TransGard Systems Incorporated


Latest News

The Five Worst Substation Outages of 2014

(1/26/15) -
Squirrels, raccoons, snakes ...  How do such small animals continue to cause such huge (and costly) outages at substations, year in and year out? For the most part, it’s a lack of prevention. At TransGard Systems, we track outages across North America — outages that affect hundreds of thousands of customers and cost millions in repairs, man-hours, and lost business. Read our list of the The Five Worst Substation Outages of 2014 here.

TransGard featured in Electricity Today

(9/1/14) - TransGard article in Electricity Today
TransGard Systems was the subject of a major feature, "Protecting Substations Against Animal Invaders," in Electricity Today, a national industry publication.

August enews

(8/21/14) -

"Are outages really "cute"? Find out in our latest enewsletter and take the world's shortest survey by clicking here.


July enews

(7/15/14) -
Read our latest newsletter, "Annual Blackout Tracker Report reveals increased outages across the U.S." by clicking here.

June eNews

(6/9/14) -

Read our latest enewsletter, "Raccoon-caused outages on the rise at substations nationwide" here.

Raccoon-Caused Outages on the Rise At Substations Nationwide

(5/30/14) -

(New Freedom, Pennsylvania) — Substations across the U.S. are under attack from an unexpected culprit:  the raccoon. Recent raccoon-related outages have plagued both urban and rural substations, cutting power to thousands of residences and businesses. In fact, dozens of substation outages every year can be attributed to raccoons climbing onto equipment. Consumers Energy reports that 21% of its wildlife-related outages are caused by raccoons.

TransGard Systems studied raccoon behavior when it developed its substation fencing, which is specially designed to protect against incursion from climbing animals. Bill Reichard, TransGard’s general manager, said the current spike in raccoon-related outages should come as no surprise to those who have studied the species. He attributes the current outbreak to four interrelated factors:

  • Seasonal activity     Raccoons enter mating season as daylight increases. During mating, males seeking females roam their entire habitat area, which can be as large as 20 square miles. The increase in activity creates a greater likelihood a raccoon will come across a substation and attempt to use it for warmth, security or sleep.
  • Instinctive behavior    Raccoons rely on trees or other vertical structures to climb when they feel threatened. Substation equipment, poles and chain-link fencing appeal to raccoons, which instinctively seek height for protection.
  • Intelligence    Studies indicate raccoons are an intelligent species, capable of remembering solutions to problems for years. They can bypass or outsmart many of the less-effective substation protections, like plastic fence panels.
  • Population explosion   After a population explosion starting in the 1940s, the estimated number of raccoons in North America in the late 1980s had grown 15 to 20 times higher than in the 1930s. The rising raccoon population has led to a greater number of expensive substation outages.

Many of the substations with recent outages had installed preventive equipment that failed to repel raccoon invaders.  TransGard Systems took raccoon behavior into account during the design of its fencing. Today, TransGard fencing is the only product that delivers a humane electric shock that turns away climbing animals. Because raccoons are intelligent, they remember and avoid substations protected by TransGard.

“Typically, prevention of just a single animal-caused outage will justify the cost of installing a TransGard System,” Reichard said. “It’s why most of our customers install fences at multiple, or even dozens of, locations.”

Reichard said that, while not all substations require a proven raccoon deterrent, substations near habitats that appeal to climbing animals should consider TransGard fencing. Today, TransGard protects 2,500 substations nationwide. For more on how TransGard prevents costly outages, visit

May eNews

(5/8/14) -

Read our latest enewsletter, " IEEE PES Transmission & Distribution Conference Recap | Outage Update" here.

TransGard Introduces New Control Center for Substation Fences

(4/1/14) - Control Center

TransGard Systems announced it has developed a new Control Center for its substation fencing – the industry’s leading defense against outages caused by climbing animals. The upgrade helps ensure continuous functioning of the patented TransGard fence, which currently protects more than 2,000 substations.

The new Control Center offers enhanced features that will be standard on all new fences: 

Digital Volt Meter   The new digital volt meter provides substation operators with a precise digital indication of the system’s voltage. By placing the volt meter on the front of the panel, personnel can easily see the numeric values of voltage pulsing through an operating fence.

Alert Strobe   This module and two-condition LED light provides a clear visual indication of whether a TransGard fence is functioning properly. A steady green light indicates the system is operating normally.  A flashing red light indicates that the main on/off switch is turned to the off position or the fence is functioning improperly; the charger is not adequately powered or the fence has minimal continuity.

