The long summer holiday is beckoning and with so many parents opting for a staycation due to the challenging Covid restrictions, the six-week break is likely to see more children than usual looking for play opportunities on their home turf. The charity Gate Safe fears this may lead to an increased fascination with automated gates – the powered gates that frequently catch the attention of children – leading to a potentially disastrous outcome.
With a high number of residential properties (Gate Safe estimates more than 750,000) now featuring these ‘machines’), the chance of having access to such gates is higher than ever before. Automated gates are something of a magnet to young people, who have been known to try and ‘ride’ the gate, squeeze underneath them or attempt to enter / exit when the gate leaves are moving. In all cases, if the appropriate safety devices are in place an accident is wholly preventable but sadly many automated gates that are in operation, are still not 100% safe. In addition, major accidents and fatalities have occurred as a result of a heavy automated gate becoming unstable and falling on a person. Again, such accidents are a needless occurrence.
Gate Safe is urging parents to warn their children about the possible dangers associated with playing around or on an automated gate this summer. The charity is also keen to spread the word amongst gate owners of their obligations to ensure the structure has been installed in line with best practice. All automated gates should feature the appropriate safety measures such as photocells (or light curtains / laser scanners) and pressure edges to mitigate any risks of a child (or adult) being injured. Gate Safe recommends that all automated gates should be checked every six months by a suitably qualified and competent installer
Ashley Martin from RoSPA, an official supporter of Gate Safe said “As the lead charity involved in accident prevention, we echo Gate Safe’s warning to parents. Automated gates are dangerous machines, not toys and with so many children likely to be spending time outdoors during the holidays, it is vital that parents not only communicate the need to stay away from such installations, but that they also check that their own gates are safe.”
To find your nearest Gate Safe Installer click here