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Climbing an electric fence
watson
pendrecarc wrote in little_details
This is probably too specific to get a full answer from googling, but I've read the Wikipedia article on fences used for security purposes, have looked at what articles I can find that include prison escapees circumventing electric fences, and have googled various combinations of "electric fence" and climb, escape, etc.

Here's the situation: two of my characters need to get into a military installation surrounded by a lethal electric fence. Flying is not an option, tunneling under will take too long, and they don't want to do attract attention until they're on the way out. It's set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the modern day. Based on the characters' background and the handwavy physics in the films, I'm comfortable having them jerry-rig implausible handheld tools for this purpose.

Here's how I'd like to write the scene:

  • Two characters climb the fence together by some method, then go about their business inside the installation without raising any alarms.

  • The characters exit the installation pursued by Bucky Bear a third character, climb to the top of the fence using the same means (probably left in place, if that works), and have those means destroyed or cut out from under them by the third character.

Other notes:

  • Based on what research I've done, it sounds as though rubber gloves, shoes, and other gear wouldn't be enough to insulate against a lethal current.

  • Image searches suggest they'd be up against a vertical fence with some sort of rectangular or hexagonal mesh, with additional barbed wire across the top. If it's more convenient, I might be able to write it as a concrete fence topped by a few feet of electric wire.

  • I'm assuming any method that involves stopping the current for the whole vertical length of the fence would trigger an alarm. If they stop the current inside, say, a rectangular cut-out in the middle of the fence that allows the current to flow above or below it, would that be noticed?

Again, based on the setting I'm happy to handwave some of the specifics, but I'd rather the action of the scene be somewhat plausible.

How about a distraction that would also shut down the fence? If they threw something against the fence a ways down, it could cause a short and they might have enough time to climb over unnoticed. I'm not sure what all would work, but something like a tree branch would (maybe a broom handle?). Even better if they could make it appear accidental.

Do any large vehicles have rubber tires (or similar)? Can you handwave tools that would cut the tire into a suitable arc? Hm, the maintenance garage might have such, as well as a tire already dismounted for repair.

I want to see them rolling the whole tire to the fence, probably with the dwarves riding inside it.

Over the fence

(Anonymous)

2014-08-29 11:30 am (UTC)

Look into Home Depot's website for Werner Model # M1A-8-16B 16 ft. Aluminum Folding Multi-Position Ladder. That, or a larger version (depending on fence height), should work well. They approach the fence, unfold and place the ladder. They're over in seconds! They unfold the ladder and lay it down inside the fence, until they need to exit. Low tech, no alarms, low chance of detection - and they can even return it to the store for a refund! :-)