BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     SB 582


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          Date of Hearing:   July 14, 2015


                           ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY


                                  Mark Stone, Chair


          SB  
          582 (Hall) - As Amended May 19, 2015


                              As Proposed to be Amended

          SENATE VOTE:  38-0


          SUBJECT:  ELECTRIFIED SECURITY FENCES


          KEY ISSUE:  SHOULD THE STATE ALLOW PROPERTY OWNERS TO INSTALL  
          AND OPERATE ELECTRIFIED SECURITY FENCES ON REAL PROPERTY IN  
          NON-RESIDENTIAL ZONES  AS LONG AS THE FENCES MEET SPECIFIED  
          ELECTRICAL STANDARDS, HEIGHT LIMITS, AND WARNING REQUIREMENTS  
          AND ARE NOT PROHIBITED BY LOCAL ORDINANCE? 

                                      SYNOPSIS

          This bill, as proposed to be amended, seeks to allow the  
          installation and operation of electrified security fences in all  
          non-residential zones of the state, as long as the fences meet  
          specified electrical standards, height requirements, and are  
          posted with adequate warning signs and are not prohibited by  
          local ordinance.  Existing law provides that the sale or  
          installation of electrified fences is prohibited in California,  
          unless the electrical current is limited and regulated by an  
          electrical controller that meets or exceed the standards or  
          specifications for intermittent type electric fence or  








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          electrified fence controllers of the National Electrical Code of  
          the National Fire Protection Association, the New Zealand  
          Standards Institute, the Standards Association of Australia, or  
          Underwriters Laboratories.  There is currently no state law  
          regarding the specific installation and operation of electrified  
          security fences.  Existing law regarding electrified fences is  
          in the Food and Agricultural Code and was clearly written to  
          address electrified fences that are designed to contain  
          livestock, which use a much higher voltage than what is allowed  
          for and used by electrified security fences.  Furthermore, the  
          Food and Agricultural Code provisions, last amended in 1979, are  
          so outdated that two of the four standards in the relevant code  
          section are no longer in effect, and the remaining standards are  
          inapplicable to electrified security fences. 


          Some municipalities have their own zoning and permitting  
          ordinances that specifically allow electrified security fences,  
          despite the fact that such ordinances may conflict with the  
          provisions of the Food and Agricultural Code, but many others do  
          not.  As a result, municipalities across the state are unsure  
          what state laws, if any, apply to electrified security fences.   
          This bill establishes standards for the installation and  
          operation of electrified security fences, which outline the  
          zoning, voltage, signage warnings, physical barrier clearance,  
          and access requirements that are appropriate for electrified  
          security fences.  This bill does not impede local jurisdictions'  
          authority to allow, prohibit or restrict the installation and  
          operation of electrified security fences within their  
          boundaries.  However, the bill does require that if a local  
          ordinance allows the installation and operation of an  
          electrified security fence, the installation and operation must  
          meet the ordinance requirements, as well as the requirements  
          contained in this bill.  Also, if a jurisdiction does not have  
          an ordinance in place to prohibit or limit the installation and  
          operation of an electrified security fence, this bill would  
          allow for the installation and operation of such a fence.  This  
          bill, which passed the Senate by a vote of 38-0, is sponsored by  
          a supplier of electrified security fences, supported by several  








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          large-equipment businesses and freight companies, and has no  
          opposition. 


          SUMMARY:  Allows a property owner to install an electrified  
          security fence on his or her real property that is located in a  
          non-residential zone as long as the fence meets certain  
          specified requirements.  Specifically, this bill:


          1)Defines an electrified security fence as any fence, other than  
            an electrified fence described in Section 17151 of the Food  
            and Agricultural Code, that is used to protect and secure  
            commercial property, and is powered by an electrical energizer  
            with the following output characteristics: (a) the impulse  
            repetition rate shall not exceed 1 hertz (hz); and (b) the  
            impulse duration shall not exceed 0.0003 or 0.8 times per  
            second.


          2)Allows an owner of real property to install and operate an  
            electrified security fence on his or her property as long as  
            the real property is located in a non-residential zone and the  
            electrified security fence meets specified requirements.


          3)Prohibits an owner of real property from installing and  
            operating an electrified security fence where a local  
            ordinance prohibits that installation and operation. 


          4)Requires an electrified security fence to be identified by  
            prominently displayed warning signs that are legible from both  
            sides of the fence, and at a minimum placed at each gate and  
            access point, and at intervals along the fence not exceeding  
            30 feet, and adjacent to any other signs on the fence relating  
            to chemical, radiological, or biological hazards.










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          5)Requires, in the event that a local ordinance allows the  
            installation and operation of an electrified security fence,  
            an owner of real property with an electrified security fence  
            to comply with the installation and operation requirements of  
            that local ordinance, as well as the requirements set forth  
            above in #1-4.



