Are Electric Fences Legal in Residential Areas?

There are many advantages to having an electric fence, from the added security it provides to keeping your garden looking lush. If you’re considering installing an electric fence on your residential property, you may be wondering about the legality surrounding this.

It is subject to local regulations to install electric fencing on properties in rural areas however, in many residential areas, electric fences are illegal to install. Owners of electric fences are typically required to display warning signs on the fence at regular intervals and at eye level.

In this article, we’ll look at the legality of installing an electric fence in a residential area, whether or not you’ll need planning permission to do this, and the many surprising benefits this type of fencing can offer you. Let’s get started!

Can You Put an Electric Fence Around Your Property?

Electric fences are a modern invention that can provide your home with an extra level of protection.

Of course, electric fences are barriers designed to deliver an electric shock to any person or animal that crosses the boundary of the electric fence by making contact with it.

One of the top benefits of putting an electric fence around your property is the improved safety it offers. With traditional fences, there are always ways to penetrate the boundary. The use of an electric fence around your property can essentially improve the overall effectiveness of your existing fence or barriers.

Not only are there many great, cost-effective electrical fencing solutions out there, but these fence systems are simple to install. Whether you decide to DIY it or hire a professional, getting this extra layer of security installed won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Furthermore, when compared to other types of residential fencing, electric fencing is an economical choice to make. Not only that, but the time it takes to build the fence is much less than with other types of barriers.

At the end of the day, electric fences can be used to keep unwanted burglars out or animals in. Given that these fences will deliver a shock to any person or animal that makes contact with it, the lifespan of these fences is generally longer than that of traditional fences and barriers.

While there are many benefits to having an electric fence around your property in a residential area, you may be wondering whether you’re allowed to have one. Keep reading as we break down everything you need to know about the legality of electric fences!

Are Electric Fences Legal in Residential Areas?

It is generally not illegal to install an electric fence in a residential area. However, when it comes down to electric fencing, there are certain laws put in place to ensure the safety of these fences. This is due to the risk these electric fences can pose, especially when they are not installed correctly.

For example, there have been instances where people have died from exposure to electric fences that didn’t have a pulsing regulator.

While these fences are by no means illegal, they could land you in trouble with the law when the rules aren’t followed. To avoid this, it’s crucial that you look into local laws.

In most regions, the existing laws permit the owner of a property to install and operate an electric fence on their premises. This also includes residential areas. However, in some cases, local ordinances may prohibit the installation and operation of electric fences.

Due to this, it’s impossible to give a clear-cut answer to the legality of electric fences in residential areas. It ultimately depends on your local laws wherever you’re located! However, unless your local ordinance prohibits this, you shouldn’t have any problems with the law – just ensure that you get it properly installed!

Of course, the overall legality of electric fences in residential areas isn’t your only concern when it comes to installing this fencing. Keep reading as we look at whether or not you need planning permission for an electric fence.

Do You Need Planning Permission for an Electric Fence?

Depending on where you live, from time to time, you may need to request planning permission or a building permit for certain home improvement or construction projects. Luckily, when it comes to electric fencing, homeowners typically do not need to get planning permission to install an electric fence – though you should always confirm this with your local municipality.

Generally, you can install an electric fence on your property without any hassle. However, care needs to be taken to ensure that your electric fence is properly installed and that it follows all local laws. These laws can be generally summarized.

Owners of electric fences are typically required to place warning sides at both ends of the fence, with one every ten meters between these points. These signs are also typically placed at eye level to warn others about the electric fence.

Furthermore, care needs to be taken to ensure that the fence is fully situated on your property. You could face legal trouble should your electric fence extend onto public property, such as a road or public walkway.

While electrical fencing can be highly effective as a modern barrier solution, it’s important to ensure you get a quality electric fence and that it is installed correctly. As discussed earlier, an electric fence that isn’t properly installed can lead to serious injury, which could lead to legal troubles for you.

Your local laws may differ slightly from what we described above, but the aforementioned guidelines will give you an idea of what you can expect.

If you’re situated within the limits of a town or city, you can check your local laws by contacting the city or town’s municipality or town clerk’s office. This is the most surefire way to ensure that you stay within the law when installing your new electric fence.

Will an Electric Fence Keep Animals Out of a Garden?

As discussed earlier in this article, there are many benefits to installing an electric fence. However, one aspect we haven’t looked at yet is using an electric fence to keep animals out of a garden. From rabbits to squirrels, there are plenty of animals that can wreak havoc on your garden. Will an electric fence keep these critters out?

The answer is yes! By installing an electric fence around the perimeter of your property, you’ll be able to prevent unwanted animals from trespassing onto your property or garden. For the avid gardener, this can protect plants from being ravaged by local wildlife.

When it comes down to keeping animals out of your garden, electric fencing is likely the best solution for you. For one, many animals can find a way through traditional fencing solutions. The added electrical element of electric fencing truly fortifies your home, leaving the wildlife in the wild!


There are many great benefits to having an electric fence! However, when installing this highly modern fence, it’s important to follow all local laws. These laws typically mandate that the fence does not extend onto public property and that it features the appropriate warning signs.

While it is not illegal to install an electric fence in a residential area, it’s important to always check your local regulations. You can do this by simply contacting your city’s office. You’ll have your electric fence up (legally) in no time!

Manny Moore

Getting my hands dirty and building a place that me and my small family love is a driving factor for what I do and how I do it. I want to share what I have learned and practiced so that it is just that much easier for everyone to have another tool in their tool belt. Your home should be a place that you love and feel comfortable in and your backyard should be no different.

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