Surveys reveal top design flaws that negate the safety of a swing gate

Gate Safe, the leading charity which campaigns for improved standards in automated gate safety, has revealed research findings that highlight the most commonly found errors responsible for creating an intrinsically unsafe swing gate.

Following surveys on 49 gates, Gate Safe is keen to draw attention to the frequently seen design errors which play a part in compromising gate safety, potentially leading to a serious accident – or worse …

Of the 49 swing gates that were reviewed, a shocking 92% featured reducing / unprotected gaps at the gate supports. Just under 80% of gates reviewed failed to display the adequate number of hinges, while 75% had photocells which had been incorrectly programmed so were failing to inhibit the initial opening of the gate.

Other equally worrying design concerns included application of photocells only to one side of the gate or photocells fitted incorrectly in terms of not being close enough to the gate or the area requiring protection (57%), no horizontal edges on the outside of the gate (55%) and edges being programmed incorrectly (51%).

Commenting Gate Safe Founder Richard Jackson says, “What is particularly alarming about these findings is that they represent only a very small sample of the gate landscape in the UK but if these trends are replicated across the country, then as previously suggested, the majority of gates that are in use are unsafe as a result of poor design. Given that these surveys are undertaken on gates where the owners are predisposed to adopting best practice and have actively sought out a professional, independent and unbiased assessment of the gate, the reality of what other less scrupulous property / business owners are accepting as ‘good enough’ is extremely concerning. Sadly, it is more than likely that another serious accident is just waiting to happen.”

The Gate Safety by Design programme began in autumn 2023 and features activity intended to attract the interest of the wide range of professionals associated with automated gate installations / maintenance. There is a dedicated page on the website providing useful information and guidance on specific issues relating to designing a gate with safety in mind, visit: our Gate Safety by Design page