The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that there are about 300 emergency room injuries each year due to automatic gates. Many of the injuries have been serious and resulted in cuts, broken bones, hematomas, and amputations. The good news is that deaths and injuries have gone down dramatically since the tougher Underwriters Laboratories 325 (UL 325) took effect in 2000, but incidents and deaths still happen. CPSC has received four tragic reports of fatalities in recent years, including an 8 year old, an 11 year old, and a 12 year old.
The largest number of serious problems reported to CPSC generally occurs with public access gates around communities, condominiums, and apartment buildings, which sometimes have older installations that do not meet current safety standards. These sliding and swinging gates can also be found at the entrances of private homes as well as commercial establishments.
What’s the solution?
Operation Safe Gate Safety Tips
Those who install gates should:
- Eliminate all gaps of more than 2.25 inches.
- Eliminate pinch points. This prevents hands or feet from getting caught between the gate and the roller.
- Install guarding on exposed rollers.
- Post warning signs on each side of the gate
In addition, children should be taught the dangers of automatic security gates:
- Never play on or around automatic gates
- Never stick hands, legs, or head through openings on gates. These are called entrapment zones or pinch points.
- Pedestrians should never walk through an automated gate system that is intended for vehicle traffic only. (Separate entrances are necessary for pedestrian traffic.)
Installing safer gates and sharing safety information are necessary to help prevent automatic gate related deaths and injuries. More information about automatic gate safety is available from the following sources: