Can Electric Gates Be Forced Open?

Posted by admin 26/09/2022 12 Comment(s) Troubleshooting,

Can Electric Gates Be Forced Open?

Aluminium driveway gates with a wooden appearance in front of a stone house with parked cars.

Installing electric gates on your property is a great way to enhance your home security while also minimising your risk from theft. It’s also a great way to control who can gain access to your property, allowing you and your family to enjoy improved privacy in your garden. For swing gates and sliding gates, gate automation also enhances the value and aesthetic appeal of your property.

However, given the electric component of the gates - and the possibility of power cuts or occasional faults with gate automation - it’s normal to wonder: can electric gates be forced open? This can be a concern when it comes to the potential for intruders to force open closed gates using brute force.

In this article, we’re going to discuss whether or not electric gates can be forced open, what happens to your electric gates in the event of a power cut, and how to work a manual release system to ensure that you have access to your property at all times. 

So, let’s take a look!

Modern aluminium sliding gate with a matte grey finish, adjacent to a stone pillar with an intercom system.

Electric gate security: why install electric gates?

Electric gates aren’t just great for improving the value of your home, they also improve your privacy, enhance your security, and prevent cold-callers from bothering you on your doorstep. Here are just a few reasons why automatic gates can be beneficial to the security of both you and your property:

• Improved protection from break-ins. When you install automatic gates at the entrance to your property, you reduce the possibility of experiencing a house break-in and burglary. It’s much more difficult for intruders to bypass an electric gate system than a gap in a fence or an open gate. In most cases, burglars will simply ignore a house that appears too difficult to access. 


• Enhanced privacy and control of access. Cold callers can be a pain, and for some, they can even pose a security risk. If you live

Traditional house with a dark brown aluminium gate, flanked by vibrant green shrubbery.

alone or are often home alone, you’ll feel much safer knowing that strangers don’t have access to your garden and can’t come and bother you on your doorstep. Having an electric swing gate or sliding gate can also help eliminate scam cold-callers from targeting your home: a scammer is much more likely to ignore a home with an electric gate, knowing they’re unlikely to be granted access. 



• Child and pet safety. If your children or pets enjoy playing in your garden, they’re going to be much safer if the driveway entrance is blocked by an electric gate. Not only are they safe and shielded from passing strangers, they’re also much less likely to run into the street or road while playing.  

Can intruders force open automatic gates?

Modern house with a dark grey aluminium gate featuring horizontal cut-out slats, complemented by light-colored walls and greenery.

Are electric gates forced open easily? No. In most cases, automatic gates function as something of a deterrent for a potential intruder so a burglar is much less likely to attempt to force open an automatic gate than a manual gate.

The intruder will want to avoid making a lot of noise attempting to break in. In most cases, burglars will target homes with easier access. 

Dark black wooden gate framed by lush green plants, with a glimpse of a traditional house in the background featuring white windows.
In some cases, electric gates can be forced open by applying heavy pressure to the edge furthest from the gate’s hinge. The force required to move what is effectively a lever is much less the further you move from the fulcrum (or hinge in this case). The resistance provided by the gate motor can be overcome by pushing wider swing gates where they meet in the middle. To avoid this possibility, magnetic locks (maglocks) installed at the
open edges of wider swing gates provide a strong locking force to hold the gates closed even if wrongdoers attempt to force them open.

The ability of an intruder to force open your electric gate will also depend on whether you install sliding gates or swing gates:

Sliding gates

A sliding gate is much more difficult to force open than a swing gate; this is because there is no tangible point of vulnerability for an intruder to target. The only realistic way to force open a sliding electric gate would be to use a vehicle.

However, this method would incur serious damage to the intruder’s vehicle, and the noise made would alert the homeowners or neighbours to the attempted break-in. This makes it highly unlikely that an intruder would attempt to force open a sliding electric gate. A sliding gate is therefore a great choice if you're looking to secure your home, business, or property with gate automation. 

Swing gates

As mentioned above, a swing gate is much easier to force open than a sliding gate, due to the way the gate opens and the principles of leverage. Some burglars may also attack hinges and try to lift gates off their pivots but modern hinges make this difficult.

Can I open my electric gate during a power cut?

Given that your automatic gate will be powered by electricity, you might wonder what to do in the event of a power cut. Don’t worry - if you experience a power outage, you won’t end up locked out of your home or trapped inside your property behind the gate. You’ll be able to access or leave your home during a power cut using the following methods:

Activating the manual release mechanism

Whether you have a sliding electric gate or a swing electric gate, all automatic gates should be installed with a manual release system, which will allow you to disconnect your gates from the gate motors in the event of a power cut. Once you disengage the motor, your gates can be opened and closed manually, so you can leave and enter your property with ease.

