Door & Hardware Federation

Frontline Automatiion have published a guide to gate safety legislation, and you can receive a free copy by simply emailing us today!

The Door and Hardware Federation (DHF) have a wealth of advice for both residential and commercial users of Automated Gates, which can be accessed by visiting their website: www.dhfonline.org.uk

As members of the DHF Powered Gate Group, we are committed to supporting gate safety and aim to keep our customers aware of any legislation changes. The DHF have issued an article regarding domestic gates which can be found in full by clicking here, however, below you will find some basic information taken from this publication to assist with the most common questions/misconceptions relating to domestic gate safety.

A powered gate is a machine, and must be treated as one. In recent years, 6 people have been killed by dangerous gates, 3 of those victims being children. There have also been numerous serious injuries and a number of near misses. There are too many dangerous gates still in operation, and many of these are ill maintained domestic installations.

There are criminal laws stating that powered gates must be safe - Anyone installing, maintaining or repairing a gate is legally required to ensure that it is properly safe, and it is for this reason that employing a professional, experienced company is essential. There continues to be a lack of awareness and knowledge surrounding gate safety, and many unqualified installers are still operating illegally.

A safe gate is defined as one which conforms to, or exceeds the requirements of BS EN 12453:2001 which requires that:

Automatic gates must be protected by "touch sensitive* control, either by intelligent drive units that will cause the gate to retract if it encounters an obstacle, or by rubber safety edges. The effectiveness of these measures must be checked using an impact testing machine to ensure that the forces emitted by the gate are at a safe level.
The lower edge of a swing gate must also be protected by an intellegent drive or safety edge.
There should be photocells/"light beams" across the entrance as a backup measure.
It is also stipulates that photocells can never be the sole protection measure, unless they form a multi beam curtain that prevents all access to the moving gate. This is not a generally used method within the domestic market, as it is rarely a cost-effective option over safety edges and/or intellegent 24V drive systems.

The hinge area of a swing gate must be protected by either flexible 'finger guards', safety edges, or must have hinges which maintain the same gap throughout movement. One death and a number of injuries have been caused at this area of a powered gate. Smart design of a swing gate which eliminates changing hinge gaps and the use of intellent drive units can be utilised to meet the required level of safety, in some cases negating the requirement for the additional safety devices.

Very common with sliding gates is the presentation of a shearing hazard, usually caused where it passes a fixed support (such as the motor post), and there must therefore be fencing or safety edges to prevent access to areas of dangerous movement. Again, this could be protected with a light curtain but is not usually the most cost-effective method.

To maintain the safety of a powered gate, it must be reguarly maintained and have regular safety checks carried out. This not only ensures the safety of the system, but also the longevity and reliability. All powered gates will require at least one annual visit, and many systems will require more regular visits dependent on the use, automation and safety devices in situ.

Frontline Automatiion have published a guide to gate safety legislation, and you can receive a free copy by emailing safety@frontline-auto.com or by calling 01444 248292.

Frontine Automation continue to be dedicated to gate safety, and as well as safe installations and safety upgrades to existing systems, we offer fantastic maintenance packages tailored to your specific requirements.