Electric gates are designed to be resilient, so if you think yours may be damaged, it can be understandably frustrating. Before you make any snap judgements on the state of your gates though – or if you’re even considering how to fix them – it’s worth running through a few important steps first. We have over 30 years of experience with electric gate kits ourselves here at Gate Auto, so we can always provide some tailored advice on what to do in an emergency situation. Before you pick up the phone though, here’s what we’d suggest…
Double-check that it’s not one of the simpler problems
If the damage to your gate appears to have come out of nowhere, with no sign of anything obvious that may have damaged it, then it’s a good idea to check that the issue isn’t anything to do with some of the most common problems that can stop a gate working.
If your gate has just stopped working, but it isn’t making any concerning sounds like groaning or buzzing, then one of your first ports of call should be to check that nothing is blocking the sensors. Similarly, inspect the gate tracks to see if there are any obstructions which might be preventing them from moving.
In some cases, the problem might not be with the gates themselves. Sometimes, it can be with the remote; either because of damage, or because the batteries may be dead. If you’ve had a power outage recently on the other hand, make sure to check if there are any blown fuses in the fusebox that could be causing the issue.
They might all sound obvious, but it’s surprisingly easy to miss one or more of them – and that can result in a wasted callout that leaves you unnecessarily out of pocket. Of course, you might not have to make them in first place if you know exactly what’s caused the damage to your gates (for example, if you’ve seen someone drive into them). Alternatively, reasonably reliable indicators of damage include worrying sounds when your gates are opening, like scraping or grinding or screeching. If you can see physical signs of damage on your gates, that will be evidence enough too!
Make the immediate area safe
Once you’ve established that your gates are definitely damaged, the very next thing on the agenda should be to make the immediate area safe, either for your family and passers-by, or for your employees and visitors (if you’re working in a commercial environment). If you think there’s a risk that your gates might start behaving unpredictably due to the damage – such as by opening suddenly – make sure that everyone who could potentially come into contact with them is relocated inside, and mark off the area if you can.
It’s obviously worth taking a moment to explain to everyone exactly why you’re moving away from the gates, and why they shouldn’t approach them before they’re fixed. If you’re in a commercial environment, you have a specific legal duty to protect the health and safety of your employees, so don’t forget to emphasise that nobody is to try and fix the gates themselves. Not only do they risk opening themselves up to injury, but as their employer you could face major legal consequences too.
If the gates are stuck closed and you (or your staff) need to continue coming and going, then you can use the manual release key to keep your gates open. That way, you can continue business as normal until an engineer arrives. Speaking of which…
Call an engineer
Once you’ve got a rough idea of what’s causing the problem (or at least what the symptoms are), and you’ve made the area safe, the next step is to give one of our engineers a call.
You almost certainly know this already, but it’s worth us repeating for safety’s sake – you should never try and repair your electric gates yourself. We could go into great detail here, but instead we’ll just sum up the three basic reasons:
- You could make the problem worse
- It can result in a more expensive callout charge
- You risk seriously injuring yourself
Trust us – leave it to our experts instead. As we touched on above, we’ve got over three decades of experience behind us, so you can rely on us to know what we’re talking about. We can provide you with a wide range of electric gate kit and garage door openers, alongside an array of accessories to ensure you get the most out of your electric gates. Feel free to browse them right here on our site, or give us a call on 01282 677300!