If you are soon to have automatic gates installed at your home, safety is obviously a concern. We’ve all heard the horror stories of children getting caught up in electric gates and with that in mind, here are a few important safety aspects to consider when installing electric gates.
- Gate Running Mechanism – The electric motor is usually concealed underground, which protects the unit, while the gearing that operates the gates should have a protective covering. No one should be allowed to come close to this component.
- Safety Systems In Place – The most common safety system on electric gates is one that uses two photocells, one at each end and an infrared beam is in place. If the beam is interrupted, the motor instantly stops. This ensures that the gate operation ceases if anything gets in the path and when the gates are installed, the technicians would demonstrate how to test the safety system. If, for example, you put your hand over one of the photocells, this should cause the motor to cease operation. By law, automated sliding driveway gates must incorporate safety systems.
- Remote Control Unit – The remote unit should always be stored in a safe place and kept dry. Batteries need to be replaced periodically. In the event a remote unit stops working and you need to open or close the gates, don’t forget there is a manual method; you would have to remove the cotter pin, shut off the power and insert the crank handle that operates the gates.
- Educate The Children – If you have kids, take the time to explain that they should never be near the gates when in operation, albeit the safety system ensures the gates do not move if an obstruction is detected.
- Force Testing – Most electric gates have a force limiter; this stops the motor from working if excessive force is required, as there would be if the gates encountered an obstruction. The gate technician can force test to ensure that the system is working, which should be carried out every service interval. Imagine the sliding gate closing and you put a wooden block between the rail. When the gate comes into contact with the wooden block, resistance occurs and this should be enough to shut down the power. Otherwise, serious damage would occur within the motor.
- Regular Servicing – The gates need to be serviced at specific intervals and the company that installed the gates would offer to service the unit. The typical commercial premises, for example, have people and vehicles coming and going throughout the day, which means the gate mechanism is always in use. Lubrication is just one aspect of gate maintenance, while internal motor lubrication must also be checked.
Whether residential or commercial, automated gates do require safety checks, which should be carried out by qualified technicians. If you are considering installing electric gates, search online for a leading custom gate company near you and they would be happy to send someone to meet you at your home or business premises.