• 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?
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.
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:
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.
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?
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.
• 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.