If you have parked the traditional summer holiday in favour of spending the money on some improvements to the family home, you might be considering investing in an automated gate.

Automated gates certainly add a certain degree of prestige to a property, boosting that all important kerb appeal, but aesthetic benefits aside, the most important function of an electric gate is to enhance the security of the property.

From this perspective, automated – or electric – gates offer an excellent means of controlling access to your home and will certainly help to contain any children / pets roaming in the grounds, as well as discourage any unwanted visitors from attempting an entry. Equally, for the disabled or elderly, there are several practical advantages to having automated gates to make parking the car / carrying shopping that much easier.

But while you are discussing this sought-after home improvement, it is vital that you also consider the need to invest in a SAFE automated gate. While few would disagree that these installations add kudos to the home, not enough property owners are aware that unless the appropriate safety measures are in place, they can also represent a SERIOUS and sometimes FATAL risk to human life.

Automated gates are classed as machines and just like a car fitted without brakes, they are capable of endangering the lives of anyone who uses them if the correct safety protocol is not followed.

If an automated gate is on your ‘must-do’ list this summer, here are the steps that you need to take to ensure that the very device that you hope will improve your family’s safety, does not in fact deliver the exact opposite.

  • A domestic electric gate should only be fitted by a suitably qualified professional – like a Gate Safe Aware installer – who has undergone the necessary training to understand what constitutes a safe gate.
  • The gate should feature at least two different types of safety devices to (as far as possible) eliminate the dangers associated with crushing or dragging a person should they come into contact with the gate either opening or closing. Gate Safe recommends that photocells and pressure edges should be fitted on every automated gate.
  • When the gate installation is complete, the installer should issue a CE mark and a maintenance file along with instructions on how to operate the gate and importantly, how to place the gate into manual operation in the event of an incident – and isolate the power.
  • A reputable installer will also provide details of when the next routine maintenance visit is due (automated gates should undergo a routine service / maintenance check every six months).

Click to find your nearest Gate Safe installer.

Gate Safe has also recently launched its own unique Gate Safe MOT sticker to help homeowners recognise a gate that has been installed in line with current best practice – and also to provide a strong visual reminder of when the next service is due. So even if you are not planning your own automated gate but your children are playing in a home that features this type of installation, make a point of looking out for the MOT sticker if you want to be reassured that your child is not at risk.