The Driveway Gate, the entrance to your property and home – We often think of them as just a necessary fixture of our driveway, a humble continuation of the garden wall or fence and simply a point of access and exit. We forget that they can improve the visual appeal of a property by adding style and charm. The gate is often the first thing visitors see when they visit or pass your property and its appearance can reflect what lies beyond by giving a good or bad first impression.
What is ‘Gate Safety Week’?
Gate Safety Week is a dhf (Door and Hardware Federation) initiative; launched with the dhf’s Automated Gate Group to create awareness around the installation and maintenance of automated gates, drawing attention to specific issues such as poor installation and maintenance.
Gate supply and installers Windlesham Gates is celebrating over 1000 installations since the company began in 2011. The company based in Camberley, Surrey, is owned and run by director Lee Hilton accompanied by his team of professional installers. We asked Lee what makes Windlesham Gates one of the UK's leading installers.
In most cases yes. If your exisitng brick work is in good condition and has been installed correctly it is possible to increase the height of your existing gate piers. Most gate installers will provide a free quotation to carry out the work and some will be able to provide all brickwork needed as part of the install.
There are a number of considerations you can make to ensure that you can get the best return on the investment in your new electric gates. Electric gates can certainly make a difference to the entrance of your home. Not only can they add to the value of your property, but they can improve security and privacy.
However, looking for the right electric gates for your property is not that easy. There are many factors you need to consider to ensure that you will be able to get the most from your investment investment. Below are several factors to consider.
Why install electric gates? This is probably one of the most common questions asked - so let’s start with the basics. Without a gate your property is easily accessed by unwanted callers - whether its sales calls, nosy neighbours or burglars looking for an easy opportunity. So a good gate will help deter unwanted visitors. But many of us have gates that we don't use - let’s face it jumping in and out of the car to open and close the gate soon becomes a chore. So we leave the gate open - it’s just easier. This is where the electric gate comes in.
The HSE website is a good source of information for electric gate health and safety standards. They cover topics that include 'Main Safety Requirements', information for gate installers, what to do if you think a gate is unsafe and where to get further information. Click here to visit the HSE website.
With the right design and choice of timber - wooden electric gates can still provide the perfect entrance to a modern property. These cedar gates with AES wireless video intercom were installed by Surrey based Windlesham Gates. The modern design and cedar panelling works well with the property's exterior finish.
The Telephone Entry System (TES) is the most flexible system. A good TES system will give you the flexibility to use multiple phones with multiple access codes which can even be allocated to different time zones. So for instance if you have regular deliveries you can allow access to your electric gates within a certain time period for that specific person. With this system it is not necessary to purchase additional remotes or continuously change the access code.
Gate Safety Week has been set up by the Door and Hardware Federation (DHF) Powered Gate Group to create awareness around the installation and maintenance of powered gates drawing attention to specific issues such as poor installation and maintenance.
The campaign is aimed to educate and inform both professional installers, industry contacts and the general public on the dangers centred around poorly installed and maintained powered gates, in addition to how to report an unsafe gate and what to look for.
This is a very common question which has been answered in a previous post but to answer your question - the automation of the gates does not require planning permission however, if the gate is in addition to existing fencing which is over 1 metre high then planning permission may be required. In such situations it is always advisable to contact your Local Authority for further advice.
It isn't recommended to rely solely on a 'locking' operator to provide total security. The addition of extra locks will make forced entry much more difficult. A sliding gate will provide more security than swing gates against vehicle ramming.
With a large number of companies providing electric gate installation, choosing the right one can seem daunting. Here are a few tips to help you make the right decision.
Make sure the installer is recognised and approved by trade bodies that ensure safety and quality are up to standard. These include CAME, BFT, GATE SAFE and DHF. These organisations are there to ensure that installers deliver quality work that meets strict safety regulations. Approvals will often be displayed on websites but if in doubt check with the installer.
GSM Gate Openers allow you to open gates, doors, shutters and barriers through your mobile phone. You can simply dial a number to open your gates.