Remote monitoring   The Control Center can be integrated into a substation’s supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system to provide 24-hour remote monitoring the fence’s functioning. If the fence voltage falls below 6KV, the Control Center provides notification via SCADA, enabling the substation operator to correct problems.

TransGard fences offer proven prevention against squirrels, snakes, raccoons and other climbing animals. The easy-to-install system is the only substation fencing that delivers a mild electric shock that deters animals, but won’t harm them. For more information on how TransGard prevents costly outages, visit  



March eNews

(3/27/14) -

Read our latest enewsletter, "Transgard Introduces New Control Center  |  Climbing Squirrel Stops the Trains   |  IEEE Conference Reminder" here.

February eNews

(2/24/14) -

Read our latest enewsletter, "TransGard in the News | Snow problem? It’s no problem | Outage roundup" here.

January eNews

(1/28/14) -

Read our latest enewsletter, "The Five Worst Animal-Caused Substation Outages of 2013" here.

The Five Worst Animal-Caused Substation Outages of 2013

(1/24/14) -

(New Freedom, Pa.) — Each year, climbing animals that find their way into U.S. substations cause power outages that affect hundreds of thousands of customers and cost millions in repairs, man-hours, and lost business. The TransGard team, which has installed its patented animal-prevention fencing at more than 2,000 substations, selected this year’s list from among hundreds of outages that plagued every region of the country. 

Squirrels still top the list of offenders when it comes to animal-caused outages, but snakes, raccoons, domesticated cats, and even rats were responsible for some of the worst outages of 2013, causing significant equipment damage and leaving thousands of customers without power. This year’s list, in date order:

  • Masked menace   In March, a raccoon that crawled into a substation and damaged equipment was to blame for a power failure that knocked out electricity to 9,500 homes and businesses in San Benito, Texas.  
  • Slithering serpent   When a snake interfered with a substation in Marshall County, Kentucky in May, approximately 7,153 residents and businesses lost power. West Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative has installed 2 TransGard systems to avoid this type of incident in the future.   
  • Awww, nuts!   In July, a squirrel knocked out power for nearly 10,000 people in Multnomah County, Oregon, where just days prior a squirrel incident caused 5,000 customers to lose power in neighboring Gladstone.
  • Curious kitty   About 8,400 customers in the Museum District in Houston lost power in November when a cat managed to get inside a substation and blow a breaker. 
  • Ratting around   In December, about 1,400 residents around Chehalis, Washington lost power when a rat crawled into power equipment, resulting in a shortage that burned out a breaker and caused the power transformer fuses to burn out.

These outages represent a small fraction of the widely publicized (and unreported) animal-caused outages at U.S. substations. For more information about how patented TransGard fences eliminate substation outages caused by climbing animals, visit

December eNews

(12/15/13) -

Read our latest enewsletter, "Co-op Solves Snake Issue… by installing TransGard fencing" here

TransGard featured in Transmission & Distribution World article, “Co-op Solves Snake Issue”

(11/18/13) -

T&D World Magazine featured a story about WFEC installing TransGard fencing to keep snakes out of substations in the November 2013 issue. "Following the installation of the TransGard fencing, WFEC has not had a single snake enter its protected substations. By keeping snakes out of its substations, WFEC has been able to increase its power reliability, minimize power outages, and protect its electrical equipment." Read the full article here.

September enews

(9/27/13) -

Read our latest enewsletter, "New York Times reports on epidemic of squirrel-caused outages" here.

August enews

(8/22/13) -

Read our latest enewsletter, "How TransGard used squirrel instinct to prevent substation invasion" here.

July enews

(7/16/13) -

Read our latest enewsletter, "Snake-caused power outages on the rise | Summer power outages: more than just inconvenience" here.

June enews

(6/19/13) -

Read our latest enewsletter, "Outage Update | New Online Site Audit Form | Why choose TransGard?" here.

May enews

(5/15/13) -

Read our latest enewsletter, "Spring Substation Check | Raccoon Wreckage | Squirrel-caused outage affects thousands," here.

March enews

(3/20/13) -

Read our latest enewsletter, "2012 outage stats  |  Snake outage affects water pressure  |  Spring reminder" here.

TransGard Systems Patented Panels Provide Solutions To Repel Snakes

(3/12/13) -

TransGard Systems, manufacturer of a patented fencing system that prevents animal incursions at electrical substations, is has developed a unique solution to the growing problem of costly service outages specifically caused by snakes.

According to The Journal of Wildlife Management, snakes enter electrical substations in search of the eggs and young of the birds that frequently nest in electrical substations.  Combine this with a shrinking natural habitat for snakes, and the circumstances are perfect for an increase in snake incursions – and subsequent outages.

