Shutter Spec Security Blog

Are Automatic Gates Safe?

Posted by Andrew Levick on Aug 2, 2018 11:16:00 AM


Are automatic driveway gates safe?

It is estimated that nearly 300,000 new automated gates are installed every year, in a wide range of settings, including private residences. The market for powered gates is estimated to be increasing by 30 percent. Once gates are automated, they effectively become a machine and, as such, are subject to all types of health and safety legislation. Find out why gates installed by reputable firms such as Shutter Spec Security take safety extremely seriously. 


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Making sure that your automated driveway dates are always safe

It's a fact that poorly installed gates can be extremely hazardous. In 2010, two children were tragically crushed to death by automated sliding gates in two unrelated incidents. This led to the belated creation of a set of electric gate safety guidelines drafted by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. Since manufacturers and installers have been obliged to adhere to the recommendations, the rate of accidents caused by electric gates in the UK has thankfully become vanishingly small. However, at Shutter Spec Security, we believe that any risk is too much risk. For your peace of mind, let's examine how you can ensure that your automated driveway gates are as safe as houses. 

What does DHF certification mean?

Shutter Spec are DHF certified. DHF is an organisation that aims to raise standards in the automated gates sector, amongst others. This means that they fully comply with DHF safety legislation and standards, such as providing its members with the latest training information and promoting awareness campaigns, such as 'Gate Safety Week'. 

Why should you use a company that is a DHF member?

DHS is a federation that supports the relevant industry sectors by representing them on BSI standards committees and by liaising with compliance authorities, such as the Health and Safety Executive and Trading Standards, as well as the Secured by Design Police initiative and fire safety organisations across the UK and Europe. It cannot be emphasised enough - if you are thinking of installing automated gates, choosing the services of an organisation that is a member of DHF and has registered with the SBD initiative is absolutely vital for reasons of safety and security. 

The law around powered driveway gates

Powered or automatic gates designed for use on private domestic premises must comply with the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008. More information about these regulations which apply when the gates are first installed can be found here.

The Health and Safety Executive also sets out very clear guidelines concerning the construction, design and installation of powered gates. This is necessary to ensure that an automatic gate aways opens and closely safely when any person is in the vicinity. Importantly, these guidelines take into account the fact that electric gates may be subject to certain irregular interactions, such as dogs gnawing on the lower rungs and children climbing and swinging on them. The design of powered gates must also take into consideration the short and long-term impact of unusual and extreme weather conditions, such as snow and torrential rain or stormy weather. 

What can I do to ensure my driveway gates are safe?

If you are a 'high risk' household i.e there are multiple occupants, children, pets or elderly people, the gates are remotely operated or have public access, it is even more important to take extra precautionary measures. 
You can buy a range of safety devices to make your gates even safety, such as photocells with receivers and transmitters, force limitation and presence detectors, which use infrared technology to detect whether a person is within a certain distance of the gate. Shutter Spec Security will be able to advise you further if you would like to find out more information about additional safety devices. Safety bumpers or edges that are attached to the part of the gate most likely to cause damage by collision. Gates should also have warning signs clearly displayed on both sides. 

The importance of regular maintenance

Once installed, the gate is the responsibility of the homeowner or the person with responsibility for the property in question. It is important to aware of the fact that owners, occupiers, landlords and managing agents will have on-going responsibilities for the safety of all users and all those who may encounter the gate. Some tasks such as lubrication and cleaning are relatively straightforward and can be carried out by the homeowner, but regular safety checks will need to be performed by a qualified professional, such as checking and replacing batteries and testing alarms. 

What Shutter Spec Security do to ensure maximum safety and security

Shutter Spec Security take safety extremely seriously and all the high-quality powered gates fitted by the company fully comply with all the safety measures set out by the DHF and SBD. 

The rate of driveway gate incidents has drastically fallen since the introduction of the regulations. If you are diligent, have your gates installed by a DHF certified company and regularly maintain your gates, your driveway gates will continue to provide you with security in a safe and efficient way for many years to come. 
Get in touch to learn more about Shutter Spec Security and get a free quote by calling us on 01844 212152. Alternatively, you can get a free quick quote using our simple form.

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Topics: Driveway Gates, Property, Security, Safety