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  • Writer's pictureCM Gates & Barriers

Scotland’s Safety and Compliance in Automatic Gate & Barrier Installation: A Comprehensive Guide for Commercial & Industrial Property Managers

Automatic gates are becoming increasingly popular in both residential and commercial properties across Scotland. They offer enhanced security, convenience, and aesthetic appeal. However, the installation and maintenance of automatic gates come with significant responsibilities, particularly regarding safety and compliance with regulations. 

Whether you're a property manager, contractor, or other commercial client considering the installation of automatic gates, it's essential to understand the guidelines and best practices to ensure the safety of users and pedestrians.

Understanding Safety Standards and Compliance

The first step in installing automatic gates is to ensure compliance with relevant safety standards and regulations. This includes adherence to British and European standards such as BS EN 12453:2001 and BS EN 12445:2001, which outline safety requirements for powered doors and gates. These standards establish guidelines for factors such as force limitation, obstacle detection, and emergency release mechanisms.

For example, BS EN 12453:2001 recommends limiting the forces exerted by automatic gates during operation to prevent crushing hazards. Gates should also feature sensors to detect obstacles and halt movement if necessary. Additionally, an emergency release mechanism must be in place to quickly free anyone trapped by the gate.

HSE Safety & Compliance for Automatic Gates in Commercial Premises

The Importance of Proper Testing Equipment

Accurate measurement of opening and closing forces is crucial to ensuring that automatic gates meet safety standards. Property managers and contractors must invest in the right testing equipment to conduct these measurements effectively, or have a professional like CM Gates & Barriers to do it. Without proper testing equipment, it's impossible to guarantee that gates comply with safety regulations. 

Force testing for automatic gates in commercial properties in Scotland UK

For instance, force limitation devices and sensitive protective equipment should be used to ensure that gate forces are within acceptable limits. Regular testing and validation of gate systems using BS EN 12445:2001 standards are essential to confirm compliance before gates are put into use.

Despite the complexity of the testing & tools, you can have it done easily by CM Gates & Barriers as a licensed, safety-compliance automatic gate installer for commercial premises in Scotland and Northern England.

Implementing Safety Features

Automatic gates should be equipped with various safety features to mitigate risks and prevent accidents. These features include:

  1. Obstacle Detection Sensors: Gates should be fitted with sensors such as photocell devices or light beams to detect obstacles in the gate's path. These sensors trigger the gate to stop and reverse if an obstruction is detected, preventing collisions and injuries. There are many options for this; from installing the basic photocells to a comprehensive area radar that not just sense, but also differentiate between vehicle & human motion.

  2. Pressure-Sensitive Strips or Safety Edge: Safety edge installed along the closing edge of the gate provide an additional layer of protection against trapping and crushing hazards. These strips halt the gate's movement if they detect pressure, ensuring the safety of pedestrians and vehicles. We can even program the gate to move back whenever they detect anomaly pressure.

  3. Emergency Release Mechanisms: In the event of a malfunction or emergency, automatic gates must have a reliable emergency release mechanism. This mechanism allows for quick manual operation of the gate to free anyone trapped or obstructed by the gate.

Photocell & safety edge for automatic gate safety compliance

Addressing High-Risk Scenarios

Certain scenarios pose a higher risk of accidents and injuries associated with automatic gates. Property managers and contractors must identify and address these risks to ensure the safety of users and pedestrians.

For example, gates located in public areas where children and other members of the public have access require additional safeguards. In such cases, installing safety edge and photocell sensors becomes essential to minimise the risk of accidents.

Maintaining Compliance Through Regular Inspections & Service

Installing automatic gates is not a one-time task; it requires ongoing maintenance and inspections to ensure continued safety and compliance. Property managers and contractors should establish a regular maintenance schedule and conduct periodic inspections of gate systems. This can be done regularly by an experienced professional installer such as CM Gates & Barriers.

During these inspections, all safety devices and features should be thoroughly checked to ensure they are functioning correctly. Any issues or malfunctions should be addressed promptly to prevent accidents and maintain compliance with safety regulations.


Installing automatic gates offers numerous benefits in terms of security, convenience, and aesthetics. However, it also comes with significant responsibilities regarding safety and compliance. By understanding and adhering to safety standards, investing in proper testing equipment, implementing essential safety features, addressing high-risk scenarios, and conducting regular inspections and maintenance, property managers and contractors can ensure the safe and compliant installation of automatic gates. Prioritising safety not only protects users and pedestrians but also minimises the risk of legal liabilities and ensures the long-term reliability of gate systems.

The best way to ensure that your business or organisation comply to the gate safety regulation is by having them installed by experienced professional such as CM Gates & Barriers. We fully understand the requirements for commercial installations from assessment to after service. Request a free consultation for your business with us for a reliable installation & excellent service.

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