          EXISTING LAW:

          1)States that the Legislature finds and declares that improperly  
            designed and installed electrified fences have caused injuries  
            and in some instances have resulted in the deaths of persons,  
            particularly children, coming into contact with the conductive  
            elements thereof.  In order to prevent further such accidents,  
            it is the intent of the Legislature to provide for the study  
            and development and enforcement of safety standards for  
            electrified fences.  (Food & Agricultural Code 17150.  Unless  
            stated otherwise, all further statutory references are to that  
            code.)


          2)Provides that, "electrified fence" means any fence and  
            appurtenant devices, including, but not limited to, fences and  
            devices used in animal control, and including, but not limited  
            to, a fence consisting of a single strand of wire supported by  
            posts or other fixtures, which has an electrical charge or is  
            connected to a source of electrical current and which is so  
            designed or placed that a person or animal coming into contact  
            with the conductive element of the fence receives an  
            electrical shock.  (Section 17151.)


          3)Provides that the sale or installation of electrified fences  
            is prohibited in California, unless the electric current is  
            limited and regulated by an electrical controller that meets  
            or exceed the standards or specifications of the National  
            Electrical Code of the National Fire Protection Association,  








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            the New Zealand Standards Institute, the Standards Association  
            of Australia, or the Underwriters Laboratories for  
            intermittent type electric fence or electrified fence  
            controllers.  (Section 17152.)


          4)Provides that state law pertaining to electrified fences shall  
            not be construed to preclude regulation of electrified fences  
            by cities and counties, including, but not limited to,  
            requiring the installation or use of electrified fences under  
            permit, except that such regulation shall not permit the  
            installation or use of electrified fences which do not conform  
            to existing state law.  (Section 17153.) 


          5)Provides that local jurisdictions have the authority to make  
            and enforce ordinances that protect the public health, safety,  
            morals, and general welfare within its boundaries.  (Cal.  
            Const., art. XI, Section 11.)


          FISCAL EFFECT:  As currently in print this bill is keyed  
          non-fiscal.



          COMMENTS:  Electrified security fences are designed to serve as  
          a non-lethal security measure for the perimeter of real  
          property.  These fences are generally constructed of metal with  
          attached wires that run along the width of the fence, carrying  
          pulses of electric current that provide an unpleasant, yet  
          non-lethal shock to deter potential trespassers.  Most  
          electrified security fences are rigged with an alarm system that  
          is setup to signal the property owner or the security company  
          when the fence is being tampered with.  These fences are  
          designed to provide a physical and psychological deterrent to  
          potential intruders, and generally have visible warning signs  
          that provide alerts of existing hazards about which the security  
          fence owner or property owner are required to warn others.   








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          Currently, most electrified security fences in the U.S. are used  
          in industrial and commercial zones to protect property located  
          within the perimeter of the fence, such as in an equipment yard  
          or commercial storage facility.
          According to the author:


               Current state law on the use and installation of an  
               electric security fence in non-agricultural zones is vague.  
               There is no consensus among local jurisdictions whether or  
               not they can allow the installation of electric security  
               fences. The problem stems from the fact that there is no  
               American standard or guidelines for the installation of  
               electrified fences specifically directed to municipalities.  
                Municipalities across the state sometimes default to the  
               current law regarding electrified fences in the  
               Agricultural Code and claim that it is not clear that  
               electrified fences can be installed outside of Agricultural  
               zones. SB 582 will resolve this issue by providing clear  
               guidelines for the installation of electric security  
               fences, based on international standards insuring [their]  
               safe and reliable installation in non-residential zones.


          Zoning Authority Belongs to Local Governments.  The California  
          Constitution grants a local jurisdiction the power to make and  
          enforce ordinances that affect all local, police, sanitary and  
          other regulations within its boundaries.  (Cal. Const., art. XI,  
          Section 11.)  According to a 1925 California Supreme Court case,  
          "[A]ny zoning regulation is a valid exercise of the police power  
          which is necessary to subserve the ends for which the police  
          power exists, namely, the promotion of the public health,  
          safety, morals, and general welfare."  (Miller v. Board of  
          Public Works (1925) 195 Cal. 477, 481.)     


          Municipalities use their zoning power to draft ordinances to  
          signify what is and is not permissible within their boundaries.   
          In regards to this bill, if a municipality has an ordinance that  








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          prohibits the installation and operation of electrified security  
          fences, the provisions of this bill will not affect that  
          ordinance.  The purpose of this bill is to provide standards for  
          installation and operation of electrified security fences in  
          non-residential areas where the municipality lacks an ordinance  
          but desires to allow these types of fences, and to make sure  
          that existing ordinances are compatible with state law.  If a  
          jurisdiction does not have an ordinance excluding electrified  
          security fences, this bill would allow for the installation and  
          operation of such fences until that jurisdiction establishes an  
          ordinance to exclude them.  


