Automatic sliding Gate Walkinstown Ballymount Dublin

Sliding electric gates are great for security and very convenient but can be dangerous if not correctly installed - or if "repaired" by someone who is not aware of the dangers that they are introducing....

This afternoon we were called to look at an automatic sliding electric gate on the Lower Ballymount road Dublin, close to the Walkinstown roundabout. The gate had collided with the business owners car as she was leaving the premises. The gate closed against the car and could not be backed off to allow the car to get clear.

When I was told of the accident I did not believe it. It is not one of our installations - they had the gate fitted by a welder and an electrician installed the automation.

When we arrived at the site to look at the gate I was shocked. This is definately the most dangerous sliding gate that i have ever came across. I'm not going to put a photo up because it would identify the business - but this is a really good advert for NOT having an electrician install gate automation - and I am not exaggerating at all.

Here's what we found:

1. There was no safety sensors working across the gate opening. There was 2 sets of photo cells n the inside of the gate but neither were working - usually the should fail safe - preventing the gate from closing - they had been bypassed so the gate will try to close regardless of what is in the opening (hence the damage to the owners car).

2. There are vertical bars in the gate and supporting and no safety edges fitted. This means that if someone tried to reach through the bars of the gate and the gate started to move it would shear off an arm as there is no sensors in place to protect against this type of injury.

3. Inside the motor there was a three phase electricity supply with the conductors of the cable exposed and jointed to another piece of cable that goes into the motor. This is a 415v cable that is dangerously jointed and loose in a metal motor that would conduct the electricity to the gate if it touched the motor. There is no visible earth connection - which means that there probably is not one.

4. The gate is opened by entering the code into one of two keypads mounted to the gate support frame - one on the outside and one inside. The keypad on the inside was damaged and does not work - so the employees had to "run the gauntlet" by reaching through the bars of the gate, enter the code on a keypad outside that they can't see and quickly take their arm out before the gate would catch it. There is no way I would even attempt to do it - i need my arms for work - and eating my dinner!

The business owner asked me what I thought was wrong. I told them that it was dangerous and should not be used. If somone was hurt the injury would be terrible - just imagine what woudl happen if it were a child that reached through??

We are going back on Monday to make it safe, but in the mean tome they are leaving the gate shut and turning the power off.

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