As you would expect in a developed country, there are rules and regulations concerning the installation of electric gating, whether for residential or commercial property. There were unfortunate events that happened in the previous years. This resulted in tightening up the laws that govern the installation of automatic gating.
Whether you like steel or one of those timber electric gates UK homes boast, the units must be fitted with at least one safety device. The most common type is one that uses an infrared beam, and should the beam be broken, the motor instantly stops, indeed, most units have a second safety system in place that stops the motor when any resistance is found. Some units go one step further; after the gate stops, it reverses slightly, which helps if a person or object is trapped by the gate.
Local Authority Approval
Once the drawings are complete, they need to be submitted to the local authority for approval and the gate company has a wealth of experience in this matter and can help you with the process. The drawings should contain detailed information, including:
- Total dimensions
- Gross weight
- Details of safety systems
- Size and type of electric motor
Once the local authority receives the plans, it shouldn’t be long until you receive approval. An installation date can be scheduled. It is not usual that the local council requires an inspection, especially if the gates are supplied by an established company. The main concern is that adequate safety systems are in place and the local authority have the right to inspect your gates at any time, to check compliance.
Gates are very heavy and there must be systems in place to ensure that the gates cannot slip out of the runner (top or bottom), which could cause the gates to fall. Children, and even adults, can be injured when heavy gates fell on them. The design must take this into account.
Any gates that are electrically powered must have a system to disengage the gearing and allow for manual operation. In the event of a power cut, you need to be able to manually operate the gates, which is normally done using a special hand crank, which is stored on the side of the frame. First, you need to disengage the gear (you should have detailed instructions on how to do this) and then you can insert the handle and turn according to the instructions. Do remember to re-engage the motor once you have finished and should there be any issues with your gates, you are advised to call the supplier.
There are also a trusted source online for laws on gate automation, which is a recommended read. When you order customised gates from a leading gate company, their designs and systems would have to meet rigorous standards in order to sell the systems. The gate company have a wealth of information about powered gates and if you send them an email, they will tell you what you need to do regarding your new electric gates.