4 Safety Tips For Installing & Using An Automatic Gate

Home & Garden Blog

If you are in the process of installing a gate that automatically opens, here are a few safety recommendations to keep in mind during the installation process. 

#1 Check For Listing Marks

When your dual gate opener arrives in the mail or when you pick it up, take the gate opener out of the package and inspect it for a listing mark. This mark should either say UL or ETL; those are both testing laboratories that are nationally recognized by the NRTL. When your gate bears one of those marks on it, it lets you know that the product you order meets the UL 325 safety standards. 

For automatic gate openers, that means the gate opening kit you purchased has an inherent entrapment sensing device, so that if something is in the way of the gate and is entrapped in it, the gate will not continue to open. It means the gate you purchased should also have a secondary safety device, such as a non-contact or contact sensor that ensures it is safe for the gate to open. 

Devices that do not bear the mark of a national testing laboratory do not meet the safety requirements required for such a device. 

#2 Check The Distance Between The Gate Controls & The Gate

Next, before you go through with the installation process, check the distance between the gate controls and the gate. The gate controls should not be located right next to the gate. One should not be able to stick their hand through the gate to operate it; if the gate were to open while one's hand was through the bar, physical injury could result. 

The controls should also not be so close to the gate that you have to move your vehicle back after using the controls. The controls should be located far enough away from the gate so it can open safely without damaging your vehicle. 

A general rule of thumb is to keep the gate controls at least ten feet away from the gate itself. 

#3 Check The Room Between The Gate & The Road

You also need to check the distance between the gate and the main road. You should have enough room to pull a large passenger size vehicle off the main road and into your driveway while you wait for the gate to open. You should not have to wait in the main road for your gate to open; this is unsafe and can impede traffic. 

If you regularly pull a trailer or boat with any of your vehicles, you need to make sure that there is also enough room for you to wait with them attached to your vehicle for the gate to open. 

#4 Consider A Walking Gate

If your entire property is fenced in, and the gate is your only way off your property, you may want to consider adding a walking gate that does not automatically open for exiting your property. This is an especially smart idea if you have the type of neighborhood where you or your kids like to walk around in or ride bikes in. Installing a manual walking gate will keep you and your kids away from your mechanic gate when not in a vehicle. 

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1 June 2016