Prior to having your gates automated, you should commission a professional gate installer to conduct an on-site risk assessment for you to make sure that your electric gates are going to operate safely.
There have been numerous deaths caused by incorrectly installed electric gate kits so it really is important to protect yourself and others by taking all necessary precautions.
What is an electric gate risk assessment?
A risk assessment for electric gate installation is the primary step in automating your gates. Before deciding what electric kit you will need to suit your gate, you will also need a thorough idea of all the potential risks associated with your site to ensure you also have all the correct safety equipment. Part of the risk assessment is to make sure that your completed installation will conform to all the current safety legislation and guidelines.
In addition to assessing the general condition of the gate itself, it's hinges and the integrity of the posts or pillars the gates are mounted to; a risk assessment will entail a visual inspection of the site to check for obvious hazards along with measurements taken of reducing gaps where needed.
What are the potential risks with electric gate kits?
There are numerous danger points with electric gate openers, but none that can’t be solved with the correct attitude towards safety regulations.
Reducing gaps, trapping, shearing and crushing points….
When the gate is in operation, the main hazards are reducing gaps and trapping risk. Your installer will measure all gaps and assess what areas will be prone to causing a potential issue when the gate is in motion. Where necessary, you will need to have your gates measured for the fitting of contact sensitive safety edges which will stop the gates on contact with a person or vehicle.
The installation of an electric gate kit on to a sliding gate offers a host of extra issues that you need to be aware of and all can be made safe using a number of precautionary measures.
Shearing occurs often with open patterned iron sliding gates. As the gate travels in both the opening and closing directions, it is possible to put an arm for example through the gate. In this case, the arm can be pulled, trapped or sheared with the continual movement so a failsafe must be put in place so that on detection of any resistance against the movement of the gate, the gates stop immediately and reverse their direction of travel.
Location of your gates….
Main roads or fast moving traffic can cause issues if you are waiting for your gates to open. Your risk assessment will help to identify if you are in need of a high speed electric gate opener to combat this issue.
Opening direction of the gates…
Do you have swing gates that open outwards; or perhaps across a footpath?
If this is the case then you will be advised not to fit an electric gate kit to the gates if they are to be left opening outwards as they will potentially be very dangerous to pedestrians. Your only option would be to reverse the opening direction of the gates and if space is at a premium on your driveway, consider having a sliding gate instead of a swing gate.
After your electric gate kit installation:
When your gate installer completes the final installation of your electric gate kit, they should run all final safety tests such as force testing and complete a ‘handover’ with you. This handover will ensure that you are able to correctly operate your electric gates safely and are aware of what all the equipment does along with useful information such as how to manually release your gate in the event of a power failure.
To find a professional gate installer, use the DHF directory to search for one in your area or give us a ring on 01282 677300.