Gates are a key feature of industrial, commercial and restricted-access facilities, performing a number of practical functions in maintaining the security integrity of a site. Both pedestrian and vehicular gates are vital security checkpoints that provide accessibility.
Function and Placement of Security Gates
When specifying gates, a comprehensive risk assessment should first be carried out. This should take into consideration the immediate and longer term use of the site, as well as identification of hazards, threats and their impact.
The function of the gate and where it will be located must be considered at this stage too. Whether the gate is for vehicle or pedestrian use should be distinguished as it’s important to keep the two safely apart. Consider also whether the gate will form part of the perimeter or be integrated into the internal layout of the property. If there is adjacent fencing, then the gate should match the security level, height and appearance of the fence.
Manual and Automated Gates
The choice between installing automated or manual gates depends on a number of factors, including appearance, functionality, convenience, budget and available space. For example, wide gates will be heavier, which means if automated the gate will need a heavier duty motor, increasing the cost.
While manual gates are only either manned or unmanned, a range of access control systems can be built into automated gates, such as video intercoms, card readers and coded key pads.
Similarly, the choice between swing or sliding gates depends on factors such as available space, since there will be width, height and depth limits to consider. Also important to consider is the frequency of use and how fast the gate should move to satisfy the traffic flow. This is particularly important for high risk sites, where the speed of the gate plays an important part in ensuring site security.
Types of Swing and Sliding Gates
Commonly used for both pedestrian and vehicular access, manual swing gates are cost-effective and available in single or double leaf design. However, they require flat terrain, making them unsuitable for sites with sloped or uneven ground.
Tracked sliding gates are a secure choice for sites with limited space, and suitable for high and heavy gate designs that span large gaps. However, they are typically more expensive than swing gates and require more maintenance.
Cantilever sliding gates do not require fixed tracks set into the ground. This makes them an effective solution for sites with insufficient space for a swing gate, or where there is uneven ground.
Bi-Folding Speed Gates are an automated vehicle-access gate, appropriate for sites where speed of operation is essential, such as high-security premises. Our PAS 68 Bi Folding Speed Gate is ideal for high-risk sites, a product designed to prevent vehicle-borne terrorist threats. For more information about PAS 68, click here.
Security Gate Maintenance
Once your security gates have been specified, built and installed, ongoing safety maintenance is crucial for their proper operation. While manual gates may not require frequent engineer visits, the gate structure should still be checked over regularly for damage, including inspection of the fixtures and hinges. The gate should be kept clean and lubricated with test results ideally recorded in a maintenance log.
Automated gates are required by law to comply with EU Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. In short, specifying an automated gate without taking due care over its installation procedure and ensuring a maintenance regime is in place may leave you exposed to potential litigation and even imprisonment.
Make sure that any engineer working on your gates has passed the Gate Safe Aware training course – as all our technical advisors have done – to ensure they are up to date with the latest standards in gate safety.