Portcullis receives accreditation from Alcumus SafeContractor

Gate automation specialist, Portcullis Gate Automation Ltd, has been awarded a new accreditation from Alcumus SafeContractor.

Designed to recognise extremely rigorous standards in health and safety among contractors, the merit is used and recognised by thousands of organisations across the United Kingdom including SMEs and FTSE 100 companies.

For contractors who wish to reaffirm their commitment to health and safety, the accreditation measures the sufficient implementation of health and safety on contractors’ sites. As part of a new drive to further establish the importance of health and safety, Portcullis is proud to accept this accreditation as proof that they have upheld their high standards of health and safety.

As they continue to deliver automation services nationwide, Portcullis Gate Automation will continue to follow stringent guidelines on health and safety to ensure that no employee or customer falls at risk.

Portcullis’ desire for the new accreditation has been acquired during the implementation of a new uniform standard across the business. Portcullis is determined to ensure that the highest possible health and safety standards are introduced and maintained. As a result, Portcullis is honoured to be chosen as a recipient of the accreditation.

Heavily involved within the perimeter security sector and known for working alongside major players such as Mole Valley District Council and Conamar Building Services Ltd, Portcullis is known for being a respected and recognised contractor. Most recently, Portcullis worked alongside trade body DHF for Gate Safety Week, to produce a piece of content to raise awareness of gate safety and health and safety standards.

Gemma Archibald, Director of Alcumus SafeContractor, said: “Major organisations simply cannot afford to run the risk of employing contractors who are not able to prove that they have sound health and safety policies in place.

“More companies need to understand the importance of adopting good risk management in the way that Portcullis has done. The firm’s high standard has set an example which hopefully will be followed by other companies within the sector. SafeContractor plays a vital role in supporting our clients in meeting their compliance needs, whilst working with their contractors as they progress through the accreditation process.”

Commenting on the recent accreditation acquisition, Justin Earl, Managing Director of Portcullis Gate Automation Ltd, said: “Portcullis understands the value of being able to demonstrate to current and future clients that we are up to date on health and safety policies in our workplace. SafeContractor is widely recognised by industry leaders, therefore Portcullis is pleased to be a part of the accreditation scheme.”

The SafeContractor accreditation is added to Portcullis’ portfolio of accreditations from the likes of CHAS, Constructionline, DHF, Which?, Avetta and Risqs.

To find out how Portcullis can help you today, why not contact us?

Gate Glossary: The A-Z of Portcullis Gate Automation

At Portcullis, we pride ourselves on our expert knowledge of automation products, including everything from gates and parking barriers to road blockers and traffic bollards. As specialists, we have our own wide-ranging glossary of terms that covers our full range and brand values, successful projects and areas of expertise. Wondering what they are? Read on…



We are specialists within the accessibility automation market, providing premium gates, doors, blockers and bollards. Security is at the heart of everything we do – that’s why our products are designed to keep your home or commercial property as safe as, well..houses. Ahead of the curve when it comes to innovation, Portcullis’ automated products integrate modern technology for maximum convenience.



Just one product category of many, we offer manual bollards as well as automatic rising bollards. Bollards are particularly useful as vehicular access control devices for commercial areas. Or, for residential properties, our bollards provide a discreet layer of security to protect your property from unwanted cars.


Commercial Gates

Whether you’re looking for sliding gates, speed gates or swing gates, we have an entire portfolio of automated gate solutions that are perfect for commercial areas. One of our recent commercial gate projects involved delivering and successfully constructing door automation for Liberty Living Ltd – a leading student accommodation provider.


Door Automation

From swing doors to automatic doors and roller shutters, Portcullis specialises in door automation solutions. Most recently, a national client of Portcullis required an automated door solution to their existing swing doors which were causing health and safety issues. Portcullis designed a bespoke door system with a high duty cycle that would avoid the same issue as the swing doors.



Health and safety are the cornerstone of Portcullis Automation Ltd, which is why all of our engineers are professionally trained in installing and maintaining our products. Our engineers provide excellent customer service alongside a vast gate knowledge.



Residential fences no longer have to be a simple, picket fence (though if you like those, then that’s fine too!) Our portfolio features a variety of products that offer a high security level for both commercial and residential properties. You don’t need to tell people to keep out, now you can quite simply keep them out.


