The UK construction industry remains on of the largest in Europe, measured by employment, number of enterprises and gross value added.
Increasing new build and regeneration initiatives have posed the question whether appropriate physical security and access control measures are being taken to ensure that the homes create represent not just sustainable, but also safe and secure dwellings.
It is estimated that nearly 300,00 new automated gates are being installed every year which include housing developments and commercial properties. Combine this with the existing number there is likely to be in excess of 3 million gates in operation.
As a developer you have a duty of care to ensure that the gate is safe and installed correctly.
Gates Within Housing Developments
Automated gates have a wealth of advantages including;
Scale of the problem
Gate Safe, the charity established to improve standards in automated gate safety, was set up following the deaths of two children in separate automated gate accidents, both on residential housing developments. Since 2010, the year that Gate Safe was started, there have been 15 accidents including six fatalities involving automated gates.
Recent survey activity by Jacksons Fencing, the company that originally founded the charity has shown that many residential developments continue to feature – clearly unintentionally – unsafe electric gates.
Last week, a major London residential property consultancy aware of the safety issues regarding automated gates, (following the publicity surrounding the £110,000 fines delivered to the two firms found guilty of breaching safety laws for the automated gates that killed five year old Karolina Golabek in Wales, 2010) took the responsible step of requesting an audit of gates featured on 19 of its clients’ properties.
Shockingly, almost 95% of the gates reviewed failed to match the current safety guidelines for automated gates. A further survey a few days later for another London property consultant covering six residential complexes comprising of six properties each, once again revealed a worrying 100% failure rate and these findings are consistent with other surveys carried out by Gate Safe over the years. Indeed the industry estimates that more than 2/3 of all automated gates installed in the UK do not comply with latest legislation and could pose a serious safety risk.
So what constitutes safe?
Anyone looking to incorporate automated gates on a housing development should ensure they source an installer who has undergone the relevant specialist practical training to equip them with the required understanding of the steps to be taken to deliver a safe and compliant gate. Gate Safe operates an IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety and Health) accredited Gate Safe Aware course and all installers who have taken the training are listed on the Gate Safe website (www.gate-safe.org). A Gate Safe Aware installer will undertake a multiple risk assessment of each installation to check the safety of a gate using the standards to identify the various risks and ensure the gate’s compliance with the technical recommendations.
At very least an automated gate must:
For more information on safe automated gates for residential developments call 0800 408 2236 or email firstname.lastname@example.org