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The installation of electric gates that are as safe as possible is dependent on many factors. Key considerations include how the gates will be used and by whom.
The owners of electric gates installed in the driveways of private residences are often the only people who will control and regularly interact with the gates. This means that part of the safety process is education for the gates’ owners and users.
However, where electric gates are installed in public places, this level of education is impossible as so many may come into the sphere of operation of the gates regularly or irregularly.
Consequently, the designer and installer of electric gate systems for public use must design and install gates that are intrinsically safe.
As an example, many schools see the benefits of electric gates that can be opened when school is starting and finishing, and be kept closed during school hours. Visitors to the school can be monitored, their access controlled and the pupils kept safe. There are many similar situations where untrained and unforeseen visitors will require access through the gates or come into close contact with them.
In these situations, a high degree of understanding of the inherent dangers of electric gate systems and appropriate and inappropriate behaviour in their proximity cannot be guaranteed. So, the gates must be designed and installed with additional levels of safety in-built.
As an example, children can be instructed to stay away from the electric gates at their school, but children love to play and to do the opposite of what they’re told. There have been recent tragic injuries and even deaths where children have played on or near electric gates.
The best electric gate installers buy their electric gate kits, motors and parts from reputable suppliers and quality manufacturers. They learn everything they can about the definite and potential uses of a new gate system, and carry out a full risk assessment as part of their design.
They will include electronic safety devices such as photocells that stop gates moving without anyone coming into contact with the gates.
They may include safety edges which stop gates moving when they do come into contact with someone or something.
They should also include physical ways to prevent access to danger zones created by the moving gates.
And all should have manual release systems that allow the gate motors to be disconnected from the gates.
Although everyone who does come into contact with public gates cannot be educated to the dangers, full training should be provided for the people who will be in attendance when the gates are in use.
If you have any concerns about the safety of existing or planned electric gates, Linkcare can help. We can advise on best practice, provide high quality gate automation kits, motors and parts and recommend suitable gate automation engineers. Call us on 01895 232626 to find out more.