Installing an electric gate system

  1. What is an electric gate system?
  2. Safety edges
  3. Photocells
  4. Lights and beacons
  5. Emergency stop functionality
  6. Installation
  7. Safety checklist

The term electric gate system, while classed as a machine, essentially refers to any kind of gate that is operated by a hydraulic or underground motor or operator which forces the gate to open and close at the touch of a control, either by swinging, sliding or bi-folding.Jacksons Fencing Gate Automation in 5 Steps

Installing an electric gate system can increase the security of a property and help keep assets safe. However, without the proper installation your electric gate system could in fact be decreasing your personal safety - and even be life-threatening.

It’s the responsibility of whoever installs your electric gate system to ensure that the gate is safe and fit for a purpose. If it’s not installed properly, and the gate fails, whoever carried out the gate installation is liable for any accident, injury or damage. Read more about gate safety legislation.

Maintaining an electric gate system is also essential to ensure its continued safe function and use. Regular gate maintenance, from visual checks to more complex assessments, are required to guarantee any electric gate system is safe to use.

The reasons above are why all of Jacksons’ gate automation engineers have a minimum of level 2 DHF certification in automated gate and traffic barrier safety, with years of expertise and experience in gate automation, maintenance, and servicing.

Electric gate safety features

The right choice of electric gate will have safety features built in and will have been designed to offer maximum security and safety, alongside ease of use and aesthetic appeal. When specifying an electric gate, look out for features including:

Safety edges

These detect any contact with obstacles during automation, forcing the gate to stop immediately when an obstacle is detected to avoid people, animals or items getting trapped or caught in the moving parts of the gate.


Photocells on an electric gate are small sensors that send an infra-red beam to each other and will detect the presence of a vehicle or an object when the beam is broken within the gate’s automated opening path. If an object is detected, the gate will stay motionless until the vehicle or object moves out of the way.

Gate photocell sensor

Lights and beacons

More commonly seen on commercial and industrial electric gates, rather than residential electric gate systems, flashing lights and beacons attached to the gate can alert people nearby that the gate is in use and about to move.

Gate automation flashing lightsGate automation safety stop and go lights

Emergency stop functionality

This function is able to override the gate’s automated mechanism to force an emergency stop in the event of an item or person being at risk of injury from the gate, or other potential damage to the gate.

Emergency gate switch

Electric gate installation

Electric gate systems and electric gate kits are readily available online and can be installed by anyone, simply by affixing the mechanism to an existing gate. This can, however, pose serious risks to people who aren’t familiar with electric gates and aren’t confident in the work they’re undertaking.

Utilise as many resources as possible before installing your electric gate for the best outcome - for example the gate automation safety checklist from Jacksons Fencing. We highly recommend employing a gate installer who will ensure your electric gate installation is hassle-free, secure and safe.

Look for a registered gate installer, and ideally one which also manufactures gates, as this will ensure whoever installs your gates will come with specialist knowledge of electric gate mechanisms.

It’s also worth purchasing electric gate systems that come with a guarantee that will cover your gate for maintenance and repairs.

Jacksons Fencing’s automation guarantee lasts 25 months to give you complete peace of mind for over two years as you’re covered for faulty parts in the event of the gate breaking down.

Electric gates are a big investment that you are unlikely to want to repeat frequently, or worse, have involvement with an accident or incident, so invest wisely in good quality, safe gates from the start, which will more than pay off over time.

To find out more about Jacksons Fencing’s electric gate systems, installation or guarantee, contact us today.

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