be considered, one of them being to display clear black and yellow warning signs on all access points and gates. Another important component of electric fence compliance is that the electric fence should not be able to accidentally make contact with any person or animal. Earth spikes should also be installed every 30 meters.

The energizers on the fence must be installed in an area as far as possible from fire breakouts. Any freestanding electric fence should not be higher than 450mm, or if installed on top of a wall, it must be at least 1,5 meters above ground level.

Transfer of a Property

Before selling your property it is compulsory to supply a valid Electric Fence Certificate of Compliance (EFCOC) before your property transfer can be concluded. Having your electric fence installed by a contractor without a CoC certificate is a cause for concern as this is not only illegal but can also be dangerous. Although many people are aware that a certificate of compliance is needed by law when installing an electric fence, often they are not aware of the laws and regulations associated with this installation.

New regulations state that not only do homeowners need an electric fence COC for the sale of their property but will now also need one for any new alterations or installations as well.

A homeowner can be held civilly and criminally liable for injuries.

An electric fence is not dangerous if installed correctly by a compliant installer. Hiring an installer who is not compliant can result in a faulty transformer which will cause an electrical shock. If a homeowner chooses to hire a non compliant installer, they run the risk of insurance claims being rejected as well as being held liable for any injuries caused by your electric fence regardless of whether the injured person is an intruder or not.

Having a non compliant electric fence installer will also result in you not being able to sell your house until you have obtained an EFCOC from a compliant installer.