Do I Need a Gate Lock?

Posted by admin 17/01/2020 0 Comment(s) Gate Automation Safety,

You have a new electric gate and you’re not sure if you need an electric lock. If your electric gate motor already locks, why you would need another one? There are a variety of locking devices that can be used in any kind of gate system in order to maximise security. You might not have thought that an automatic gate would need a lock, but there are many good reasons why you should have one. Read on to see why.


Do Automatic Gates Need a Lock?


‘Locking’ or ‘non-reversible’ motors are only designed to keep the gate in a fixed position if no power is applied to the motor. However, if enough force is applied to the gate and the motor, it can cause things to break. It could be the connection to the motor arm and the gate, the arm, or even internal parts of the gate motor. Because of this, all swing gates over 2.5 meters in length should have a separate gate lock installed. This is because a gate that is over 2.5 meters can generate enough leverage (when pressure is applied) to damage or override the locking element of a gate motor.


What Types of Locks are There for an Automatic Gate?


There are three main locks you can use for your automatic gate and Depending on what type of gate you have will depend on what gate lock will be needed.

There’s a range of different lock styles, each with its own solution for holding swing gates closed. Some hold the edges of the gates together where they meet in the middle. These can be CISA hook locks or magnetic locks (maglocks). Others will lock the gate into the ground, and some have mechanical operation.


Maglocks and Electric Gates

A electromagnetic lock installed on an electric gate uses an electric current which produces magnetic force. When powered up, the magnetic lock is held to a plate and in this way holds the gate closed.  The standard maglock used on vehicle gates normally has a holding force of 500Kg (1200lbs) and would need a significant force to open it when powered up.

Read here to find out if magnetic gates are secure!


A picture of an electromagnetic lock


Electric Locks and Electric Gates


Electromechanical locks work in a similar way to manual locks; the difference is they use electricity to release the lock. Electricity is used to power small solenoids that draw back pins to allow the lock to release.  


What are the Advantages of Gate Locks?


Electromagnetic locks which need power to stay locked are fail open (fail safe), so in the event of a power failure, the lock will fail unlocked.

This is often used in situations where the gate is a primary fire exit, and in an emergency. It is important that residents can exit, or the fire brigade can gain access.


a picture of a fireman putting out a fire


Locks and Fail-secure Mechanism


Electromechanical locks are generally fail-secure, as they require power to be applied in order for them to release.

So, in the event of a power failure the lock will remain secure.

This type of lock will always have a keyed lock that can be used to manually open the lock in the event of a power failure.


Locks and Emergency Override Mechanism


In case any emergency access is needed, locks can come with an override system. Other things to be aware of are gate motor protection, and the wiring for a gate lock at the gate opening edge. Make sure these are both in protective and secure casing so they cannot be damaged and thus allowing someone to over-ride the locks.


Electric Lock Control and Gate Operation


All gate control systems will have the facility to control a lock so that it releases automatically when the gate is signalled to open and relocks automatically when the gate is closed.


LinkCare offer a variety of products that provide the best in automatic gate kits, gate remotes and other accessories. We are here to answer any questions you may have and are also able to recommend trusted companies for gate installation and maintenance across the UK. Contact us on 01895 232626 or visit our website for more information.


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