Whilst the addition of a remotely controlled pair of driveway gates is of great benefit to the home-owner as they enter and exit their property, unless it is properly installed with all the required safety features it could be a major accident waiting to happen. If such an accident does occur and it is discovered that the necessary safety equipment was not present at the time, then you could be liable to prosecution and in some cases prison.
As such, when choosing to upgrade to automated gates be sure to take into account some of the following information.
Types of Safety Features
Whilst the required safety features that should be present on automated gates are available in many forms, they all serve the same purpose of preventing injury to persons and damage to property occurring.
Photocells – As a bare minimum, a pair of photocells should be fitted in front of and behind the gates. This type of system works by sending an invisible beam across the opening that will monitor the presence of a person. Should the beam become broken during the gates opening and closing cycle, they should stop instantly therefore removing the possibility of the gates coming into contact with them and potentially causing injury.
In more complex installations, a number of photocells will be required. For example, if the gates swing back onto a wall, there is the potential for someone stood in that location to become crushed if the motor is unable to detect their presence. Remember, automatic gate operators are classed as a machine under the latest legislation and as such are capable of exerting massive amounts of force.
Safety Edges – These work in a similar manner to a photocell however because the sensor is fitted to the moving part of the gate can often be far more effective. Stopping the gates the instant they come into contact with anything, they are a pretty foolproof method of complying with legislation however can be quite expensive.
Pressure Pads and Radar – Although this type of system is generally only fitted to the most prestigious of locations due to their cost, they are undoubtedly the most effective as they are designed to stop the movement of the gates well before anything gets close to the gates.
Emergency Stop Button – Although not strictly in line with legislation, the addition of an emergency stop button should not be underestimated. You never know when this may come in handy and for the amount it costs is well worthwhile having.
In conclusion, in order to comply with the latest safety legislation relating to automatic gates it is essential that the correct safety features are fitted and working correctly. It is for this reason that it is generally not recommended that home-owners try to install this type of system themselves. Ultimately it is the responsibility of the person that installed the system to ensure it complies with legislation so be sure to only use a full trained installer who knows what they are doing
This article has been contributed by Garden Gates Direct, an online retailer specialising in the supply of a wide range of driveway gates and garden gates suitable for use with home automation.