Tell-tale signs of an unsafe gate

Falling heavy gates represent a serious hazard …

There has been a worrying number of tragic incidents involving heavy metal gates falling and causing serious injury or death as a result of crushing. Since 2009, Gate Safe is aware of 18 deaths and 12 accidents, each as a result of a major mechanical fault that could have been resolved during a routine maintenance inspection.
The reality is, the heavier the gate, the greater the risk. To put this into perspective, a wrought iron gate or a five bar timber gate will weigh in at around 20kg per square metre. Add to this the fact that a tall gate will fall over a larger distance than a small gate and is therefore capable of inflicting more damage to any gate users / passers by. Furthermore, if the gate is solid then clearly it will not only be heavier, it will also represent an even more significant hazard during challenging weather conditions when high winds could increase the likelihood of the gate falling.

A gate that is no longer mechanically sound represents an unsafe gate.
Follow these simple steps to assess any gates that you either own, or regularly use, using the check list below:

  • Is the gate stiff to operate?
  • Has the gate dropped so that it scrapes along the ground when it moves?
  • Does the gate rattle, which might indicate that the fixings are loose?
  • Does the gate feature physical stops to prevent it falling away from its support posts?
  • Are there any signs of rust around the hinges or around the gate frame?
  • Are the posts tight and secure in the ground – or are they loose?
  • Are the hinge pins of the gate or the bolts / gate eyes showing any signs of disrepair / wear and tear?

If the answer to any of the above is YES, then the gate needs to be inspected by a suitably qualified person (for example a Gate Safe installer) ASAP to ensure its continued safety.

You wouldn’t routinely ignore the need to service a gas boiler or the family car, yet an unstable heavy gate represents just as much of a threat to you or your loved ones’ safety.

Don’t ignore the signs, contact the experts immediately!

View specific guidance regarding a falling gate

Visit www.gate-safe.org for your nearest Gate Safe installer.