According to Bill Reichard, TransGard’s general manager, a growing number of these snake-caused outages have been reported during 2011, especially in the southern U.S., and utility managers have searched for ways to combat these costly interruptions in service.

Reichard adds that the increasing number of snake-caused outages have resulted in requests from many of TransGard’s recent installations to include the company’s specially designed snake panels, which prevent incursion from snakes as small as ¼” in diameter.

Squirrels, raccoons, snakes, other climbing animals cause substation outages in urban, suburban and remote locations across North America.  A single outage can cost tens of thousands of dollars in equipment and man-hours, not to mention frustrated customers.  In fact, the cost of animal-related outages in the entire United States totaled just under $15 billion for 2009.

TransGard has installed more than 2,000 fences in New York, Texas, Indiana, Oklahoma and several other states – and many more utilities, cooperatives and other substation operators are making plans for future installations to repel snakes and other unwanted visitors that have the potential to disrupt service.


TransGard’s “Worst Animal Caused Outages” featured on Transmission and Distribution World

(1/22/13) -

TransGard Systems developed and distributed its annual list of “Worst Animal Caused Outages,” which appeared in a variety of trade media outlets, including the Transmission and Distribution World website.  


TransGard eNewsletter: How Utility Executives View the Problem of Substation Outages, and more…

(12/12/12) -

Read the latest TransGard eNewsletter here.


TransGard featured in WFEC video

(10/17/12) -

"Snakes and other critters sneaking into substations have been the bane of Western Farmers Electric Cooperative crews for decades. Nothing seemed to work consistently over time, until substation supervisor, Billy Young, discovered TransGard at a conference." This WFEC video explains TransGard’s role in successfully addressing snake incursions at the coop’s substations.


TransGard featured in Transmission & Distribution World

(10/9/12) -

Transmission & Distribution World featured RG&E's success with TransGard Systems in a recent article, "Utility Guards Against Animal-Caused Outages". Read the full article here.

TransGard News: Transmission & Distribution World features RG&E’s success with TransGard, and more..

(9/17/12) -

Read the latest TransGard enewsletter here

TransGard in WFEC’s Summer newsletter

(8/31/12) - WFEC article

Western Farmers Electric Cooperative’s 2012 Summer newsletter featured an article showing how TransGard helped them eliminate snake incursions at 19 of their substations.

TransGard News: TransGard featured in Utility Products article about increased animal activity

(8/22/12) -

Read the latest TransGard enewsletter here.

TransGard News: Increased animal activity means more headaches for utilities

(7/17/12) -

Read the latest TransGard enewsletter here.

TransGard News: Will a mild winter lead to more substation outages?

(5/9/12) -

Read the latest TransGard enewsletter here.

TransGard introduces Alert Strobe for animal deterrent substation fences

(3/16/12) - TransGard's Alert Strobe

New control panel provides added on-site safety, reliable remote monitoring

(New Freedom, Pa.) — TransGard Systems, manufacturer of fencing that prevents animal incursions at electrical substations, has developed an Alert Strobe for its patented system. The Alert Strobe provides a simple and effective means for technicians to determine that a TransGard fence is functioning properly. 

The Alert Strobe displays a steady green strobe light when the system is functioning properly and a flashing red strobe light to indicate low power or service disruption. The unit can also be integrated into a substation’s supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system, to provide 24-hour remote monitoring of a TransGard fence’s functioning. 

The Alert Strobe will be a standard feature on all new TransGard primary entryway panels and can easily be added to TransGard entryways already operating in the field.

TransGard Systems developed the Alert Strobe to its highly effective system to act as an added safety signal that clearly indicates to technicians, neighbors or intruders that the fence is energized. The Alert Strobe also simplifies troubleshooting by providing an immediate visual indicator of a misconnected panel or other performance problem.

TransGard offers the only substation fence that delivers a mild electric shock that deters climbing animals but won’t harm them. This humane approach offers the most effective barrier against animal incursion, and increasingly significant problem that has resulted in billions of dollars of annual expenses due to substation outages.

TransGard System recently marked the installation of its 2000th fence in the United States. For more information on TransGard and its new Alert Strobe, visit  



TransGard News: Seeing the Light: All about TransGard’€™s new Alert Strobe and more…

(2/15/12) -

Read the latest TransGard enewsletter here.

TransGard article featured in Utility Products

(1/24/12) -

In November of 2011, national trade publication Utility Products ran an article on the increasing problem of animal-caused outages at electrical substations. Read the full article here.

TransGard Systems installs 2,000th substation fence

(11/15/11) -

TransGard Systems, manufacturer of a patented fencing system that prevents animal incursions at electrical substations, reached a significant milestone earlier this month – the installation of its 2,000th animal deterrent system.

