Automated Gates! Better safe than sorry

With up to 90% of automated gates condemned as unsafe by experts, Gate Safe is campaigning for planning permission to be required before they are fitted.


September marked the fifth anniversary of Gate Safe - the charity founded following the tragic deaths of two young children in separate automated gate accidents in 2010. Five years on Gate Safe insists there is still much to be done to improve the safety of automated gates and barriers in the UK and is calling on anyone involved in the maintenance or installation of automated gates to play a part in stamping out the risk of further injuries … or worse.


With an additional five deaths and eight ‘near miss’ accidents recorded since the original fatalities in 2010 and industry experts claiming that over 90% of automated gates potentially pose a serious safety risk, Gate Safe has launched a petition.  The campaign encourages government to consider the introduction of planning consent (which would require the gate to be fitted by a suitably trained professional installer) in a bid to regulate all new automated gate installations, putting an end to the creation of any further unsafe gates. The petition is being supported by Madeleine Moon, the MP for Bridgend, where Karolina Golabek lived before she lost her life in an automated gate accident in July 2010. Gate Safe plans to take the petition to Downing Street, exactly five years after the charity first hand delivered a petition asking the Prime Minister to address the need for an improved interpretation of the safety measures that were in place for automated gates and requesting tighter controls.



The original Gate Safe Summit, back in September 2010, brought together representatives from a broad cross section of companies and trade / safety organisations, which Gate Safe identified as having a role to play in calling for the introduction of tighter guidance pertaining to automated gate safety.   Since then Gate Safe has joined forces with 11 powerful organisations to enlist their support in communicating with their respective audiences to drive home the importance of adopting the appropriate protocol to deliver a safe and legally compliant gate.


Gate Safe founder Richard Jackson says, “Although we are proud of a number of important achievements, which includes the origination of the first accredited training course specifically designed to provide guidance on the safety requirements for an automated gate,we believe that there is still much to be done to prevent any further accidents or fatalities occurring.  While we are not suggesting that planning permission is the only route to achieving this, we do believe that the introduction of a more formal procedure for anyone wanting to install a powered gate will go some way to reducing the number of illegal and unsafe gates fitted by what can only be termed ‘cowboy’ installers.  We will be working with our Patron, Madeleine Moon MP to see how best we can leverage support for this petition.”


More initiatives planned include the roll out of an innovative Safe Gate Visualiser which offers a step-by-step interactive guide to installing an automated gate, ensuring the relevant safety measures are featured appropriate to the type of gate that is specified. Gate Safe will also be launching a series of guidance documents designed to provide safe gate advice to a range of specialist audiences including installers, schools, architects, home owners and electricians.  All guides will be available to download in PDF format from the Gate Safe website


Anyone interested in supporting the Gate Safe petition can do so by following this link:



Gate Safe’s official supporters are:


Electrical Safety Council; Electrical Contractors’ Association; Safety Assessment Federation;  RoSPA; School SafetyMARK; Secured by Design; Trade Skills 4 U (no1 provider of electrical qualifications); International Institute of Risk and Safety Management; Risk UK (security and fire management publication) and ECS (Electrotechnical Certification Scheme) and Institution Occupational Safety and Health.