Most major gate installers provide a photo editing service where you can send them a photo of your driveway and they will provide you with an image back with your selected wooden electric gates in place. They will often request you take a head-on photo of the driveway so the gates can be easily added. This service is often provided free of charge butyou should check before proceeding.
Gate Safe is a charity set up to raise the awareness of safety issues associated with automated gates and barriers. The charity supports anyone in the industry - from designers & manufacturers, users, specifiers, construction companies, health and safety personnel, key trade industry bodies and installers.
For further information visit www.gate-safe.org
Automatic gate transmitters generally have a range of around 20 to 30 metres from your gate system. The range can depend on various factors like stone walls, weather conditions and battery strength in the transmitter.
Gate motors that are installed underground won't spoil the aesthetics of your electric gates because they are hidden out of sight. They are usually more expensive than mounted systems and will take longer to install.
A gate operator is a mechanical device that is used to open and close an electric gate. The two main types of electric gate openers are hydraulic and electromechanical. Automatic and Electric Gate operators are designed for both sliding and swing gates. A wireless transmitter or a manual device can then be used to open and close the gates when leaving or entering the property. Automatic gate openers that use a low voltage can also be fitted with solar panels to ensure operation when there is a loss of electricity.
If you have a driveway that slopes upwards this could restrict larger swing gates opening inwards, therefore sliding gates would be your best option. As an alternative you could install rising hinges to automatic swing gates which would then raise the gates as they opened.
This is definitely not something we would recommend. Electric gate installations should be carried out by professional engineers who are experienced and are registered CAME approved installers.
Electric gates alone cannot guarantee a completely secure environment, but used in combination with further security measures will act as a deterrent to potential intruders. Some of these additional measures may include electronic keycard and keypad entry, security cameras or even a security guard.
Professionally installed electric gates will serve to provide additional security for any property together with the privacy sought by most home owners.
The cost of installing electric gates at your property can vary greatly. Your choice in the material used i.e. wrought iron or hardwood and the design of your gate all impact on the cost. The average costs for automated gates can be in the region of £6,000.00 to £9,000.00.
Features such as brick piers usually start at a cost of £1900.00 plus VAT. Many people also find intercom systems a beneficial extra to automated gates. The intercoms vary from GSM to wireless or audio visual systems, with prices ranging from £500.00 to £1800.00 plus VAT.
Any automatic gate on a commercial property needs to be maintained annually to meet legal guidelines. It should also be noted that any house that employs a gardener is considered to be a commercial property.
With the extremes of the British weather protecting your gates is key to their longevity. There are many ways in which you can do this; these vary from paints to stains and oils. Preservatives can be water or oil based.
The CE mark is a declaration by a manufacturer that the product bearing the mark complies with relevant European directives.
We find this to be a common question from home owners. The automation of the gates does not require planning permission however, if the gate is in addition to existing fencing which is over 1 metre high then planning permission may be required. In such situations it is always advisable to contact your Local Authority for further advice.
The third Gate Safety Conference took place on Wednesday 14th October 2015 in the West Midlands.
Attendees from numerous industry sectors including property management, gate, garage door and facility management visited the one day event hosted by ASO Safety Solutions.
The event took place during the DHF’s Powered Gate Group, Gate Safety Week and included guest speakers from across the industry addressing the ongoing issue of gate safety awareness.
We asked Lee Hilton, owner of Windlesham Gates, how reliable are automated gates?
"Automated gates can be incredibly reliable if they are maintained regularly. We recommend all automated gates should be maintained a minimum of every six months and more often if the gate is expected to get a high volume of use. We have customers who have had gates installed for over 10 years and the gates still perform exceptionally well, but they are maintained on a regular basis by our engineers."
Gate installers, designers and maintanance providers are being asked to consider recent safety advice issued by HSE's director of Field Operations.
The safety alert asks installers to fit extra safeguards in addition to limiting the closing forces of electric gates.
These are the things your installer needs to do if they are installing or modifying electrically powered gates at your property.