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Press Releases 2008

Cooperative Electric Utility Substation Secured with SmarterFence; Thieves Apprehended
Austin, Texas – April 21, 2008

Copper theft is an increasing nationwide problem, causing challenges for businesses across multiple industries. Particularly hard hit are electric utilities, due to the considerable amount of copper used in frequently remote locations. In an effort to prevent copper theft, a northern Texas cooperative electric utility installed the SmarterFence Intrusion Detection System from Smarter Security Systems to augment its security provisions. In early February, the investment delivered its payback, as thieves attempting yet another strike on one of the co-op substations were scared away.

With the proven effectiveness of the SmarterFence installation, the electric co-op is working to protect the remainder of its substations the same way. SmarterFence is a highly intelligent fiber optic sensor system that mounts to any chain-link fence. Its ability to tune out environmental nuisances and detect real intrusion attempts allows it to provide reliable early warning of intruders by detecting any attempt to cut or climb a perimeter security fence.

“We are pleased to see SmarterFence protecting this electric co-op’s property to help it maintain service to the people of the counties it serves,” said Jeff Brown, President of Smarter Security Systems. “Copper theft is an annoying and costly problem that we are working to help prevent. Our wide breadth of outdoor security solutions gives utilities and other organizations multiple options for securing their perimeters.”

At the IEEE PES Transmission & Distribution Conference, taking place in Chicago from April 22-24, Smarter Security will be demonstrating SmarterFence and many of its Smarter OutdoorTM products that can work together or independently to provide perimeter protection and prevent copper theft.

The northern Texas electric cooperative mentioned in this story provides electrical and telecommunications services to more than 15,000 members in two rural counties. In early February, thieves who had broken into its substation were interrupted by police responding to an alarm triggered by the SmarterFence. The thieves were scared away but left personal property behind which led police to the arrest of one of the perpetrators. The attempted copper theft was successfully prevented by SmarterFence. Since the primary suspect has named accomplices, perhaps even more copper thefts will be stopped.