When Driveway Gates Attack

Your driveway gate is there 

to provide you with security, but what if it decides to turn on you? Although this may seem like a scene from a horror movie, there have been a growing number of cases where homeowners and their family members or even beloved pets have been seriously injured or killed by driveway gates that have been poorly installed and maintained.

Hospitals and casualty departments have noticed an increase over the last few years regarding children that had to be treated for serious injuries due to driveway gates that fell on to them.

How has your gate been installed?

Most property owners are not aware of just how dangerously their sliding gates have been installed. For instance, if your gate has to jump off the track for some reason, has anything been installed to ensure that it remains upright? In many installations we have seen, the gate only has a guide bracket bolted into

 the wall. Unfortunately, with this, if the gate comes off the track or if that bracket works loose over time, there is nothing in place to prevent it falling over.

This is why it is strongly recommended to have a support pole on the other side of the gate to prevent it from falling over if it comes out of the guide bracket for any reason. Additional hardware can then be installed to prevent your gate from being lifted off the track as well.

Safety Beams

Gate motor safety beams
Safety Beams

You may think that your gate has been installed safely if safety beams have been installed. However, this may not always be the case. There is still one problem with this, What if your kids are playing behind the gate when you open it? Although most gate motors only support safety beams for the driveway side of the gate, an add-on is available so that the safety beams can be installed in such a way that they cover the whole operational part of the gate when it opens and closes.

Centurion Systems have provided an option on their new D5 EVO and D10 motors to fit safety beams behind the gate, meaning that if your children are playing behind it, it will not open till they are clear of the safety beams.

Safety beams are usually also mounted either on the inside or outside, but this still leaves a small area that remains unprotected. As a result, it is recommended that you have a set of beams installed on the inside as well as the outside of your driveway gate.

Physical Stops

When your gate motor is installed, part of the setup process involves programming it to stop in specific places. We have seen many gates that do not have proper end stops. As a result, if your gate motor malfunctions, it can cause the gate to go past where it is supposed to stop and fall over on to the motor or even one of your family members or pets.

For the closing position of your gate, it is strongly recommended to have a docking bracket that has been properly secured, as this will also prevent intruders from just lifting the gate off the track to gain access to your property. The opening side should have a sturdy piece of metal welded on to the track that will stop the gate in the correct position and not allow it to overshoot the track.

Electrical installation of the motor

Many gate motors have been installed in an extremely unsafe manner in that there is exposed wiring leading to them or electrical connections that have not been properly secured. Over time, the insulation on the wire deteriorates and this results in it becoming a serious risk for electrocution. As a result, it is strongly recommended that wiring be installed in conduit. The conduit should then be buried at least 500 mm underground, as this will prevent it from becoming damaged when grass is cut. An isolator switch must also be installed as close to the motor as possible.

Additional Safety

The side edges of your driveway gate can be fitted with a soft impact tape, and Centurion Systems has a products for this called the passive sensitive edge. This means that if your gate remote were accidentally activated, injuries or damage to vehicles would be minimised. The link below will provide you with more information in this regard.


Regular Maintenance

It is essential to have regular maintenance performed on your gate and motor and have them tested for potential issues, such as:

  • How easily does your gate run on manual?

  • How easily does the gate stop when it hits an obstruction?

  • Ensure that the gate track is clean from obstacles

  • What condition are the roller guides and other brackets in? Have they become stiff or worn over time?

To ensure that your gate motor runs optimally, it is recommended that you have it serviced once a year. When servicing gate motors, we also perform a full inspection your gate and the overall installation so you can enjoy peace of mind in knowing that everything is operating, as it should.

If you would like to learn more about maintaining your gate motor and gate or you have concerns regarding your existing installation, contact us today by calling 082 6811 955 or complete our website contact form. We look forward to hearing from you.