What you can do to avoid breakdown, loss or personal injury from using your gate

Regular maintenance by an expert is essential to keeping your electric gate in good working order. However, there are also a few simple steps you can take as the owner of a sliding gate that will help to extend its service life and avoid any issues. In this post, our experts will share some tips on how you can do this.

As the gate owner, you want to keep your gate in good working order to ensure that people and vehicles can pass through safely. An automatic sliding gate is, in essence, a standalone machine. As the owner of that machine, you are responsible for the safe operation of your gate. Where applicable, you must provide an inspection certificate stating that the gate meets all necessary requirements and works as intended. You must also provide a maintenance record verifying that your gate is properly maintained. If you are unable to do so, you could be held liable for any accident or losses that may occur as a result of unsafe operation, and you may not be able to make a claim under your insurance. All of this could ultimately harm your company’s reputation and impact the running of your business. In the worst-case scenario, it could even be considered a criminal offence.

Three tips to keep your gate safe

There are some scenarios that you would rather not think about. Nor is there any need to when your gate system is properly maintained. Regular servicing by an expert assures you of compliance with all applicable requirements. You should on no account attempt to do any mechanical or electrical work on the gate yourself! That said, there are a few simple steps you can take to keep your gate in good working order. Keep reading for our three essential tips.

1. Check the situation around the gate

Remain aware of any changes to the situation around the gate. When the gate is first installed, the installer will adjust the safety features in line with the current situation around the gate. This includes landscaping, buildings, fencing and other security aspects. If the situation around the gate changes, it could affect the safety of your gate system. This could happen if the area around the gate gets overgrown and it no longer closes properly. Or, if you remove fencing, so that vulnerable components of the gate are left exposed. As such, you may need to take steps to ensure the safety requirements are met.

2. Test and clean the photocell

The photocell is an infrared sensor that detects motion and prevents the automatic gate from closing on people or objects in the gate’s path. The sensor sends a signal the moment the infrared cell detects movement during the closing operation. When the infrared cell is triggered, the gate stops, then reverses direction and opens again. The photocell is in the portal (the part into which the gate slides during the closing operation). If the cell is covered with dust or dirt, it will prevent the sensor from detecting motion. You can avoid this by gently cleaning the photocell with a dry cloth from time to time. To test if the gate is working properly, walk through it as it is closing and check that it reverses direction.

3. Keep the track clean

If an automatic gate moves along a track that guides the gate assembly. The track can take hard usage, but a build-up of dust and dirt can develop in no time without regular inspection. It is therefore advisable to check it regularly for pebbles, twigs and litter. What’s the best way to do this? Start by reading the manual supplied with your gate that contains tips on how to clean the track properly. Don’t use a high-pressure washer as it could damage the gate and drive unit.

Extra tip! Don’t do work on your gate yourself

If you are unsure about the operation of your gate or if your gate is not working properly, the last thing you should do is try to fix it yourself. Your gate is an electrical system with a host of mechanical components. Your installer or fitter is trained to maintain your gate safely and responsibly, and will do so by taking the current situation into account. They hold the relevant certificates required to work according to the appropriate procedures. They will make sure that your gate remains in proper working order at all times.

Do you want to know more about what service and maintenance can do for your perimeter: