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GATE OWNER FAQs
Below is a list of questions commonly asked by home owners relating to automatic gates. If you are unable to find the question you wish to raise, contact Gate Safe direct, click through to contact us.
Yes because it is only a professional that has been trained to a high standard that will understand the complexities of installing an automatic gate.
The gate is powered by a motor, which will be activated by one of numerous control devices such as a radio zapper, intercom, key fob etc.
The gate is only considered a machine when it is automated so the machine consists of the gate, motor and all the control devices.
All automated gates can be extremely reliable if they are maintained adequately (all automated gates should be maintained a minimum of every six months, more often if the gate is in frequent use). We are aware of gates that have been installed for over 10 years, which have yet to present any problems – but they are maintained with meticulous regularity.
An automatic gate will stop when it has run its course (the motor pushes the gate backwards and forwards), when there is power failure or if it comes into contact with something or someone that activates a safety feature such as a pressure edge or photocell / light curtain.
There should be two different types of safety devices fitted to an automatic gate. Typically this would include photocells (magic eyes) or light curtains that would stop the gate closing on a person or a vehicle. Photocells and light curtains work by signals being sent from the transmitter to the receiver. If an object / person obstructs that signal, this will activate the safety procedure. The other would normally be pressure / safety edges fitted to protect the various trap points on a gate, which when activated would stop the gate, reverse a short way and then stop the gate. If wired correctly the gate would not move again until the gate received a further signal to open.
Gate Safe is a charity set up to raise awareness of the safety issues associated with automated gates and barriers to EVERYONE in the industry ranging from designers & manufacturers, users, specifiers, construction companies, health and safety personnel / associations, key trade industry bodies and most importantly the installers.
The automation itself is not subject to planning but if a new gate that is going to be automated is installed in addition to any fencing over a metre high, it would typically need planning consent. Always check with your local council.
I have an existing manual gate, which was professionally installed. If I use a qualified electrician to install the automated gate kit I recently purchased, will my gate still be safe?
No. You should only use a trained gate automation installer to upgrade manual gates unless your electrician has had specific automated gate training.
As an electric gate owner, what are the legal implications for me if a gate on my property causes an accident?
As an end user you have a duty of care to ensure that the gate is safe and that any users of the gate can operate it safely. In the event of an accident you would be liable as the owner/operator of a defective machine.
As the owner/operator of the gate you would have a responsibility to ensure that the gate is safe for anyone using it
My automatic gate was installed ten years ago, does that mean it will no longer be compliant / safe?
That would depend on the original installation but if the gate is ten years old or you do not know the history of the gate, you should have it checked by a Gate Safe Aware installer to ensure its safe operation.
Unless you are a fully trained Gate Safe Aware installer, the purchase of an automatic gate kit should be avoided. These kits are typically supplied without sufficient safety for a fully automated gate.
I’m buying a property with an automated gate fitted, is there a certificate I should ask for to confirm the gate is safe and in good working order?
If you are buying a gate you should check that the gate is CE marked and features a CE plaque fitted to the gate and also ask for details of the maintenance that has been carried out on the gate since it was installed.
I’ve seen an electric gate at my child’s school which does not appear to have any safety features, who do I report it to?
Immediately bring this to the attention of the Head Master / Mistress and ask them to look at the Gate Safe web site for clarification of the requirements.
Yes the gate should be upgraded to ensure safe operation. Installation prior to 1998 does not mean it is exempt from the regulations, and prosecution could be sought in the case of accident or injury.