As the UK recovers from the worst storm of winter and the devastation caused on ‘Doris Day’, Gate Safe is urging anyone owning automatic or manual gates to check the device for damage inflicted during the recent adverse weather conditions, which could contribute to a potentially lethal accident.
Gates sited in an outdoor setting will have been exposed to the battering wind and rain which may result in the following wear and tear:
- Constant rain combined with heavy winds will have tested the foundations of any established gates, possibly resulting in a less stable structure, especially if the area has been flooded
- The whole configuration of the posts of a new gate installation will have been put under severe pressure; in addition, the storm may have highlighted the fact that the foundations are undersized and consequently they may now be showing signs of weakness
- Hinges which were already showing signs of wear and tear will have been put to the ultimate test over the last few days and may now be perilously close to a total failure
- If the gates were operated during the strong winds this would have put all of the various hinge points under immense pressure, this includes not just the gate hinges but also the ram pivots. If the latter were broken an automated gate would be capable of inflicting serious damage
- The high winds might identify the fact that the force on the gate is not set high enough and a subsequent requirement to adjust the force of the gate operator to enable the gate to run smoothly. However, if the opening and closing force is increased the safety devices need to be reviewed to ensure they are adequate
Richard Jackson, founder of Gate Safe commented, “All automated (and manual) gates should be checked on a regular basis as a matter of basic housekeeping but when an installation has been exposed to the excessive challenges of a storm, an immediate risk assessment post the event should be a priority. In addition to the above points I’d suggest that all gates should be inspected for any signs of wear and tear, rust or cracking, all of which could be signs that the gate may be in need of remedial works to maintain its safe operation. Listen carefully when the gate is in use, if itdoes not run smoothly, this is generally your first clue that the safety of the gate may have been compromised.”