Q. “Should electric gates be installed by a professional?”

Yes because it is only a professional that has been trained to a high standard that will understand the complexities of installing an automated gate.

Q. “When does a gate become a machine?”

The gate is only considered a machine when it is automated so the machine consists of the gate, motor and all the control devices.

Q. “I have an existing manual gate, which was professionally installed. If I use a qualified electrician to install the automated gate kit I recently purchased, will my gates still be safe?”

No. You should only use a trained gate automation installer to upgrade manual gates unless your electrician has had specific automated gate training.

Q. “As an electric gate owner, what are the legal implications for me if a gate on my property causes an accident?”

As an end user you have a duty of care to ensure that the gate is safe and that any users of the gate can operate it safely. In the event of an accident you would be liable as the owner/operator of a defective machine.

Q. “Who is responsible for checking if my electric gates at home are safe and compliant?”

As the owner/operator of the gate you would have a responsibility to ensure that the gate is safe for anyone using it.

Gate Safety

Although when considering Automated Gates your first consideration is likely to be the level of security, or even how they look, Electric Gates are considered a machine and are governed by the EU Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC and a number of BS EN Legislations.

In 2006, the first in a number of high profile incidents associated with powered gates occurred, resulting in the death of a child. In 2010, two children were killed in the same week in seperate automated gate related incidents, and since then there has been a huge change within the industry, and gate safety has been pushed to the forefront. In 2014, two companies associated with one of the 2010 incidents were convicted of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act. The prosecuted companies were not the original installers, but the firms who had been involved with the repair and maintenance of the gates.

In 2013, the DHF Powered Gate Group issued its guide to Gate Safety, Legislation and Standards, which Frontline Automation have since produced into a handy guide for our customers and the general public. A copy of this guide can be obtained by calling 01444 248292 or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The HSE website has further information on the accidents which led to the legislation overhaul and also a handy FAQ section regarding Powered Gates: http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-equipment-machinery/faq-powered-gates.htm

Frontline Automation are proud to be members of the DHF Powered Gate Group and have undergone training to ensure we can offer all of our customers, residential or industrial, secure and safe gates. We are gate safe installers, and you can be assured that you're getting a professional service from start to finish.

Gate Safe. No. 1181 Aware Installer
We, as a responsible company, will not work on gates that we deem to be unsafe. If we attend your property and discover that your automated  gates are not compliant with current safety standards, we will make recommendations and provide a quotation for a safety upgrade - We will be  unable to work on the system until safety upgrades had been completed.

 The understanding of legislation and safety standards is constantly evolving, and as new risks are identified and previously unrealised issues are highlighted, we as an industry have a duty of care to pass on any new information to our customers.

The safety standards in place don't just relate to new installations, but to existing systems that may have been in place for a number of years. As maintenance technicians, we ensure that we carry out regular safety checks to include force/impact tests to a much higher degree of accuracy than would have been completed in the past.

We are constantly re-training and reacting new information to offer you the highest levels of service and gate safety.

The following is a (non-conclusive) list of non-compliances which may result in your system requiring a safety upgrade:

- Gate operators which have a functional operating force beyond the allowable level where no comprehensive obstruction detection exists

- Incomplete detection system (pinch/shear/crush points not protected) or Complete detection system, but not to category 3 standard. (The definition of a category 3 system provides a self-test of the safety function permanently. In the event of a failure of the attached safety device or transmission system, the gate control system will not carry out any movement or will switch to a hold-to-run only mode)

The standards refferred to are as listed below - This list is by no means conclusive.

BS EN 13241-1 Industrial, commercial and garage doors and gates. Harmonised product standard.

Supporting Standards Include:

BS EN 12453:2001 Industrial, commercial and garage doors and gates. Safety in use of power operated doors. Requirements.

BS EN 12445:2001 Industrial, commercial and garage doors and gates. Safety in use of power operated doors. Test Methods.

BS EN 12978:2003 Industrial, commercial and garage doors and gates. Safety devices for power operated doors and gates. Requirements and test methods.

BS EN 1760-2:2001 Safety of machinery. Pressure sensitive protective devices. General principles for the design and testing of pressure sensitive edges and pressure sensitive bars.

BS EN 12604:2004 Industrial, commercial and garage doors and gates. Mechanical aspects. Requirements.

BS EN 12605:2000 Industrial, commercial and garage doors and gates. Mechanical aspects. Test Methods.

BS EN 12635:2002 Industrial, commercial and garage doors and gates. Installation and use (harmonised).

BS EN ISO 13857:2008 Safety of machinery. Safety distances to prevent hazard zones being reached by upper and lower limbs.

Q. “My automatic gate was installed ten years ago, does that mean it will no longer be compliant/safe?”

That would depend on the original installation, but if the gate is ten years old or you do not know the hirtory of the gate, you should have it checked by a Gate Safe Aware Installer to ensure its safe operation.

Q. “I’m buying a property with an automated gate fitted, is there a certificate I should ask for to confirm the gate is safe and in good working order?”

If you are buying a gate, you should check that the gate is CE marked and features a CE plaque fitted to the gate and also ask for details of the maintenance that has been carried out on the gate since it was installed.

Q. “I have a gate that was installed pre the 1998 legislation, does it need to be made safe?”

Yes the gate should be upgraded to ensure safe operation. Installation prior to 1998 does not mean it is exempt from the regulations, and prosecution could be sought in the case of accident or injury.