Council Considers Electric Fences for Businesses

Chicago business owners could use electric fences as a security measure if measure is approved

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    MOUNT PROSPECT, IL - AUGUST 18: A sign that reads "Electric Wires DANGER High Voltage" is displayed on steel towers carrying power transmission lines August 18, 2003 in Mount Prospect, Illinois. After last week's power outage that affected major portions of the northeast United States and southeast Canada, Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich has announced the creation of a Special Task Force on the Condition and Future of the Illinois Energy Infrastructure. The committee will conduct a comprehensive analysis of Illinois' energy infrastructure, and recommend any necessary changes to meet demand and respond to widespread outages similar to the August 14 failure. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

    Chicago business owners could install electric security fencing to stop intruders if an ordinance is approved.

    The City Council Finance Committee advanced an ordinance that allows business owners to use the electric fences as a security measure, despite objections from the Fire Department. Fire officials are concerned about accessing electrified properties in emergencies.

    City officials say firefighters would have access to master keys in order to turn off the power, but Fire officials fear that is not enough to protect it's members.

    If the ordinance passes, the electric fences in commercial properties would have to be surrounded by a non-electric outer fence, include posted warnings, and be at least eight-feet high.
     
    Currently, security fences are only allowed to secure railroad facilities.

    No word yet on when the ordinance will go before the full council.