Long gone are the days when automatic gates were a luxury item which guarded the entrances of mansions and private estates. With the increase of crime and our ever growing use of technology, homes with automated gates are becoming more popular. Not only are they an effective way of protecting your homes and family, they are practical and convenient.

Installing an automated gate is a major investment and you should be aware of all the various options available before proceeding.

Here are 5 points to help you choose the right automatic gate system:

1.  Power supply needs

The majority of gate systems require a standard domestic power supply in the gate area. This should be installed by a qualified person. This power supply will also need to be used for intercoms and lighting systems related to the gate system.

 2. Sliding or swinging?

The type of entrance you have to your property will determine the type of gate you will need. Driveways that slope upwards toward the house would require a sliding gate. This option takes up less room than swing gates and gives full access to your driveway from all angles. Sliding gates also offer the highest level of security.

 3. Suit your style

The type of gate you decide to install will be determined by your needs and property type. If privacy is a priority, you should consider a gate that is solid. If aesthetics is more important, consider something more decorative, like wrought iron or steel gates or even multi bar timber gates which give a lovely rustic feel.

 4. Operating and Access control systems

It is important to weigh up the type of operating system required. Hydraulic systems are quieter, offer better resistance to wind and generally have a longer life span, however they are more expensive to install. If wind and noise is not a priority, electro mechanical systems are the more economical option to consider.

There are many choices available for access control systems from voice and video intercoms to key operated switches and digital pads. We recommend you check out the options and compare prices before making a decision.

 5. Contingency plans and safety

In the event that there is a power failure or system failure all gates are fitted with emergency manual overrides. Ask your installer on instructions to use this feature.

Safety should never be compromised. The user should always check the entrance is clear before opening or closing the gate, however automatic safety devices can be fitted. Safety beams detect any obstructions like vehicles and people and will not allow gates to be operated until the area is clear. Loop detectors can also be fitted, but these only detect vehicles.  Injury and damage to people and vehicles can be prevented with a properly specified automated gate system and should be tested regularly.

Make sure you find a well established company to install your gates. They should be able to advise you on everything you need to know. Check their references and see if you can view any of their past installations. Local companies also offer superior after sales support and you get to have face to face interaction.

Once installed, remember to maintain your gates!

Contact QGA for more information on automated gates and access control systems.