Automatic Gate Safety

If you live in a gated community this article is for you; if you are considering installing automated gates this article is for you; if you are considering moving into a gated community this article is for you.  While automated gates provide safety, security and value to a community they need to be installed with safety in mind.  When addressing safety for automated gates, we must look at the gate and the gate operator.

First, the gate or gates.  When installing an automated gate to control vehicle traffic and access, you should provide a separate walk gate that is not within the frame of the motorized gate.  Residents should be encouraged and instructed to use the secure walk gate for entry and exit of the property by foot.

Slide gates should have fall over protection, so that if the gate detaches from the hardware or rollers for any reason the gate doesn’t fall and cause property damage or even worse injury.  This can be accomplished by installing a simple catch post.  The gate should also have travel stops to control the distance of the gate.  Install roller/wheel covers on gate hardware to prevent potential hand or foot injuries with moving gates.  Never install a slide or swing gate on a slope allowing gravity to control or enhance the travel speed of the gate.  These are just a few must do items to make the gate a safer part of your community.

Now we should address the gate operator, some call gate opener.  Always use and install a labelled and tested gate operator by a regulatory agency such as UL and make sure all the labels are on the gate operator.  Install warning signs on the gate to advise residents and the public to stay clear of the gate.  Consider installing secondary safety sensors such as photo beams or safety edges that will help detect obstructions in and around the gate.

Proper and routine preventive maintenance is a key component of a safe gate operator.   Required maintenance and testing of external safety devices as well inherent safety devices is conducted to ensure they are working properly.

When considering safety on an existing or installing a new automated gate it is important to consider the gate and gate operator.  It is important that you hire a fence company or installing dealer that will take the time to design a system that will safely address your needs.