Ultimate Guide to Gate Safety
This infographic has so much information that we had to list the title twice.
If you’re shopping for an automatic gate opener or if you already have one installed, you’ve probably heard of UL325 or ASTM F2200, the new standards of safety written by industry leaders working alongside Underwriters Laboratories (UL). UL guidelines are designed to protect the general public by creating a stricter standard of safety around vehicle gates. If you have or are planning on installing such a gate, these guidelines will affect you.
If you already have a gate opener installed and your gate meets the UL325 guidelines from the year it was installed, it is considered compliant. That means that all older gates, if properly built, installed, and maintained, can be grandfathered in to the new standard. If you want to be sure that your gate meets the standards from its year of installation, contact a professional.
If you are having a new gate installed after January 12th 2016, your site will have to comply with several new safety standards. We’ve listed most of the major concerns in the infographic above, but if you want a more complete breakdown, read on. As always, feel free to contact us with any questions you may have or to have our Certified Liftmaster® Champions of Safety team examine your property or make any improvements and installations you desire.
- Check Gate Opener for UL symbol on label.
- Check that all safety products are UL certified together. UL certification applies to a given collection of safety equipment, so make sure that all of your safety equipment has been UL tested and certified as a group. A trained professional will know if your equipment is tested.
- Attach a warning sign to both sides of the gate in plain view.
- Protect each entrapment zone with two safety devices, such as photo eye sensors, a reversing edge or inherent reverse.
– Entrapment zones are created in spaces between 6 and 16 inches wide near the gate, as well as along the swinging arc of a swing gate or the sliding path of a slide gate. A trained professional will be able to identify all entrapment zones for you. Some easy-to-miss zones occur near the mounting post of a swing gate or between a closed gate and a wall.
- Check that the gate’s bottom edge is smooth and does not create an entrapment zone.
- Install all access controls at least 6 feet from the gate, including entry keypads.
- Check that barbed tape is at least 8 feet above grade (barbed wire must only be 6 ft. above).
- Also, you must have a pedestrian gate out of reach of the moving gate. Vehicular gates are for automative traffic only, and using it for pedestrian access is a safety risk.
In addition, there are ASTM F2200 guidelines which apply only to one type of gate (swing or slide.)
- Measure the distance from your gate’s pivot point to the edge of the column that it is mounted on. If this is over 4 inches, it is an entrapment zone and must be guarded or moved.
- The distance between the open gate and any columns or walls nearby must be greater than 16 inches or else it is an entrapment zone and must be guarded.
- Cover any load-bearing rollers, including wheels.
- If pickets are spaced 2.25 inches or less apart, install meshing to reduce gaps.
- Check if the gate moves on its own when disconnected from the operator. It should not.
- Check that the gap between the gate and the supporting post is less than 2.25 inches.
- Install a positive stop on both the fully open and fully closed positions of the gate.
- If your receiver guides which are less than 8 feet off the ground, they must be recessed behind receiver post.
- Lastly, your gate should have guides, posts, or columns that prevent it from falling to more than a 45˚ angle.
If you want to check your own property using the above list, you should be able to determine if you are UL325 compliant. If a company offers to work on your gate without insisting upon these safety measures, tread carefully – they may charge less for the job, but that is because they are placing less value on your family’s safety. Any reputable company should follow these same guidelines because they are the industry standard, and companies that do not are more concerned with doing the job quickly and cheaply than they are with doing it right.
Seriously consider if the difference in price is worth the difference in safety. Every year people, especially children, are injured and killed by improperly installed or maintained slide gates. A Plus Garage Doors will always build, install, and repair driveway vehicle gate sites so that they meet these safety criteria because we value our customers and would never endanger them just to cut a few corners.
To read more about these new guidelines, visit the Liftmaster® breakdown of the ASTM F2200 standard here. Since we’re on the cutting edge of this new safety standard, any information you find online might be slightly out of date or apply to previous standards. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.
If you or anyone you know has a driveway gate, share this page with them so that they can stay safe, or let us know your thoughts using the links on the left. Is the extra hassle worth the extra safety to you? Has you or anyone you know ever been injured because of an unsafe door?