In South Africa, homeowners often make use of electric fencing, along with alarm systems and CCTV cameras, as a means of deterring potential burglars and criminals.
However, burglars and potential criminals are not the only ones who can get hurt at the hands of this potentially dangerous criminal deterrent. The question arises, who would be held liable if someone got hurt due to a fault in the electric fencing?
Every homeowner that has electric fencing on their property, must have a valid Certificate of Compliance. If the homeowner does not have a valid Certificate of Compliance, he/she will be liable for any injuries that have been caused by their electric fencing. In the worst-case scenario, if this faulty electric fencing causes serious injury or harm, the homeowner could face a hefty fine and even jail time.
By law, electric fencing must comply with the following regulations as set out in the Electrical Machinery Regulations, 2011:
What do you do if you or your child is injured due to faulty electric fencing that does not comply with the abovementioned regulations? Since the electric fence does not comply with the necessary regulations, you may put forward a personal injury claim against the homeowner responsible for the electric fencing, as he/she will be held liable for any injury caused when they do not have a valid Certificate of Compliance.
This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)