Electric gate safety principles

Issue 3 2022 Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection

An electric gate can weigh in at 300 kg, with some industrial-sized gates going up to a hefty two tons. When working closely with weights like this, it’s imperative that installers keep their wits about them and ensure safety measures are in place before they start working. This advice comes from Regal Security Distributors, which unpacks some advice its customers have shared over the years.

Top tips from Regal

Check the condition of the gate: Whether an installer is working on a new gate or an old one, they must look at what condition the gate and its hardware is in. Imperfections such as missing teeth in the rail, misaligned stoppers, or even bent gates could cause problems during installation or repairs. These need to be looked at and fixed before the real repairs can start. In fact, if the end stops are incorrect, the installer should refuse to work on the motor until these are up to specification (see the recommendations from local gate manufacture, Centurion Systems, in Figure 1).

Ensure the integrity of the wheels: Without its wheels, a sliding gate goes nowhere, but these are also often overlooked in terms of safety. Installers must ensure that the wheels used on the gate fit the profile of the rail. Using the incorrect wheel could result in the gate coming off the rail and falling on whatever may be in its path. Installers should also check for wear and tear on the wheels and the condition of the bearings which could indicate other issues that need attention.

Make sure the collision sensitivity settings on the gate motor are correct: One of the best ways to reduce crush accidents is to ensure the sensitivity settings are correct, this will help prevent serious collisions with anything, from a person to a car. The best option is to set the gate to immediately stop and reverse and/or open if it encounters an obstruction. Never change the settings to compensate for a hardware issue (such as missing rail teeth) and the condition of the gate, rather repair or replace and keep everyone safe.

Safety beams: In addition to the adequate sensitivity settings, safety beams must be added to the gate frame to prevent accidental closing. These beams are linked via an infrared signal and if broken, will prevent the gate from closing. To ensure absolute efficiency, additional beams can be placed higher up on the posts.

The right size motor for the gate: Installers need to ensure that their clients are not buying a motor for their pocket, but rather one that’s fit for purpose. A motor that’s too small for the job will be under strain and is likely to fail, putting the property and person at risk when the gate remains open. Too big a motor is a waste of money. Gate motors have been repeatedly tested under various conditions and engineered for specific uses. The right motor ensures both safety and security.

Above all, before purchasing a gate motor, please download the specification sheet from the manufacturer to ensure you understand what’s needed.


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