Already this year, TransGard has installed fences in New York, Texas, Indiana, Oklahoma and several other states – and many more utilities, cooperatives and other substation operators are making plans for future installations.

 TransGard’s 2,000th installation highlights two important facts:

#1: Animal incursions have become too expensive to ignore   Squirrels, raccoons, snakes, domestic cats and other climbing animals have caused substation outages in urban, suburban and remote locations across North America.  A single outage can cost tens of thousands of dollars in equipment and man-hours, not to mention frustrated customers.  In fact, the cost of animal-related outages in the entire United States totaled just under $15 billion for 2009.

#2: TransGard Systems work    TransGard offers the only substation fence that delivers a mild electric shock that deters climbing animals but won’t harm them, or humans – a humane approach that offers the most effective barrier against animal incursion.

In fact, utilities often install the system at multiple substations after they discover its effectiveness firsthand, according to Bill Reichard, TransGard’s general manager.

“It’s gratifying to reach the 2,000 installation plateau, because it means our customers are seeing results in the field,” Reichard said.

Reichard added that, with the increasing number of outages caused by snakes, many of TransGard’s recent installations have included the company’s specially designed snake panels, which prevent incursion from snakes as small as ¼” in diameter.


TransGard Systems helps prevent snake damage at WFEC substations, and more news from TransGard

(7/31/11) -

Read TransGard's July enewsletter here.

TransGard is now on Facebook!

(7/12/11) -

Check out our page for photos, news and more.. Why not "Like" TransGard on Facebook today? 

Marmot-caused outage shuts down mining operation; causes massive fire damage in Steamboat Springs

(7/12/11) -

Officials reported an animal, possibly a marmot, climbed onto a transformer, causing a power outage that shut down mining operations and caused $500,000 in fire damages at Twentymile Coal Company on June 14. Fire crews had to wait for the electricity to be turned off to douse the flames.  Because the water pumps at the mine don’t work without power, the team had to use one of the mine's 10,000-gallon water wagons to fight the blaze. It was all avoidable; marmots are one of the many climbing animals repelled by TransGard fencing. Read the full story here

ESMO Recap, Case Study: Duke Energy, and more news from TransGard

(6/30/11) -

Read TransGard's June enewsletter here.

Squirrel causes DC-area outage that snarls traffic, cuts power for thousands

(5/2/11) -

It’s becoming an all-too-familiar story: a squirrel incursion at an unprotected substation causes a dangerous outage. On February 17, a squirrel scampered onto a transformer at a substation and interrupted the flow of electricity, causing about 2,700 customers to lose power.

Several stop lights were affected in the heart of Vienna, leading to traffic problems. Police even asked drivers to avoid the area. No word on whether the utility deployed animal deterrent equipment – TransGard fencing was not in place – or the cost of substation repairs. Read the full story here.

Squirrel damages substation; resulting outage causes gas leak, false alarms

(5/2/11) -

An outage in Lancaster County, PA, caused major headaches for residents and emergency officials. Over 650 PPL customers were without power Saturday morning because, according to PPL officials, a squirrel climbed onto a substation. Investigators found a carcass at the site where the system failed. The outage resulted in a busy day for fire departments and police stations, who responded to various automatic fire and burglar alarms. Officials attributed the false alarms to the outage. Authorities also said it could also be responsible for a gas leak. Read the entire story here.

TransGard to Demonstrate at ESMO 2011 in Providence, RI

(3/1/11) -

TransGard Systems will demonstrate its fencing during an outdoor how-to clinic at the ESMO conference in Providence, RI, on Tuesday, May 17, and Thursday, May 19. During the one-hour installation demonstration, TransGard President John Lynam and General Manager Bill Reichard will assemble several sections of TransGard fencing, install an entryway and connect the system’s master control.

Attendees will also learn the basics of removing modular panels, the advantages TransGard offers in deterring a wide range of animal incursions, and details on the system’s performance at more than 1,200 substations in North America.

“Our goal is to show substation personnel how simple the installation process is,” Lynam said. “TransGard fences were engineered for maximum effectiveness against animal incursions, but also to be installed easily and quickly ― in less than a day.”

ESMO 2011 is the premier event for electric utility industry professionals. For information on the conference and enrollment, visit the ESMO 2011 site.

TransGard Increases Production Capacity

(1/7/11) -

TransGard Systems announced plans to expand its manufacturing facility by 20,000 square feet. The enhanced production area was necessary to accommodate current and future demand, according to Bill Reichard, General Manager of TransGard.