Having a backup power supply

A backup power supply will maintain power to your electric gates and open or close them as needed for a limited number of times. This is usually a solar-powered charger and storage battery.

How to activate your gate’s manual release mechanism

As mentioned above, your gate’s manual release mechanism is one of its most important security features - but what is it, and how does it work?

Wood-effect aluminium driveway gate with vertical panels, complemented by rectangular white inserts, set against a backdrop of a modern home with slate roofing.

What is a manual release system?

A manual release system allows you to disconnect the gates from their gate motors. Whether you have sliding gates or swing gates, this allows you to open and close the gates manually in the event of a power outage or a faulty system. Your automated gate effectively turns into a manual gate until the mains electricity supply is re-established. 

How does it work? 

Most manual release systems are operated by using a key to unlock the mechanism.

Make sure to refer to your gate’s user manual for instructions on how to operate the manual release system for your electric gates, as some include additional levers which also need to be moved before the gates are released. Keep in mind that when you activate your manual release system, you’re likely to encounter a bit of resistance. Open your gates slowly and never force them - some hydraulic release systems will not open until they are first moved backwards slightly to relieve the pressure. This is a safety feature as you don't want heavy gates to be free to swing or slide unsafely without resistance.

It’s always a good idea to test your manual release system regularly. This prevents any difficulties operating stiff or seized manual release systems during a power outage, or if your automatic gates break down.  

There’s also an important security aspect to keep in mind, too: accidents can occur with electric gates, with animals and even people finding themselves trapped. Knowing how to quickly and calmly activate the manual release system can help you act fast in the event of an emergency. 

If you find that your manual release function doesn’t work, make sure to contact your installer or trusted local electric gate engineer and report a faulty mechanism. 

Charcoal grey aluminium driveway gate with curved top design, juxtaposed with brick pillars, in front of a modern white house with slate roofing and dormer windows.

Key Takeaways

• In general, automatic electric gates provide additional security and deter miscreants. An electric gate will reduce your likelihood of experiencing house break-ins and burglaries. 
 Swing gates are easier to force open than sliding gates; the vulnerability at the gate’s opening can be exploited to apply pressure to the gate and force it open. You can avoid this by having locks installed where the gates meet or where a single gate closes against a post or pillar. To protect commercial properties, it might be better to opt for the enhanced security of sliding gates.​

• If you experience a power cut, you can use the gate’s manual release system to open the gates by hand. It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with this system and test it out a few times to prepare yourself for use in an emergency.


If you lose your mechanical release key or need to buy other spare parts, LinkCare provides all necessary mechanical parts needed for functional automatic gates. We're experts in automatic gate installation and electric gate automation, and we sell gate automation kits, spare mechanical release keys, and more.

12 Comment(s)

13/06/2022, 03:43:22 PM

this is a very interesting blog, I've always wondered this myself.

Mary Solero:
22/09/2022, 10:32:30 AM

The other worry is a security concern.

Marco Smith:
30/09/2022, 02:16:23 AM

Yes, as you may have guessed, you can force electronic gates. They can be explicitly opened if sufficient force is given to the edges furthest from the hinge, i.e., generally at the point where the gate truly begins to open.

21/10/2022, 05:33:44 AM

The ability of an intruder to force open your electric gate will also depend on whether you install sliding gates or swing gates:

27/10/2022, 12:24:14 AM

Amazing! Technology never fails to impress us!

Aaron Webb:
28/10/2022, 03:27:28 PM

Because there isn't a physical weak spot that a thief may target, sliding gates are far more difficult to force open than swing gates.

Albert Varias:
24/03/2023, 06:56:43 AM

Thank you for this post. Found it very informative.

Madison Blake:
21/11/2022, 02:38:39 PM

The majority of manual release methods require a key to unlock the mechanism.

03/12/2022, 11:08:18 PM

I would say adding an extra layer of security like wired cables can make it more effective against criminals. They would not have to force it open if they can only jump over it. Look at this website.

Chris Kanata:
16/12/2022, 01:29:31 AM

To protect commercial properties, it might be better to opt for the enhanced security of sliding gates.​

Jim Rasay:
24/03/2023, 06:55:32 AM

Thank you for this post. Found it very informative. <a href=""></a>

Nestor Hernandez:
22/01/2023, 05:19:08 PM

These gates are really good to add value to your property and they also not easy to force open even with a power cut! I've had mine for years and even though the motor have given me problems a couple of times they were normal issues related to it's maintenance and nothing more.

08/02/2023, 08:24:12 PM

I think it is not good to force it open.

23/05/2023, 09:25:48 PM

Thanks this helped to solve the issue with my electric gate. Forcing it open wasn't a good idea!

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