It’s a very simple question that doesn’t quite have a simple answer. It depends on a couple of different things, but will generally be anywhere between once annually to four or five times a year. Crucially, it depends on how often they’re used, and what for, but whatever kind of electric gate kit you’ve chosen for your own premises, once a year is the absolute bear minimum – even if you don’t use the gates all that often.
The Health and Safety Executive is very clear about the legal obligations surrounding automatic gates, and that they must be serviced and maintained in line with manufacturer guidelines. You can find out more details on the official HSE website, but if you’re looking for some quick answers, we’ve explained the rough guidelines below.
The service intervals of automatic gates
Generally it doesn’t make too much of a difference if the gates in question are swing gates, sliding gates, or cantilever gates – what really matters is how often they’re used. Automatic gates at domestic homes tend to be used an average of two or three times a day, which means they may well only need servicing once a year.
On the other hand, those which see heavy daily traffic will probably need servicing notably more often than that, probably at least twice a year. That applies to most automatic gates at commercial premises, and to those at communal residential blocks. Communal residential blocks may even need thrice-annually services, while it’s not unusual for automatic gates which see particularly frequent commercial traffic to need servicing once every quarter, so about four times a year.
It’s also a good idea to bear in mind that even gates that are rarely used will also usually need a bi-annual service to ensure that all parts are in good working order. If they go too long without a service, they may be prone to the effects of rust or water damage, or even end up seizing up entirely.
Now, we know that the idea of preventative maintenance probably doesn’t inspire pulse-pounding excitement. Let’s be honest, most people regard organising maintenance as more of a chore than anything, and probably not a welcome expense. But honestly, it’s very much worth it in the long run. Preventative maintenance is always easier and more cost-effective than reactive maintenance, for one simple reason – it’s far easier to identify and deal with issues early on, rather than have to tackle them only after they develop into something more serious and complex.
What does an automatic gate inspection cover?
It takes a trained professional to conduct a proper, thorough examination of your electric gates – it’s not something that you can do yourself, as it requires certain specialist skills and expertise. The engineer will use these to make a comprehensive evaluation of your automatic gates, which includes:
- Ensuring that all safety devices operate as they should
- Evaluating the structural integrity of gate leaves, posts, hinges, and structural components
- Lubrication of moving components, to minimise wear
- Checking all brackets and fixings, to ascertain that they’re present and secure
- A full inspection of the control cabinet and wiring
- Testing the force exerted by moving gates
- Testing the induction loop
- Clearing out of the foundation boxes
- Conducting a thorough check of the ancillaries, including intercoms and access control
- Making a detailed assessment of the system usage levels
You are best advised to enter into a yearly service agreement with a qualified gate installer, to carry out works on your gate equipment for you.
We offer silver and gold service contracts for residential gates which are both practical and affordable. Our technicians are trained in force testing and carrying out the relevant safety assessments where a standard electrician is not. Give us a call to find out more on 01282 677300!