Security gates come in all styles, shapes and sizes. And for many of us, they play a critical role in protecting homes and commercial properties. But today we want to focus on a part of your security gate that doesn’t often get a lot of attention: your security gate opener’s safety devices.

What Are Security Gate Opener Safety Devices?

All automated security gates must have at least two different safety device to provide feedback to the gate opener to keep it from injuring people and doing damage. One is an “Inherent Entrapment System” that is built into all modern gate openers. Additionally, safety devices such as photo eyes and detector loops are common. Photo eyes scan the

Secure Access Services Security Gate Photo Eye

A photo eye is a common safety device on security gates.

area in the path of the security gate to look for anything blocking that path. Vehicle detector loops are sensors in the pavement near the gate that sense the presence of a vehicle. For example, if a car or pedestrian is in the path of a security gate, a photo eye will “see” the blockage and will prevent the gate operator from closing the security gate. Likewise, a vehicle detector loop will “sense” the vehicle and keep the security gate from closing.

As you can see, a properly working safety device can not only prevent damage to property, but it can also prevent a security gate from hurting or possibly even killing people in the path of the gate. As a result, keeping your gate opener’s safety devices in working order is important. That’s why we normally recommend three simple ways to test your security gate opener’s safety devices. Let’s take a look at those three tests.

Three Ways to Test Your Security Gate Opener’s Safety Devices

Secure Access Services security gate opener safety device test

A tool such as this one can help you test whether or not your safety devices are in working order.

1. Blocking the Photo Eye. One of the easiest test you can perform on your security gate’s safety devices is to block the photo eye as the gate is closing. To perform this test, place an object such as a piece of wood (like the stick seen on in the photo to the right) in the path of the photo eye. When you attempt to close the gate, the photo eye should sense the blockage and prevent the gate operator from closing the gate. One word of caution: do not place large objects or anything of value in the path of the photo eye. If your photo eye is not working, the security gate could close on that object and do damage to the object and the security gate.

2. Park a Car on the Vehicle Detector Loop. If your security gate uses vehicle detector loops, locate the loop by looking for the sensors embedded into the pavement or asphalt in front of the security gate. Then, park a car, truck or other vehicle on the sensors and try to close the security gate. If the vehicle detector loops are working correctly, they will prevent the security gate from closing. If the security gate continues to close, it means the loops have malfunctioned and need to be serviced or replaced. Note: be careful not to actually block the path of the security gate in the event that the loops are not working. It could cause damage to your security gate and/or the vehicle you place in its path.

3. Allow the Security Gate to “Hit” a Small Object. Modern security gates have built in sensors that allow the gate to “sense” when it hits an object. These sensors will cause the gate to reverse course and return to the open position. If you have a security gate with this built-in feature, you can use a stick like the one shown to perform this simple test. If you attempt to close the gate and the gate does not stop when hitting this stick, your sensor may have gone bad and need to be serviced. Note: if you are not sure whether or not your security gate has this built in sensor, call a qualified professional and let them evaluate your gate and perform this test.

Need Help Servicing Your Security Gate’s Safety Devices? Secure Access Services Can Help

If you perform any of the above tests and find that your gate opener’s safety devices are not working, call our Raleigh office immediately at (919) 773-8889 or use our online contact form to schedule a service appointment. If you continue to use your security gate without properly working safety devices, your security gate could cause harm. Our team of qualified security gate opener technicians can visit your property and assess your situation and make recommendations on the best way to get the safety devices working once again.

Security gate opener safety devices are an important part of your overall security gate system. Don’t leave things to chance and let them cause damage to people or property that could easily be avoided!

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