Gate Safe

News that the family of a nine-year old girl killed by a school gate in the US have filed a $15 million claim against the organisation responsible for the school where the accident took place, should be a harsh warning of what could be on the cards if a similar incident occurred in the UK.

The girl was helping to close the large metal gate when it came off its tracks and fell on her, crushing her skull. The victim’s younger sister was also at the scene but managed to jump clear of the gate.

Post the accident which happened last November, it became apparent that the school’s maintenance supervisor / manager had submitted a maintenance request to address the known disrepair on the gate nine days before the accident. The school was also accused of negligence in failing to take the gate out of action until the repairs were completed, whilst the school’s maintenance supervisor / manager stands accused of being ‘negligent and careless’ in failing to ensure that the gate was repaired and in safe working order before allowing any students within its proximity.

This devastating case demonstrates the importance of ALWAYS taking an unsafe gate out of operation. The gate should have been chained securely in an open or closed position with a clear notice advising pupils / staff not to go near it.

It also underpins the need for regular and timely maintenance checks. If the gate had been seen promptly after the maintenance request was submitted, the young girl may still be alive.


If you are in any doubt about the safety of a gate / barrier on a school site, Gate Safe is available to answer any concerns and provide unbiased, independent advice.

Simply call the technical help line on 01303 840117 or email

Electric gate safety at schools