Choosing an access control system or gate operator is not always ideal.

When the situation fits, an automated gate operator is a great idea. But are there situations where maybe an automated gate is not ideal?

American Fence Company sells hundreds of gate operators and access control systems every year.  These sales and installs are split between residential and commercial.  We love the idea of our customers automating their gate installations as this represents more convenience and improved security.  Our customers’ best intentions are always our first priority.  With that in mind, there are times that maybe an automated gate is not in our your best interest.  To help you make a good decision to automate or not to automate, below are some of those situations.

  • If you have several small children of that age where they like to play and climb on things, and they often play in proximity of the gate install.  One or our sales staff visited with a customer at her home to discuss an automated gate.  They wanted the gate to primarily keep the children in the front yard as someone could not always be present.  Though UL325 and ASTM 2200 have attempted to keep automated gates safe; these standards are not full-proof.  Small children can easily unintentionally maneuver around these devices. We did provide the customer with a nice ornamental slide gate but no access control system.
  • When you don’t know who will be coming and going through your gate and it is primarily unattended for extended periods of time.  We automated a gate at a unsupervised camp site.  We were repeatedly getting calls to fix the gate operator as campers quickly figured-out that if they put a plastic cup over the photo-eye; they could keep the gate open indefinitely.  We did recommend a camera system but the owner was not interested in that level of investment.
  • If you are unwilling to install the necessary pedestrian safety devices or vehicle obstruction.  A remote but popular private hunting club wanted to install an automated slide gate.  However, they did not see the logic of installing the reversing and safety devises as these would provide trespassers unlimited access.
  • If automating the great creates a potentially dangerous situation.  A gated community installed an estate double drive swing gate that they wanted to open out due to elevation issues.  The estate gate was only 30’ off a busy thoroughfare.  We would not install gate operators on the gates but another contractor did provide a full access control system.  Afterwards, a guest of one of the residence pulled-up to the gates, pressed the intercom whereas the resident opened the gates.  The guest panicked as she saw the gates opening toward her.  She put her car in reverse and backed-up, thinking only about not letting the gates hit the front of her car.  She backed-up into traffic where she was struck by an oncoming vehicle.  The community later replaced the swing gates with slide gates.

We hope these situations better help you make a decision to automate your gate or install an access control system.  If you want to consider an automated gate, please contact your local American Fence Company for assistance.  Our staff of professionals work with some of the nation’s top manufacturers like Liftmaster Chamberlain, GTO Linear OSCO, Door King, Tymetal, and Hy-Security.  Teaming with these manufactures, we will provide you with a fully functioning and dependable automated access control system.

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