Automated Gates: Guidance For Developers

Security gates and automatic gates are increasingly commonly installed in large properties and developments. As a developer you have a duty of care to ensure that the gate is safe and installed correctly. There are a number of restrictions and regulations that must be followed to ensure that homes are provided with sustainable, safe, and secure access control measures.

Gates Within Housing Developments
Automated gates have a wealth of advantages including:
  • Access control- total control over which persons and vehicles can gain access to the premises
  • Increased security - often automated gates will offer an imposing first impression and will deter opportunist thieves or vandals
  • Improved convenience - most likely controlled by a key fob or key pad, this increases ease of entry
  • Better curb appeal - vast range of styles and designs available that can make the property look more appealing

    Scale of the problem

    Survey activity by Jacksons Fencing, the company that originally founded Gate Safe has shown that many residential developments continue to feature – clearly unintentionally – unsafe electric gates.

    In recent years, 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 over the years. Indeed the industry estimates that more than two thirds 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 a registered gate automation engineer 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. All of Jacksons' gate engineers are trained to a minimum of DHF level 2 award in automated gate and traffic barrier safety. Using an installer with this level of qualification ensures that gates are supplied, installed, and maintained to comply with all current safety legislation and standards. As well as minimising injury, a safe automatic gate provides reliability and security for residents, which all helps to protect your reputation as a housebuilder.

    At very least an automated gate must:

  • comply with the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 and be UKCA marked and accompanied by a Declaration of Conformity. A gate which is not UKCA marked may be safe but it is not legal
  • be supported by a minimum of two types of safety feature typically from a choice of safety edges/photocells and force limitation. We always recommend the inclusion of photocells and safety edges on all automated gates regardless of whether a force limitation device has been installed to ensure the highest level of safety

  • have been checked to ensure the basic mechanical functionality of the gate is in line with current best practice

  • feature segregated pedestrian access and possibly a pedestrian guard rail

  • feature signage to warn of automatic operation

  • be regularly maintained (minimum of every six months) to review the gate/any changes to the site

  • Choosing an Automatic Gate

    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.

    Gate Automation Maintenance

    Our gate maintenance contracts are specifically designed to cover you under the appropriate regulations and ensure you receive optimum safe performance from your automated gates or barrier.

    Gate Safety Checklist

    Our gate automation safety checklist pinpoints the dangers of automated systems and outlines the key steps to follow when installing gates to avoid accidents and ensure the gate operates safely.

    How to specify an electric gate

    Follow our guide on how to specify an electric gate and ensure all the key stages of specification are covered, from type of automation, method of operation, usage frequency and safety devices.

    Book a CPD

    Learn more about gates, gate automation and safe gate installation by booking a CPD seminar, available across the UK.

    Book A CPD

    Gates and Gate Automation White Paper

    Download our white paper on gates and gate automation for advice and best practice for specifying manual and automated gates.