Common Questions About Electric Gates

Sean Cassidy, Managing Director at Future Security, gives us the answers to some of the common questions his team receive re the maintenance of electric gates.

Do I need to get my gates serviced?

Yes, these need to be serviced by a suitably qualified engineer under a maintenance contract.

In addition to the regular maintenance service provided by a suitably qualified engineer under a maintenance contract, there are simple monthly checks that you can do to ensure that you have a safely operating gate throughout the year.

Try the simple tests & checks detailed below if safe to do so (always ask the broom or dustbin owner’s permission before using them!):

Swing Gates

Firstly:

  1. Check smooth operation of the gate
  2. Check that the photocells are clean and free from plants
  3. Check that the CE mark is clearly fixed to the gate and is still legible

Then:

  • Place dustbin or similar sturdy object (NOT a person) in the middle of the gateway and check that the gate will not close
  • Push a dustbin into the path of the gate as it is closing to check that the gate halts and reverse away
  • If the gate opens against a wall, place a dustbin behind the gate. The gate should not crush the dustbin- it should halt and reverse if it touches it.
  • Remove any obstructions from around the gate that could be used as a climbing aid

Sliding Gates

Firstly:

  1. Check smooth operation of the gate
  2. Check that the photocells are clean and free from plants
  3. Check that the CE mark is clearly fixed to the gate and is still legible

Then:

  • Place a dustbin or similar sturdy object (NOT a person) in the path of the gate when it is closing the gate should not move from the open position
  • Place a dustbin behind the gate and signal to open- the gate should not move
  • Push a dustbin into the gate when it is closing- it should halt and reverse when the bin passes the entrance

Broom handle test (vertical bar gates):

  • Place a broom handle or stick into the gate when it opens onto the support posts. It should stop moving when the the stick comes into contact with the support posts against the rubber safety edge strips.

Do not under ANY circumstances use your limbs for this test.

  • If mesh is fitted to protect from dragging into the machine, check that it is still attached properly to the gate

Other Common Questions

What are the common issues around electric gates and barriers?

Non-competent installers and non-compliant installations

How often do they need servicing?

A minimum of twice a year is recommended- some may require more subject to usage. Information on servicing is provided for CE marked gates in the instruction manual.

What should PMs lookout for that indicate they have a problem?

Gates need to be compliant with Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. This will ensure essential health and safety requirements are met.

The first thing to look for is that the gate is CE marked. If this is the case, you should try to obtain the following information:

  1. “Declaration of Conformity”
  2. “A full instruction manual”
  3. “A technical file”

This information can be issued to a suitably qualified engineer to check that the gate is free from any alterations which may invalidate the documentation.

Gates which do not meet this directive and are not provided with the items above require an urgent risk assessment.

Further guidance and information available here.

The Future Security team can be contacted via their website or by calling 020 3826 9999.

Article first published in Edition 45 of Flat Living Magazine.