The European CE Standards for Automated Gate installations are revised and tightened: what exactly does this mean?

The safety requirements for CE certification is expected to become more stringent from late 2021. The main purpose of this is to increase safety levels and help further reduce the number of accidents in the future. Swing, sliding and bi-folding gates will need to meet these new safety requirements.

So what exactly does the CE mark signify? What are the forthcoming changes?

Automated swing or sliding gate installations are usually large heavy devices with large automated moving elements. With many vehicles and people utilising these gates and barriers every day it is imperative that all installations meet the updated European safety requirements and have a valid CE mark.

Demonstrably safe product

CE stands for Conformité Européenne, or “in accordance with European directives”. CE marking is legally required for products such as swing and sliding gates that are sold on the European market. By affixing a CE mark to our product, we are stating that we comply with all of the essential European safety, health and environmental protection requirements that are set for our product. When you as a customer purchase a product with a CE mark, you can therefore be assured that you are buying a safe product.

Burden of proof for damage claims

A CE mark is a declaration of safety. It therefore also serves as a burden of proof in damage claims.

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The tightening of safety requirements for CE marking

The requirements for CE marking for new automated gate installations are becoming stricter. This does not mean, however, that existing gates with current CE marking are suddenly unsafe. But what exactly do the revisions entail? The most important points that are soon to be implemented are stated below: 

1. People piggybacking on a powered sliding gate 

People riding or piggybacking on a gate is a problem that the stricter standard is designed to stop. A gate must be able to detect that there is a person on the moving part of the gate. In this case, the gate must stop, or reverse in time to protect people from injuring themselves. This feature is currently implemented, but the updated rules for this are becoming even stricter. 

2. Extra photocell for a powered sliding gate 

Gates contain many detection systems, including rubber strip safety edges, that when pressed emit a signal to make the gate stop and/or retract. In addition to this most gates have photocells, a sensor that detects people or objects. The new standard calls for an extra photocell (in addition to the existing photocell) which will make the detection of people or objects even more accurate. 

3. Permitted forces at the rear and front of a powered sliding gate 

The current standard already specifies that the gate must not exert too much force when closing. This applies to the front leading edge. To further increase safety this same feature must also be applied to the rear end of the gates as it opens. This means that the new standard specifies that the permitted forces at the rear must also be limited. 

4. Safety distance between fencing and a powered sliding gate 

Since most gates have an adjacent piece of fencing either side of the opening, the space between the gate and the fence must also be taken into consideration. This is to make sure that there is a safe distance between them and to ensure there is no possibility to trap an arm or leg. 

5. Fall-over protection for swing gates 

Swing gates usually have a substantial weight to them, it is imperative that these gate are not able to fall over onto someone, as the consequences of this could be life threatening. Further to this the new standard states that if a hinge fails or breaks that the swing gate wing must never fall over, a safety feature must be installed to ensure this never happens. 

6. Extra photocell for a powered swing gate 

As per the automated sliding gate, an automated swing gate must also have a safety photocell installed to detect a person or object when the gate is opening, this is in addition to the one that detects a person or object as it closes. 

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What should you do now? 

These additional safety requirements with the new updated standard are for new gate installations. 

Moving forward, the most important points for you as a Facility Manager, operator or gate owner are stated below : 

  • Your existing CE marked gates are still completely safe if you maintain them according to protocol.
  • With reference to new gates, which are purchased and installed with the relevant CE marking, you can be assured that they have been tested and are compliant to the new updated standards.
  • It is recommended that you update and adapt your current CE marked gates to the new standard so that your gates meet the latest safety requirements. This will mean that physical adjustments need to be made to your gates, such as installing extra photocells or installing a fall protection device. However, adjusting your  gate/s  is not mandatory, but very much recommended. 

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