Safety Standards – Automated Gates
More than any other consideration when working, our concern for safety is paramount. If the capabilities and limitations of a gate or operating system aren’t identified, the risk of injury is difficult to manage and prevent. This is important for both the safety of installers as well as the users of the gate.
In the industry, there are standards that, while not required by law in Illinois, have come to be expected in automated gate installation. When working with a contractor, it’s important to confirm that they follow these standards. This ensures that the installer will maintain a safe work site, the gate will be properly installed and the gate will be safe for daily use.
The UL-325 Standard for Safety for Door, Drapery, Gate, Louver and Window Operators and Systems specifies regulations regarding the design, manufacture and installation of the gate operator. It works hand-in-hand with the ASTM F-2200 Standard Specification for Automated Vehicular Gate Construction, which addresses the construction standards of the gate and fencing. Both ensure that not only the user of the gate but also any pedestrians in the vicinity of an automated gate system are safe from injury.
When adhering to UL-325, installers must first categorize the gate according to the type of traffic it’s expected to receive and the surrounding environment. There are four classes ranging from a single residential driveway to a highly guarded and frequently trafficked industrial location. These categorizations allow for more specific safety measures to be observed within each category.
UL-325 also mandates that automated gates have an alternative use pedestrian gate for those not passing through in a car. Automated gates are intended for vehicle use only. In addition to the primary entrapment protection that is built into the operating system, there should be at least one secondary sensing device for each gate operator installed, such as photo-eyes, edge sensors or a warning beeper. Gates are also required to have ample signage – one on each side of the gate – that specifies necessary warnings.
These are only highlights of what is an immense and detailed safety document. While many of the regulations listed are directed toward installers, consumers should be aware of and familiar with this knowledge as well. An informed customer is a safer customer with properly installed equipment.
Our vendors and other leading industry organizations also comply with and strongly advocate these standards.