Gate Safety Week

As a DHF-accredited supplier, we honoured Gate Safety Week by producing an in-depth post on Gate Safety Week 2017, covering the dangers of unsafe gates, how to spot unsafe gates and what to do if you believe a gate is unsafe. Though we always make sure that our products are professionally installed and maintained, we know that a lack of regard for safety can possibly lead to accidents.


Hydraulic Motors

There’s only one type of motor that is available in our gate portfolio – trusted to do the job every time. Hydraulic motors are smaller and less expensive than electric motors, particularly in situations that demand high torque. Additionally, hydraulic motors can stall without damage and withstand harsh operating environments.



A key offering from Portcullis is installation. Whereas most suppliers would simply offer you a product, we take the stress out of your day using our experienced engineers to deliver and install the gates for you. Installation must be done correctly to reduce wear and tear. So, to ensure that your Portcullis solution doesn’t become a health and safety hazard, we always install our products for our commercial and residential customers.


Job Well Done

We don’t like to toot our own horn too much, but we take pride in a job well done and always strive to make sure that our customers’ expectations are exceeded. We are fully trained in health and safety procedures and ensure that the maintenance, as well as the installation of your gate is delivered to a high standard.



Fancy an upgrade? We are at the forefront of innovation and regularly integrate cutting-edge technology into our offerings. Keypads are just one security measure that you can have as part of your gates, whether they’re commercial or residential.


Liberty Living Ltd

One of our finest national clients, we have enjoyed a healthy working relationship with Liberty Living Ltd – who recently renewed their contract with Portcullis for another three years. We have previous delivered a successful door automation solution to Liberty Living Ltd, preventing their existing doors from becoming a health and safety hazard.


Maintenance and Repair Service

At Portcullis, we design our gates to be long-term solutions. However, every gate will eventually gain wear and tear, which is why we offer our maintenance and repair service too. We take gate safety extremely seriously, which is why we always encourage our customers to leave the difficulties to our trained engineers. Promising you value for money, our maintenance and repair service will ensure that your gate remains in tip top shape.



The gate automation industry is a niche in itself, but we love what we do and we do it to the best of our ability. We’re constantly expanding our portfolio of products and integrating new technology into our designs.


Our Designs

We offer our own distinctive designs, brought to life by the best craftsman in the UK. Alternatively, if you prefer to design your own gate yourself, we have a gate builder application and can transfer your bespoke design onto CAD drawings ready for the workshop to create your vision.


Parking Systems

To go alongside our commercial barriers, we also offer parking systems – which can be configured specially to suit your business needs. Our parking systems come in different sizes depending on the size of your parking area, and support everything from validating barcode tickets to proximity cards. Our systems are also designed for easy maintenance and part swapping to prevent long down-periods.


Quality Products

We take pride in every product that we deliver and we only deliver high quality materials and service. Our trusted engineers have a wealth of experience in installing and maintaining your gates – which are available in a variety of materials depending on your requirements.


Residential Gates

We don’t limit ourselves to providing gates just for commercial purposes. We offer a full portfolio of residential gates, including both manual and automated gates. Whether you prefer a swing gate or choose the speediness of a bi folding gates, we have a variety of options for your home.


Speed Gates

One of our commercial offerings, speed gates have the same design as bi folding gates with the folding back panels. However, bear in mind they are usually slightly larger. Speed gates are known for opening much quicker than other gates. In fact, the opening and closing time is usually between just three and seven seconds. Speed gates are a great option if you have a commercial space that is unable to accommodate a standard gate or require fast access in and out.



Yet another of our offerings – we supply, install, maintain and repair our PG4000 pedestrian turnstile range. Our turnstiles are constructed from mild or stainless steel for long lasting and maintenance-free performance, incorporating the very latest in modern design and styling to ensure maximum convenience and ease of use.


University Projects

Our high quality products and stellar services have allowed us to build long-term customers relationships based on mutual trust and respect. As part of the group company Portico Security Group Ltd, our clients have included the likes of Royal Albert Hall, Cumbria Police, Pzifer’s Research and Liberty Living Ltd to name a few.

Working alongside Liberty Living Ltd has allowed us to work on exciting university themed projects, delivering a variety of solutions to one of the UK’s leading student accommodation providers.


