Can I have my gate open automatically as I drive up to it?
You can have AVI (Automatic Vehicle Identification) tag installed on your vehicle. Your gate operator will detect your vehicle as it approaches and open the gate, requiring zero input from you.
What safety features are provided so that my child/grandchild/niece/nephew does not get injured?
UL325 specifies two different entrapment protection devices on each individual system to eliminate the possibility of entrapment and injury.
Can I have the entry programmed directly into my car?
For several years now, car manufacturers have been providing Homelink — three buttons built directly into the car. One of these buttons can be programmed to automatically open your entry gates.
How will my landscaper/gardener/babysitter get in?
You can have a call box with a keypad, you assign each individual a certain code, that they utilize to enter, a log is kept of each entry and which code is used.
What if there are 2-3 feet of snow on the ground?
A cantilever Class2 Type 2 gate is an enclosed roller and track system, and is the least exposed to the elements. According to UL325, no opening on a slide gate can exceed 2-1/2”, which can restrict design creativity. For that reason, some property owners elect to go with swing gates, which have no opening restrictions and therefore allow unparalleled design. Snow can be a concern for swing gates. The best solution if snow will be higher than the gates bottom clearance, is to open the gate in advance. With modern systems, this can be done from anywhere you have cell service.
Will the gate have a battery backup in the event of a power outage?
By far, the most popular system is AC over DC. Where, in normal operations, the batteries are being charged, when the power goes off, the power stored in the battery is then utilized to cycle the gate. A solar battery system is also possible either as a backup or as the main power for the gate. This is not typically utilized in the northeast because of the lower sunlight exposure.
How far off the road does my gate have to be?
It is recommended to have at least 12 feet from gate to call box and an additional 15 feet from call box to roadway. In the event that your gate is by a sidewalk, you can have a callbox without a keypad. According to UL325, you cannot have any way of activating the gate within 6 feet of the gate itself.
What are the advantages of swing gates vs. slide gates?
Slide gates are the most popular, especially for industrial, commercial, and restricted access applications. This gate appeals to situations where there is limited space, but because of opening limitations in a slide gate, swing gates are desired for residential properties, especially where there is ample space and where personal design and character want to be expressed.
What is my drive slopes uphill?
The simplest option is for slide gates. According to UL325, you cannot have a gate that swings against gravity. If power were lost, the gate would swing shut, creating a safety hazard. There are special hinge/opener systems that allow the gate to rise as it swings in. These can be quite expensive, but for specific sites, this could be an excellent choice.
I see in the news where a person was injured by an automatic gate. How do you prevent injury?
Unfortunately, there are many substandard systems installers out there, providing systems that are a hazard to their users and a menace to the public, to save on cost or make a profit. UL325 is the go-to standard for gate safety. It is written to utilize various types of entrapment protection, but also to identify any situations onsite that may jeopardize safety.
Are you certified?
In order to provide the ultimate security and peace of mind, we enrolled in a program with the International Door Educational Association, and are fully certified as automated gate systems designer. To date, we are the only certified designer in seven states.
What is the best way for me to limit future liabilities?
We suggest you utilize quality for all your sensors and entrapment protection. Everything should be up to UL325 standards for equipment and design. In the event of a lawsuit, courts do not hold anyone blameless for not knowing the standards. If you and your designers have done your due diligence in researching and following safety standards, you will have a safer situation, but also in the event of litigation, the courts will appreciate your safety conscious approach.
How can I activate the gate?
Previously, gates had telephone lines run to them. The call box literally called a phone inside the house, and was answered with a touchtone response, which allowed or denied access. However, lightning strikes are one of the biggest enemies of a gate operator, and with today’s wireless technology, the call box can simultaneously ring up to three telephone numbers.
What if the police, fire department, or ambulance need entry?
All gates must have some means for emergency access. Some systems utilize high frequency sensors to open in response to a siren. Sometimes, a dedicated emergency key is given to the local emergency personnel; the most popular is known as the Knox Box. In this system, emergency personnel gain access to an enclosed box that contains a key, which allows them to manually open the gate.
Can my gates be locked?
Yes. It requires a higher level of sophistication as your lock needs to release prior to gate operation. If the lock does not deactivate first, this creates a situation where it’s impossible for the operators to open the entrance. This can cause damage.
Are there any size restrictions?
Theoretically, no, but to build a project with great confidence, some sizing needs to be taken into consideration. The larger the gate, the higher the susceptibility to issues down the road. It is recommended not to have gate panels over 10 feet in length.
Can you put exit loops into my existing driveway?
Yes, it is possible to saw cut into your driveway. A ¼” wide cut is made to put the sensing wire into the ground. The cut is then sealed to prevent water from getting into the groove.
What if I have cobblestone or Belgium Block in my driveway?
The ideal solution is to have your exit loop installed before the stone is put down. In the event that stone is already in place, you can have the sensor wire installed into the mortar joint and have the joint re-mortared.
What is a Free Exit Loop?
A Free Exit Loop is a sensor loop within the driveway. It is typically close to the gate. For example, the sensor will detect the vehicle and send the command to open the gate so that the vehicle can pass through.
Do I need more than one loop?
Yes, according to UL325 you may need as many as three loops per land. This will allow the gate to open in sufficient time, and sense a vehicle that could be stopped within the path of the gate without closing on the vehicle. In some situations, you need an additional obstruction or shadow loop to ensure safe operation.