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Gate Safety: Complying with the Machine Directive 2006

As a gate owner it your responsibility to ensure that your gates are well maintained, and meet the recognised safety requirements. In the unfortunate instance that an accident did occur then you could be liable for prosecution.

Gates and Safety: Installation

When purchasing your gates, ensure that there is no more than 100mm gap present. This would be between post and gate, gate and ground and the gaps between railings.

No person should be able to reach through the gates and touch the control panel or isolation switch.

An isolation switch, shutting down the whole system, has to be fitted by law. This must be placed within 1m of control box and out of reach from the outside of the property.

Always install two sets of safety equipment…

To comply with the Machine Directive 2006, two separate safety systems should be fitted with your gates.

  • Safety edges – A Category 3 Safety Edge is a rubber edge which is continually monitored and designed to override the gate controls if an obstacle is detected.
  • Safety Beams – These units are installed opposite each other, generally at knee height, and send an infrared beam across the opening gap. If the beam is broken whilst the gates in motion, they will automatically stop movement.
    Did you know… A set of safety Beams can be installed both inside and outside of the electric gates covering the entrance and opening sweep. In this case, it could be classed as two sets of safety.
  • Safety Loops – This is a loop of cable fitted beneath the driveway surface, designed to detect metal mass, such as a vehicle. These would be unsuitable for pedestrian safety detection.
  • Safe Coder – This informs the control board of the gate position at all times. If the gate were to come against resistance i.e. person, vehicle, wind etc, the control board receives a difference signal from the encoder and reverses the direction of the travelling gate.

Visit our Safety Section →

Gate Safety & Children

It is important that you have sufficient safety equipment on your gates. This is not only to protect your vehicles but also visitors, should the gates malfunction. There have been incidences of children dying from tragic accidents involving electric gates.

Having gates at the front of your property can be an ideal solution for keeping children & dogs safe from the road; however a gate system is classed as machinery and should be treated as such.

Service & Force testing

It is important that your gates are maintained regularly to ensure that all equipment is fully function and does not show any signs of wear and tear.
Manual release mechanisms should also be tested, making sure than they are well lubricated and do not seize.

The force generated by a gate as it comes into contact with an obstacle should not exceed the values in Annex A of BS EN 12453:2001. This can be tested with a Force Tester during regular maintenance. Recommended once a year.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call us. 01425 475758

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Finding the right Intercom system for you

When fitting your premises with access control there are lots of products on the market to choose from. Intercoms run separately to the gate system, but are connected into the control panel.

Firstly you will need to decide whether you would be happy with a just an audio system. This will enable you to open the entrance door or gates from voice recognition. This is going to be a less expensive option.  However entry systems can now offer panels with a camera, allowing you to see your visitors for your added security.

Audio Intercom

These are managed from within the home/premises by an Audio receiver handset. The intercom system can cover one unit or multiple units i.e. a block of flats and some handsets have the capability to communicate with each other internally.

Access via the intercom panel can be made by calling an individual button or by entering a 4 digit code in a keypad. A Timed Tradesman button can also be an option within some products. Keypads or buttons are mostly back lit for the ease of use in darker light conditions.

Many products are available in kits that include the intercom panel and the handset, often giving the option of being mounted on the surface or flush into the wall, as well as a number of finishes to suit your aesthetic preference. Some units are Vandal Resistant for extra durability.

Some manufacturers sell the intercoms in a modular format, so that they can be built for your requirements, adding extra buttons, a keypad and even a proximity reader if preferred.

Best Sellers

Video Intercom

Intercom options are the same as above but with a video camera for sight recognition on a monitor within the home/premises before allowing entry. This is an added safety feature.

The video monitors come with a range of options depending on your personal preference; this includes a Black & White or Colour Screen which could be set into a handset receiver or a hands free video monitor of various sizes. Some manufacturers offer modern touch screen monitors for ease of use and more functionality.

Best Sellers

With today’s current technology some video systems available can be viewed and managed from iOS and Android devices, giving you the flexibility of managing your security when you are away from home or the premises.

For extra peace of mind there are products on the market available that can record your missed visitors or can be combined with a CCTV system.

Intercom Systems

Hard wired – Intercoms can be wired from the front panel to the handsets.

GSM – works both on Audio and Audio/Video systems. This works on radio signal so beware that certain networks may not work in your area. A SIM is required to operate this system and a separate contract with a mobile phone provider.SIM cards are manually added to intercom but there are some that have them built into the system and these are valid for a number of years. We would never recommend a Pay as You go contract because if credit has run out then this will prevent the gates from being opened this way until topped up.

Wireless system – is still hard wired from the front panel to the gate, but wireless from the front panel to the handset. This is ideal when you do not want to lay caballing but the GSM signal strength is weak or not available. Only available in Audio systems.

WiFi – works if you have a reliable WiFi signal strength in your area.

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Swing or Sliding Gates… What Should You Choose?

Automated gates provide safety and security alongside convenience. A set of electric gates not only enhances the roadside appeal of your property, they provide property owners with a lot more security. They reduce the risk of intruders and unwanted guests — and in rural areas, they reduce the risk of animals straying onto land causing damage or other problems.

Take a look at the main differences between swing and sliding gates. Maybe this can help you decide what is best for you…

Sliding Gates

  • These save on space because the gate slides across so it doesn’t take up any area when opening either inwards or outwards.
  • Cars can be parked close to the gate.
  • Require the installation of a track so landscaping of uneven or sloping ground either side of the gate may be required.
  • These are used especially for heavy gates and wide openings.
  • These gates are less affected by extreme weather.

Swing Gates

  • There are a wider variety of more attractive designs which complement a beautiful garden and its property.
  • Installation doesn’t require the driveway entrance to be dug up to install a track.
  • Automation can be easily fitted to existing compliant swing gates .
    No room is needed sideways for the gates to open.

With automated gates, either swing or sliding, on dark nights or in bad weather you don’t have to leave your car to open them. The gates will also close automatically so that you don’t have to be mindful of closing and locking the gate after entering. They can make life easier in many ways from extra confidence in your security to not having to manage your heavy bags and closing the gate at the same time!

Automated gates have many additional security features including automatic locks, integrated safety beams, and they can be linked to intercoms with audio and video features.

So, what do you think? Which gates are for you? Let us know and we can most definitely help.

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A Buyers Guide to Wooden Gates

Wooden gates are beautiful and natural, here are a few things you need to consider before making your final decision:

  • Standard wooden gates are usually 45mm thick. For this reason they are not the option to choose if you want automated gates. Wooden automated gates need to be 70mm thick to withstand the push and pull action of the motors.
  • Wooden gates will react to all weather conditions! They will grow and swell and could twist out of alignment over time. They will also need to be treated with a good wood preserver annually to maintain their appearance.
  • Wind factor calculation could be a major consideration in choosing a gate design and as fully boarded styles can act as sails in windy conditions and put further stress on the automation.
  • If your property entrance is surrounded by trees and vegetation, you could create a much damper environment for wooden gates as it increases the chance of mold.
  • To comply with the safety requirements of the Machine Directive, there can be no gaps exceeding 100mm anywhere on your gate system.