Vehicular Access Control

We offer bollards, commercial barriers and road blockers to commercial properties that require vehicular access control. We even wrote a full post to fully explain vehicular access controls. Our vehicular access control devices are suitable for a variety of environments, from small car parks to train crossings and even areas that require high-tech PSA 68 barriers.


Which? Trusted Trader

We are a Which? Trusted Trader and that is just one of our many accreditations. As a DHF accredited supplier, we regularly tap into a rich source of technical knowledge and practical information on compliance with safety legislation. We are open about our dedication to safety and have made our health and safety policy publically available. We also have accreditations from CHAS, Constructionline and ELESSA as well.



Something that each and every Portcullis employee prides themselves on. From our Managing Director, Justin Earl, to our team of engineers – each and every employee has up-to-date expertise on the gate automation industry and our portfolio of products.


Yale Lock

The classic lock and one of many ways of adding security to your gates. Other security measures for gates include keypad locks, touch recognition locks and motion sensors, all available for commercial and residential gates depending on your specific requirements.


Zinc Plating

We produce gates from a variety of materials, including different types of wood and metal and we do also offer zinc plating if required. Zinc plating has numerous benefits, from combatting the corrosion of steel to having a low stress deposit.

How to solve common automated gate problems

As gate automation specialists, at Portcullis we pride ourselves on doing a job well. However, from time to time, even the finest of automated gates can encounter problems. The good news is that most of these problems are easily solvable.

Here’s some of the most common automated gate problems and how to fix them.

Typical Gate Issues


Not enough space for a standard gate

If your drive is on an incline, then a standard gate would bottom out and would either leave an ugly gap or scrape along the floor at points. Additionally, you may find that you have a width that doesn’t have the capacity to fit a standard gate. Fortunately, there is a solution to your gate concern.

Bi folding gates are a great alternative to standard gates thanks to their folding back sections. Also, if your gate needs to fold only to one side – Portcullis can install a customised gate that uses only two leaves to fold one way to give you extra vehicular access.

Automatic bi folding driveway gates are a very popular option among people looking for a convenient and effective solution to protecting their property.


Gates heavily affected by rain

Although they won’t sag like wooden gates, metal gates (and iron gates particularly) are notorious for rusting in the rain long-term, so it’s important to take extra measures to prevent your gates from degrading.

If you haven’t chosen a gate made of a waterproof material, fear not – as rust can be removed! Some people use a grinder, however, this often takes the paint away along with the rest. Our recommendation? A stiff wire brush is ideal to safely scrape the rust away. If you need any more tips, we have dedicated a full post to weather warnings and protecting your gates from the elements.


Metals gates at risk of corrosion

Rust is bad, but in our opinion, there’s nothing worse than seeing gates marred by orange corrosion. Over time, metal gates are exposed to the elements and this can cause them to oxidise and corrode too.

Galvanising is a commonly used method to protect metal from corrosion. Using a thin coating of zinc, galvanized metal is shielded from the surrounding environment. It is also a cheaper option than using metals such as aluminium and stainless steel.

It is worth noting that if the zinc coating is scratched deeply enough, the metal can be exposed and will still be susceptible to corrosion – so it’s worth keeping a regular eye on your gate.


Worn track

It may not initially be apparent that your gate has a worn track, so you will need to physically check the functionality. Here are the common signs that could indicate that your track is worn:

  • When opening the gate manually, is the movement fluid? If your gate gets stuck or jerks along, this could mean that your track is worn.

  • Look at the chain and the track. Can you see any signs of wear and tear, corrosion or damage?

  • Check that the gate hinges are not broken or damaged.

  • If you have a swing gate, check the arm and ensure it is not damaged.

If you do suspect that any element of your gate is broken – or that your gate has a worn track, we offer a maintenance and repair service, covering both pre-planned preventative maintenance as well as gate repairs.


Sensitive sensor

For electric gates, the sensors can sometimes be quite sensitive and when blocked (even if the obstruction is only slight) they can suddenly stop working. Here are some of the most frequent causes of sensor related issues.

  • As mentioned previously, obstructions that are within the range of the sensor can prevent the gate from operating. Obstructions may include weeds or branches that are blocking the sensor. Sliding gates also may be susceptible to pests, rocks, dirt and plants jamming the track.