“With TransGard’s growth trajectory over the past two years, we recognized that we needed to have the resources to increase our production capability,” Reichard said. “With our expanded facility, we’ll be able to manage our growth in the U.S. and Canada during 2011 and beyond.”

The expansion will also enable TransGard to continue to develop new products in response to customer needs. Reichard also noted that increasing interest from other countries factored into TransGard’s expansion decision. TransGard’s location in southcentral Pennsylvania provides the company with an ideal distribution hub.

TransGard Announces Distribution Arrangement for Quebec, Canada

(1/3/11) -

Teqal Inc. to provide TransGard fencing to stop “animaux grimpeurs” (climbing animals)

TransGard Systems announced it had reached an agreement with Teqal Inc. to provide exclusive distribution of TransGard fencing to substations in Quebec province. Teqal, a distributor of utility equipment based in La Prairie, Quebec, immediately began representing TransGard’s clôture de protection électrifié in that French-speaking market.

“TransGard’s longevity in cold-weather climates has driven interest from Canada’s substation engineers,” said John Lynam, TransGard President.“ We’re pleased to partner with Teqal so we can extend our reach into Quebec.”

For information or quotes in Quebec, Canada, contact Teqal Inc. at

TransGard Installs 200th Fence for Ameren; Result: Zero Outages

(12/2/10) -

TransGard Systems announced today it had installed its 200th fence for Ameren, the largest electric utility in Missouri and the second largest in Illinois. The utility has now installed more TransGard fences than any other customer in the company’s history. Ameren has not experienced an animal-related outage at any substation, ever, with a working TransGard fence.

Ameren services approximately 2.4 million customers across two states and maintains 1,400 substations in Illinois. According to Steve Wolter, consulting engineer at Ameren, at least 50% of the company’s Illinois substations were at high risk for damage from squirrels, raccoons, opossums and snakes.

In 2003, Ameren turned to TransGard for help. Ameren recognized TransGard as the first of its kind in the field of animal deterrent systems, and selected the company to begin installation on a handful of substations. Over the next eight years, Ameren has installed TransGard Systems around at-risk substation sites – now more than 200 substations in all.

“It was most important for Ameren to provide uninterrupted service to its customers,” Wolter says. “TransGard has helped us make that happen.”

Installation on additional facilities and expansion on existing TransGard systems is ongoing.

(For details, see the full case study.)

Planning for 2011:  “What causes more outages? The lightning, or the squirrels?”

(11/17/10) -

Lately, the squirrels appear to be winning. In fact, many TransGard customers have already begun developing animal substation deterrence plans for 2011. It makes sense, with reports of squirrel population growth in nearly every region of the U.S., and other animals – notably snakes, raccoons and, in Florida, Cuban tree frogs – posing a serious threat to substation reliability.

This article from USA Today offers some intriguing details for anyone responsible for a high-voltage substation:

  • “Squirrels that fry themselves on power lines and transformers cause tens of thousands of blackouts every year.”
  • “Some states have seen a massive jump in recent years in the number of such outages. In Georgia, squirrel-related outages more than tripled from 5,273 in 2005 to 16,750 in 2006.”
  • “Georgia Power officials estimate the rodents cost them $2 million last year.”

Many utilities, rural electric cooperatives and others are already taking steps to protect sensitive substation equipment in 2011. To learn more about TransGard’s patented fencing system, or for a preliminary quote for your substation, use TransGard’s online request tool.

TransGard fence installed in Caracas, Venezuela

(9/15/10) -

PDVSA, Venezuela’s state-owned energy company, recently imported a TransGard fence to protect a substation in Caracas, the capital. Visiting officials from PDVSA observed a working TransGard system during a visit to the U.S., and decided to install the animal-deterrent system at one if its own substations.

“We’re pleased that PDVSA made a concerted effort to import fencing manufactured in a country more than 2,000 miles away,” said John Lynam, President of Transgard. “This further validates TransGard fencing as the premier animal deterrent for substations, regardless of the country or the climate.”

TransGard fencing is widely used in the U.S. and Canada, with installations at more than 1,200 substations. The company is exploring international distribution of its system to several other countries.

Raccoon causes Memphis outage, loss of power to children’s hospital

(7/1/10) -

Power was out for more than five hours in downtown Memphis after a raccoon touched and short-circuited a switch and caused a Memphis Light, Gas & Water substation to fail, officials said.

Affected areas, served by MLGW's substation 21, included the Regional Medical Center at Memphis and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. The outage also caused delays in production at The Commercial Appeal, the region’s largest daily newspaper. Click here to read the entire story.