Installing automated gates comes with a variety of benefits, from increased convenience to robust security that not only restricts access to the site, but also creates an effective screen from the outside world.
As well as enhancing privacy, improving aesthetics and increasing the value of sites, installing certain styles of automated gate will make it difficult for opportunist thieves to see into a property and its assets. Furthermore, if there are children or animals in and around the site, an automated gate will guard against the risk of any unplanned and unaccompanied entry or exits.
If you are considering specifying an automatic gate for your project, whether it’s a swing or sliding gate, a rising arm barrier, a bi-folding gate or a telescopic sliding gate, here are some important factors to bear in mind.
Installing legally compliant gates
Make sure that the gate you choose is CE marked; showing that the manufacturer has certified that it complies with safety, health, and environmental requirements. It’s also an indicator of the gate’s compliance with legislation; being a product that’s traded in the UK and Europe.
Automatic gates are officially classed as a machine, and as such, should only be installed and maintained by someone who is suitably qualified to deliver a safe and legally compliant operating system. Furthermore, automated gates are required by law to comply with EU Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. This means that specifying an automated gate without taking due care over its installation procedure and maintenance regime may leave you exposed to potential litigation and even imprisonment.
Taking due care over safety
The installation of automated gates is on the increase, and unfortunately, there has been an associated rise in accidents due to inadequate safety precautions, especially in new builds and schools.
The consequences of gate safety negligence are tragic and completely avoidable, with the burden of responsibility typically on the installer. In recent years, a Manchester company was found to have been directly responsible for the death of a six-year-old through their failure to test and programme an automated gate properly; an engineer in Norwich was jailed after an automated gate he fitted fell on a woman, resulting in death.
Automated gates should undergo a full risk assessment and be supported by a minimum of two different types of safety device. We recommend that photocells or light curtains and pressure edges should be installed on every gate or barrier, regardless of whether a force limitation device has been installed. Again, specifiers of automated gates should take due care over the installation procedure and implementing a maintenance regime. The reasons for this go beyond compromised security: failure to do so may lead to loss of life as confirmed above.
Ensure long life of automated gates
When specifying automatic gates, check that there’s a long service life. Timber gates should be suitably treated to protect against rot and wood boring pests, while metal gates should be manufactured with a galvanised finish to provide added protection against rust. Jacksons Fencing’s pressure treated timber gates and galvanised metal gates come with a 25-year guarantee as standard.
We also recommend checking that you have some kind of warranty for the automation equipment that is required to power the gate. All automation products supplied and installed by Jacksons Fencing are covered by a 25-month parts and labour guarantee, subject to a service contract being taken out in the second year.
Lastly, when you receive a quote for an automated gate, make sure to confirm that this includes a 12-month fully inclusive maintenance agreement, as it is essential that all automated gates are reviewed every six months as a minimum. The quote should also include a free training visit for users of the gate.