An In-Depth Look at Automatic Gate Safety Features

Automatic gates are a very popular choice for homes and both commercial and industrial properties: they provide security, great design and a modern slant to the property in equal measure. But while the security of automated gates is well documented, what are the features that they hold? This article will look into the best features of automated gates and how they work.

Opening and closing

An electric gate is powered by a motor that can be activated by either a radio, intercom or key fob, for example. The motion will stop when the gate comes into contact with a safety feature that monitors the course of the gate, i.e. a sensor or pressure edge.


Photocells allow the gate to operate by using a receiver and transmitter, with the gate operating whenever the receiver can ‘see’ the transmitter. Traditionally, photocells will not stop the gate in the middle of opening, but they can stop the closing cycle of the gate. These sensors also work to stop someone or something being trapped in the gate – if something is blocking the path between receiver and transmitter, the safety procedure will be activated and the gate will stop.


All automated gate installations must meet with the 2006/42/EC and EN13241 machinery directives. This responsibility lies entirely with the installer, rather than the manufacturer, with the two main regulations being EN12453, which details the safety levels of the installation, and EN12445, which describes the method of testing that must be used.

Electric shock

Usually, automated gates require an electricity supply of 230V, unless they operate via solar panels. This electricity means the installation is subject to BS7671, and if the process does not adhere to these regulations, there could be a risk of electric shock. This, as mentioned above, would leave you liable as the owner/operator of unsafe equipment. In January 2005, it became a legal requirement for all work on fixed electrical installations in dwellings and associated buildings to be in compliance with relevant standards.


Automated gates are an incredibly reliable entry and security system, as long as they are looked after properly. The standard maintenance frequency for all automated gates is every six months, which can help your automated gates keep working flawlessly for many years.

In terms of checking whether your gates are safe and in compliance with the appropriate legislation, that responsibility is yours, as the owner. This means that you have a duty of care to ensure the gate is safe and can be operated safely by others – any injury or accidents as a result of your gate’s unsafe use would leave you liable.

Here at Strand Systems, we are proud to offer a first class automated gate installation and maintenance service for our customers. By choosing us, you can be sure you are benefitting from a fully trained, expert team who will ensure your new installation works perfectly whilst meeting all relevant standards. For more information, get in touch with us today.