More than two thirds of all automated gates installed in the UK do not comply with latest legislation and could pose a serious safety risk, according to the Door & Hardware Federation (DHF).

The shock findings come from the Powered Gate Group of the DHF whose members have been inspecting automatic gates installed at domestic, commercial and industrial locations.

“It’s clear to us that unsafe installations are still being carried out by unqualified installers and gate companies who are quite willing to take dangerous short cuts in both gate manufacture and installation,” said Andy Holz, chairman of the Powered Gate Group of the DHF.

“It’s vital that householders and those responsible for the installation of powered gates at industrial and commercial premises – architects, building owners and facilities managers – are aware of the dangers of using untrained installers and insist on choosing specialist qualified powered gate companies to carry out the work.”

Faults and safety defects found by DHF Powered Gate Group members in inspected gates included:

  • Lack of safety devices or inadequate safety devices – these are items of equipment designed to automatically halt gate movement if a pedestrian is detected.
  • Under-specified motors and other items of equipment that could impair the performance of the gate.
  • Lack of essential legal and safety paperwork including risk assessment, declaration of conformity and force test results (the Health & Safety Executive strongly recommends that a force test should be carried out. It ensures the impact force of the gate is not excessive).
  • Lack of guide for safe use of gate (user operating instructions).
  • Lack of a CE mark that is legally required under The Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008.

ŸThe DHF set up the Powered Gate Group on behalf of the UK gate automation industry at the request of the Health & Safety Executive following the tragic deaths of two young children in accidents involving powered gates.

The Powered Gate Group of the DHF now represents the leading UK manufacturers, suppliers, installers and maintainers of powered automatic gates, and equipment used on powered gates. All members adhere to the stringent standards set out in the DHF Guide to Powered Gate Safety. All their installers are undergoing a comprehensive training programme. This will allow DHF member companies to use the DHF Powered Gate Group Safety Assured mark on their powered gate installations.

Said Holz: “The message is clear: whether you are contemplating a powered gate installation, or want your powered gate checked for compliance with current legislation and safety standards, then avoid unscrupulous companies and unqualified installers and insist on using a DHF member company. With around 70 per cent of existing powered gate installations proving to be non compliant, householders and facilities managers just cannot afford to take the risk of choosing unqualified powered gate companies to carry out work.

“As recent history has shown, it could lead to a very serious accident. And it could leave the householder, building manager or owner liable to be prosecuted if such an accident occurs.”