          History of Legislative Intervention in Local Control of  
          Electrified Fencing Standards.  The California Constitution  
          delegates power to the Legislature to make laws.  When there is  
          a threat to the health and safety of persons, the Legislature  
          can and has stepped in to establish safety standards and  
          procedures on a statewide basis.  It is in the state's interest  
          to ensure the proper installation and operation of electric  
          security fences by creating standards that are consistent in  
          every non-residential zone in California.  The entire basis, for  
          which legislation was initially sought for electrified fences  
          back in 1976, was to ensure that these fences were installed  
          properly in order to protect the public from the harms and  
          injuries that had occurred.  In order to ensure the continual  
          protection of the public, it seems prudent to ensure that when  
          an electrified security fence is installed, it meets the  
          requirements of any applicable local ordinance as well as the  
          requirements of state law.  Local ordinances may differ based on  
          the environment and needs of a particular community.  State law  
          will have a minimum standard that is required for the  
          installation and operation of such fences statewide, but only in  
          jurisdictions that allow such installation and operation.  


          In 1979, in an effort to protect the public, especially  
          children, from the danger of coming into contact with improperly  
          designed and installed electrified fences, which had resulted in  








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          injuries and even deaths; the Legislature usurped local control  
          and provided statewide safety standards for electrified fences.   
          That legislation (SB 1726 (Nejedly), Ch. 873, Stats. of 1976)  
          required a study of electrified fences and the development of a  
          number of requirements for the standards to be used when  
          selling, installing, using and connecting an electrified fence.   
          Those standards developed by subsequent legislation (AB 645  
          (Chappie), Ch. 89, Stats. of 1979), are the same four standards  
          that currently exists Section 17152.  


          However, since the time when the Legislature passed (and the  
          governor signed) SB 1726 and AB 645, two of the four standards  
          mentioned in the statutes (the New Zealand Standards Institute  
          and the Standards Association of Australia) have been combined  
          into a single standard and updated to conform with the  
          International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard  
          60335-2-76, which is the exact standard required by the  
          provisions of this bill.  The two other standards outlined in  
          the Food and Agricultural Code, the National Electric Code and  
          Underwriters Laboratories (UL), are limited to the regulation of  
          higher voltage fencing (50 volts or more) and livestock  
          containment (UL 69 is specific to electric fence-controllers for  
          livestock containment only) respectively, and are not applicable  
          to electrified security fences under this bill's provisions.  


          The International Electrotechnical Commission Standard for  
          Electric Fence Energizers.  According to their website  
          (http://www.iec.ch/), the International Electrotechnical  
          Commission (IEC) is a not-for-profit, non-governmental  
          organization founded in 1906.  The IEC's members are national  
          committees that appoint experts and delegates from industry,  
          government bodies, associations, and academia to participate in  
          the technical and conformity assessment work of the  
          organization.  The work of the Commission is carried out through  
          technical committees and subcommittees, composed of  
          representatives of the national committees, and each committee  
          deals with a particular subject.  These committees develop  








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          international standards for a specific area of electrotechnology  
          and then publish those standards.  The IEC standard relevant to  
          electrified fencing is entitled, IEC 60335 "Household and  
          similar electrical appliances-safety," part 2-76, and provides  
          particular requirements for electric fence energizers.  


          Zareba Systems' website, which claims to be "the largest  
          electric fence systems manufacturer in North America," defines  
          an electric fence energizer as follows:


               An electric fence energizer provides the source for the  
               electric current that flows through the electric fence  
               wire.  They vary by the amount of current they output and  
               their power source.  The size of the required fence  
               energizer is based upon three main factors: the length of  
               the fence, number of wires, and the power source.    
               (http://www.zarebasystems.com)


          The IEC standard that is appropriate for an electrified security  
          fence, is not an appropriate standard for other types of  
          electrical fencing, such as that used for prisons or nuclear  
          power plants, because those fences utilize a stronger power  
          source to generate larger currents of electricity which are  
          designed to keep detainees inside or intruders outside of the  
          installed fence.  Part 2-76 of the IEC is limited to an  
          energizer with an impulse repetition rate that does not exceed 1  
          Hz or one pulse per second.


          Non-Lethal Nature of Electrified Security Fences.  Unlike other  
          physical boundaries like barbed wire or razor wire, electrified  
          security fences generally do not physically harm things that  
          come into contact with them and do not cause physical harm to  
          animals or people.  The duration of the electric shock delivered  
          by the fence is very brief, even if the existing conditions are  
          wet.  According to one scholar:








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               [E]ven when the voltage is high, when the current flows for  
               only a very short duration we cannot be electrocuted. . . .  
               A large enough current can cause ventricular fibrillation,"  
               during which "the pumping action of the heart ceases and  
               death occurs within minutes unless treated.  In the United  
               States, approximately 1000 deaths per year occur in  
               accidents that involve cord-connected appliances in  
               kitchens, bathrooms, and other wet locations . . . shock  
               durations longer than 1 second are the most dangerous . . .  
               [e]lectric security fences have taken advantage of this  
               fact by shortening their shock duration to an even shorter  
               duration of about 0.0003 seconds . . . electric fences are  
               safe and do not lead to ventricular fibrillation due to the  
               short 0.0003 second shock duration.  However, this author  
               did say, "When our skin is wet, our skin resistance is low  
               and permits large electric current to flow through the  
               body", but only when wet skin is exposed for 1 to 3 seconds  
               and the electrical current is 60 Hz or more. ?  (John  
               Webster, Safety of Electric Security Fences, University of  
               Wisconsin - Madison, http://intelligentfencing.com  )


          The energizer power required by the provisions of this bill, as  
          contained in Part 2-76 of IEC Standard may not exceed 1 Hz per  
          second.


          Delegation of Legislative Authority.  It is a general premise  
          that the Legislature is prohibited from delegating its general  
          legislative authority to another entity or body, but it may  
          authorize that things specified by the Legislature be done by  
          others, especially things that affect local or individual  
          interest.  (5 Cal. Jur. Constitution Law, Section 94.)  The  
          Legislature has the authority to specify the task to be  
          accomplished, but may leave the actual task of setting  
          standards, drafting regulations, and other tasks to those who  
          are more knowledgeable or capable of accomplishing the task.  It  








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          is very common for the Legislature to authorize a study, or to  
          require the implementation of certain standards, and then to  
          delegate the authority for providing the study or creating  
          standards to a body, commission, state department or other body  
          with the required expertise.  The provisions of this bill  
          propose to have a standard adopted by the IEC be the standard  
          for electrification of security fences.  Based upon the fact  
          that the IEC is an international commission, comprised of  
          industry professionals, state government officials, and scholars  
          in the field of electrotechnology, delegating to the  
          Commission's standards for electric fence energizers seems an  
          appropriate delegation of legislative authority.  Also, this  
          bill is not a permanent delegation of authority to the IEC (i.e.  
          whenever the IEC standard is updated it would become the new law  
          of the state) because the standard is specified as the IEC  
          adopted in 2006 and therefore frozen in time.


          Author's Amendments.  As currently in print, the bill provides  
          that its provisions apply to electrified fences, but makes no  
          effort to distinguish them from the electrified fences which are  
          described in the Food and Agricultural Code.  To avoid confusion  
          regarding various types of electrified fencing that may be  
          obtained in the market place, the author proposes amendments to  
          clarify that this bill's provisions are intended to apply to  
          electrified security fences and provides a definition of such  
          fences.  This will help to distinguish electrified security  
          fences which are designed for commercial security purposes to  
          protect items such as large equipment and inventory, from the  
          electrified fences that are defined in the Food and Agricultural  
          Code and are designed for animal containment and rural  
          environments.  Also, because electrified security fences have  
          been determined to be non-lethal under normal, dry conditions,  
          but, according to a study published by professors at the  
          University at Wisconsin and mentioned earlier in this analysis,  
          unsafe when exposed to an electrical current under wet  
          conditions, the author proposes an amendment to address this  
          concern by requiring the inclusion of a warning sign or symbol  
          to this effect on electrified security fences installed in the  








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          state.  Further, based on the advice and warnings of the  
          American Heart Association for persons with pace makers and the  
          possible interference of the device's function by close  
          proximity to an electric fence, the author proposes an amendment  
          to warn of this possibility by requiring the inclusion of a  
          warning sign or symbol to this effect on electrified security  
          fences installed in the state. 


          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:  According to the sponsor, Electric Guard  
          Dog: 


               Many California-based companies that are in the cargo  
               transportation, inventory storage and containment shipping  
               business have, at any given time, millions of dollars'  
               worth of products and service-related equipment on their  
               premises.  Storage is often held overnight for several days  
               or weeks awaiting transport.


               The primary protection of valuable goods and equipment is a  
               security fence, designed to prevent criminal trespass and  
               theft.  The installation of an electric security fence by  
               the local jurisdiction is subject to permitting and  
               approval.


               This bill helps the permitting process in local ordinances  
               by clarifying state law, and regulating the use and  
               installation of an electric [security] fence in  
               non-residential zones.


          












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          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:




          Support


          Electric Guard Dog, Inc. (sponsor)


          ABF Freight System, Inc.


          Copart, Inc.


          Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc.


          SA Recycling, LLC


          SAIA LTL Freight


          Westward Liberty


          YRC Worldwide, Inc.


          Opposition


          None on file










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          Analysis Prepared by:Khadijah Hargett / JUD. / (916)  
          319-2334