Do I Really Need Safety Devices on My Electric Driveway Gate?

Naw, safety devices on driveway gates really aren't necessary.

Although something tells us the family members of the following people would beg to differ:

Admittedly, we're being pretty harsh. We'll cut the sarcasm and get to the unfortunate truth: the above scenarios are not just frightful ramblings from a gate guy trying to sell you more product--they are reality. Automatic gates can be deadly; especially if they are not installed correctly, or if safety devices are not installed as part of the system.

A Sobering Reality

At its most fundamental level, an automatic gate is roughly 500 lbs of metal being moved with a respectable amount of force and speed by a mostly mindless machine. If care is not taken to ensure that the system is safe, it is unnervingly easy for someone to be seriously injured or killed by a driveway gate.

Installing it Right

Some important things to consider:

  • Nowhere in the gate system should there be a place where a person could get a part of their body caught between a moving object and a stationary object, such as the gate post and the gate, without safety devices to keep them from getting crushed.
  • Good gate design eliminates most areas in the gate in which a person could be injured. Safety devices help protect against injury in areas where the risk cannot be eliminated, such as between the closing end of the gate and the post it stops against.
  • Photo-eyes help make sure the gate doesn't close or open if there is someone or something in the path of the gate.
  • Reversing edges help make sure the gate stops or reverses (depending on the settings programmed in the gate opener) if the gate does happen to make contact with a person or an object.

[Learn about the different types of vehicle detection devices]

Summing it Up

While it can be appealing to save a couple thousand dollars by ignoring safety and asking for a system without safety devices, it really isn't worth the risk to your friends, family, and loved ones, not to mention the financial liability that would be yours to bear if someone was to get hurt by your gate.

A professional gate installer will be able to guide you through selection of the proper safety devices for your system.