The world of electric gate automation and installation is not regulated. Anyone can legally install electric gates. But when they are not installed correctly, electric gates can be lethal. So who should install your electric gates?
Electric Gate Installation
Some electric gate kits are advertised as DIY, implying that the competent homeowner can install them. nice home and Life Gate Automation both supply electric gate kits that are high quality but also relatively simple to install and program.
But even trade installers with some of the necessary experience don’t necessarily understand the safety requirements. Electricians are qualified to work with electricity. Landscape Gardeners understand how to prepare groundwork and build foundations and brick pillars. And security system or burglar alarm engineers wire up and install multiple components to make a complete system just like an electric gate system. But none of them work with the specific safety issues faced by the electric gate installer.
How Easy Is It To Install Safe Electric Gates?
A qualified electric gate installer will carry out a safety audit prior to designing an electric gate system.
They will want to know the size and weight of the gates.
This helps determine how much force is required to move the gates.
They will want to know how frequently the gates are likely to be used.
This will play an important part in selecting appropriate gate motors.
They will need to know that an installed swing gate moves freely on its hinges and a sliding gate runs cleanly along its track.
This ensures that the geometry and hardware are all OK before motor installation.
They will also want to know about the environment in which the gates will operate.
Exposure to wind
Proximity (as they open and close) to traffic and pedestrians not using the gates, as well as vehicles and people passing through open gates
Rising or falling ground level in the path of moving gates
Drainage (for underground systems)
Potential crushing, pinching, shearing and impact points created by moving gates and many more potential and real issues.
What Does Make Electric Gates Safer?
Very briefly, gates should be made safer, firstly by physically preventing access to dangerous and potentially dangerous points.
Secondly, electronic safety devices, that affect gate movement without contact with the gates, should be installed. These predominantly include photocells.
For anywhere not covered by photocells, safety edges and gate motors with obstacle detection are recommended. These will stop and reverse a gate if it comes into contact with something or someone.
What’s The Best Approach?
Gates and electric gate kits are not cheap and it makes no sense to cut corners to have unsafe gates installed to ‘protect’ your family.
At Linkcare, we don’t encourage homeowners to install their own electric gates.
We also strongly recommend that other professional trade installers considering installing electric gate systems study the relevant safety advice. Electricians, landscapers and security installers should also get as much training as they can from the manufacturers whose systems they will install.
Experienced and qualified electric gate installation engineers will always be the best route to safe electric gates.