While security gates do a great job of scaring the bad guys away, they do have a few potential (and small) risks.
They can cause injuries if you don’t use them responsibly. And if you’re not safe, that can also lead to damage to your gate which could cost thousands to repair.
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 300 people go to the emergency room with injuries from automatic gates each year.
It’s important to note that these injuries do not happen because of defects with the gates or their installation.
Rather, these injuries are preventable ones caused by misuse or lack of knowledge.
But maybe this is your first security gate. That means you’re not familiar with the potential harm it could cause.
That’s okay. We all start somewhere.
Here’s what to do and not do so you, and everyone at your company or in your family, stay safe:
To start, never force your gate to open or close faster than its normal pace. Don’t stop your gate halfway as it opens or closes and suddenly force it to reverse direction.
You have to be patient.
Yes, your security gate may open or close much slower than you want.
And during the stress of your day when you’re all hyped up inside, it may feel like it takes an eternity for your gate to open or close all the way.
But somehow, you have to find the patience.
Forcing your gate to operate at a speed faster than intended not only puts you at risk for injury, it also stresses your gate’s operator.
The more you force the gate operator to work at a greater speed than intended, the faster you wear it out. And that can easily cost you a couple thousand bucks to repair.
Yes. Gates look fun. They have these neat keypads that make them swing or slide open and closed.
And they’re really big. For all intents and purposes, they can appear like big toys to your children.
It can also be fun, when you have a little body, to squeeze through. And if your body is too big to go through entirely, it could also be fun to just put your arms and legs through.
It could also be a good time to build a little fort right next to your security gate and pretend you have control over a powerful military base.
Children have lots of reasons, including the above (and more) that can make playing in, on, or around your security gates seem like a really cool idea.
But, you have to sit down and have a conversation with your kids about the dangers of playing with your security gate and its remote or keypad.
You have to explain that some kids have broken their arms and legs, had amputations, and even lost their lives by playing around security gates.
In your conversation, you need to set the boundaries for acceptable behavior, as well as the consequences for breaking the boundaries.
And then you need to do your best to watch your children and make sure they don’t play around your security gate.
It could be fun, as an adult, to try to quickly drive through your gate before it closes fully.
You might kinda feel like the superhero in the movie trying to catch the bad guy just before your gate closes.
Or maybe, you’re just in a rush.
The reason doesn’t matter. When you feel tempted to beat the gate, simply tell yourself to relax and that life will be fine if you don’t get through your gate this second.
Maybe even take a few deep breaths to help your body and mind relax a little.
When trying to beat the gate, you might end up actually beating it most of the time.
But remember, just a single mishap can result in scratching up your car and damaging your gate, leading to thousands in costs to repair both.
By simply only going through your gate when fully open, you guarantee yourself zero dollars of damage.
...And absolutely no anger or frustration!
Security gates have an abundance of safety measures so that, even when misused, you can hopefully entirely avoid or minimize any damage or injury.
Exit loops automatically open your security gate for you as you drive over them. Customers have them placed near their gate.
But you can also place an exit loop a couple hundred feet from your gate so that it’s open by the time you get there.
Because they operate based on inductance, only materials that conduct electricity trigger their operation.
And since they don’t require remotes, that makes your gates a little safer.
Safety loops prevent your security gate from accidentally closing on your car. They either hold your gate open or reverse its direction.
You install them on either side of your gate. They come in handy when, for example, you get out of your car to move your child’s bike, skateboard, or whatever. Or, if you’re trying to exit your property but can’t do so quickly because of traffic.
Your gate may start closing with your car in the way. But then your safety loop detects your car, and your gate stops or reverses course.
Finally, photo eyes shoot a beam of infrared light across your gate’s opening. If you interrupt the beam’s path, that stops the operation of your gate dead in its tracks and causes it to reverse direction.
Because small animals could trigger photo eyes, you only use them as a safety precaution for entering your property.
There are still more safety features available to help everyone in your family avoid injury.
“Puppy bars” block the gaps between the large bars in your gates so your dogs can’t wiggle through.
You can also use keypads to create different ways to access your property. You can even create different codes with each keypad to make unwanted gate use difficult.
And finally, don’t use padlocks and chains to secure your gate. Even though they’ll keep you safe, they don’t communicate with your gate operator.
If your gate tries to open and close when you have it chained shut, that again creates unnecessary stress on your gate operator. That reduces its useful life more quickly. And then you have to shuck up a good chunk of cash to repair or replace it.
Instead, you can install a maglock that works along with your gate’s operator.
Make Your Security Gates Your Ally, Not Your Enemy
By following these safety tips, you make your security gates an asset rather than a liability.
Not only does that save you money, but it saves you, your family, and your employees a potential trip to the emergency room and even more stress and chaos.
So, make sure you follow these tips and have a conversation with your security gate installer so your gate does its job only and protects your property.