9 Important Electrical Gate Safety Tips
Some helpful reminders to prevent injuries and malfunctioning.
Gates do a fantastic job of deterring the bad guys, but they can still pose potential risks that may lead to injury if not used responsibly or get damaged and cause avoidable costs. Proper use of, and education about gates can help prevent these. We have compiled a list of safety tip designed to help you operate gates correctly in any setting.
1. Keep the Area Clear at All Times
This is the first thing you need to check. There are several accident risks associated with gates, especially automated ones – watch out for any object or person in the way prior to operating the gate.
One way to do this is to install gate safety devices like loop detectors or safety beams that detect obstructions and stop the gates from operating until the area is clear.
2. Consult a trusted electrician
A qualified electrician should be part of the team that will install your gate operation system. They will check the battery terminals and other electrical parts, make sure that no damage will occur to the devices and inform you of any additional installation requirements.
3. Check the gate’s sensitivity settings
Swing gates need a lower setting to adapt to environmental conditions like wind loading. Always remember that it’s more difficult for a gate to stop in a lower setting. Consult an expert to determine the suitable sensitivity for your gate.
4. Allow the gate to close or open thoroughly on its own
Don’t force your gate to close or open quicker than its usual pace and refrain from stopping it halfway as it closes or opens and from abruptly forcing it to change direction. Be patient.
Although it feels like an eternity, forcing an electric gate can put you at risk for injury and add stress to your gate’s operation system and eventually wear out, which could cost thousands to repair.
5. Have a serious safety discussion with the children.
Gates undeniably look like cool, giant toys to children, especially the operation keypads, and, since kids have playful minds, they can also try to squeeze through gate bars with their little bodies.
They might try to play and accidentally obstruct the gate, with a little fort, for example, and pretend to control their own military base. Although this is an enjoyable exercise for them and their imagination, remember to explain the risks of playing at or near the gate or tinkering with the controls, setting clear boundaries on what is considered acceptable behaviour. And letting them know of the consequences of not following the boundaries.
Also, try to monitor the children to make sure that they don’t play around the gate and get injured.
6. Keep your gate on a track
There are two ways to make sure that your gate is stable and not cause harm or injury, endstops and rollers:
- Endstops are essential for the safety and function of your gate. Most gates are built to stop once they encounter an obstruction. The controls can’t detect where the gate needs to stop. The gate will possibly continue to run and come off the rail.
A robust material like steel is used to build the endstop. It is fitted to both closing and opening positions.
- You can also use guide rollers to keep your gate on track. The gate will become wobbly upon closing and opening without guide rollers and will eventually come crashing down. This can damage your property, or worse, cause harm to innocent bystanders.
7. Install gate safety features
Safety features are available to prevent your family or employees from getting injured. Examples include:
Metal swing gates
- Place a stopper on one of the hinges so the axle will not pull out from the hinge.
- Place a hinge in the opposite direction.
- Utilise bolt-type hinges.
Metal horizontal sliding gate
- Add rubber to the slide-stopper to reduce the impact of vibration.
- Add another slide-stopper above the gate, which will serve as a backup in case the gate is excessively pulled and will prevent the gate from collapsing.
Other home or office gate safety features
- “Puppy bars” cover the gaps of the gate so that your four-legged friends can’t wiggle through. Keypads provide several ways to enter your property.
- Make unique codes with every keypad to prevent unwanted use of the gate.
- If your gate is automated, don’t put chains and padlocks anymore to secure them. Although they make you safe, they don’t work together with your gate operator.
- The gate will experience unnecessary stress when it attempts to close or open while it is chained shut which may shorten its life. Or cost a lot to replace or fix, but a maglock works well with the gate’s operator instead.
8. Perform adequate maintenance
Aside from putting safety devices in your gate, adequate maintenance is also needed. Some examples include:
- Lubricating hinges to minimise wear and tear
- Change iron axles with stainless steel to minimise corrosion
- Monitor the condition and floor track level
- Check that the number of guiding wheels matches with the position and width of the gate
9. Gate operator training
If you are an employer, you’re responsible for performing a risk assessment of the work area and you must identify possible sources of injury, checking the adequate enforcement of precautionary measures – employees must follow the safety methods in place and they should be trained on the following:
- Possible operation risks
- Safe operation methods
- Work procedures
- Necessary precautionary measures
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Properly installed and well-functioning gate devices are essential for preventing gate accidents especially nowadays, since automated gates are increasing in popularity and are preferred where heavy gates are needed, but don’t settle for cheap parts and less-experienced companies.
Chainwire is a fencing specialist who can oversee the whole process. They’ll connect the motor to the main power, create a footing for the track to attach to and complete the motor installation.