  • You may find that your sensor recognises motion but the gate locks keep jamming. This is often caused by the weather moving the gate posts. Monitor your gates, do you find that this issue arises after heavy rainfall? If you do experience this issue, you may need to consider an alternative locking system or more durable gate posts.

  • Your sensor may appear to be working, but your gate is simply not functioning. Before worrying, check the batteries of the remote. You would be surprised how often this is the root of the problem and it’s one of the easiest problems to solve! If the batteries are fine, your remote itself could be broken, so it may be worth contacting the manufacturer and requesting a new one.


Electrical problems

Electrical problems are also fairly frequent. However, messing with electronics can be dangerous, so we would advise you to leave this to the professionals. If your gate isn’t functioning, but the power to the rest of your house is on – check the fuse box and see if one has tripped. If it has, flip it back on and your gate should work. If this doesn’t solve the problem, speak to a trained professional for further assistance.

Hopefully, this will have solved most of your gate woes. However, if you do need further advice or support, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be more than happy to help!

Material Matters: Wooden or metal gate – what should I choose?

When you’re searching for new residential gates, it can be tough to know whether to opt for wooden gates or metal gates. It’s also a common misconception that metal gates are better than wooden alternatives – as they both have their benefits and drawbacks.

So, how do you decide which material is appropriate for your individual needs? To help, we’ve put together this handy guide, running over the pros and cons of each material, as well as the crucial factors that may influence your decision

Material matters - gates

Wooden Gates


Wooden gates can be created from a variety of hardwoods (such as teak, iroko and oak) or softwoods (such as scandinavian redwood or cedar). No matter what type of wood you choose to use in your design though, your gate will always look unique thanks to the natural wood markings as it grows. If you choose to have a gate made from timber, it can blend extremely well with a garden, making your gate the perfect landscaping device. Plus, you can further enhance timber with stains or paint to create a customised design, or work with the natural grains of timber to create a polished, realistic finish.

Generally speaking (though it can depend on personal preference), wooden gates are viewed as more aesthetically pleasing than their metal counterparts, particularly in rural areas.


It is difficult to pinpoint cost, as it will always depend on the type of wood you choose. Rare and high quality woods are always more expensive. If you choose a timber gate though, this should be relatively cheap as timber is readily available. As a general rule of thumb, wooden gates are often cheaper than metal gates, though there are of course exceptions.


From a privacy standpoint, wooden gates offer more privacy than metal gates if you choose a traditional, flat closeboard gate – as you can’t see through them. However, as a drawback to the low cost and unique appearance, wooden gates do not offer high security. Small wooden gates can easily be climbed over, while wooden driveway gates do little to stop fast travelling cars. If security is a deciding factor for you over privacy, we recommend considering a metal gate.


Wooden gates require maintenance more frequently than metal gates. If not properly maintained, wood can warp, twist and split leading to an ugly appearance and flimsy functionality. Weather in particular can affect gate maintenance. For more information on how to protect your gates from the elements, read our weather warnings post.


Metal Gates


Modern metal gates are not usually considered as attractive as wooden gates. So if you have a classic property, metal gates can of course be traditionally designed, but the clean lines mean they often fit better with modern properties.

For decoration, metal gates have far more options than you may initially realise. When creating your design, think about what ornamental elements you might want to add. What’s more, if you choose steel, you can apply a paint or powder coating to your galvanised gate to give a range of different decorative finishes. An additional bonus is that steel is naturally strong, making it ideal for more complex designs.


There are some additional factors that can make metal gates more expensive than wooden gates. If you opt for electric driveway gates, for example, there will be a higher base cost due to the installation and additional components – as well as the energy bill to think about! On top of these costs, maintenance can be pricey and often needs to be done in a controlled environment like a factory.


Metal gates create a strong, durable barrier that undoubtedly will increase the privacy and security of your property. Additionally, that can also easily be manufactured to span double driveways if needed. What’s more, metal gates are more ergonomic, for the fact that they can be combined with technology to offer enhanced functionality such as automation. Most of the time, that simply isn’t possible with wooden gates.


One of the biggest added benefits to metal gates is that they are (mostly) weather resistant, though they can rust over time if not protected sufficiently. Metal gates are also stronger than wooden alternatives and generally require less maintenance – especially if they are galvanised to protect them from corrosion.

Overall, only you can decide if a wooden gate or a metal gate suits your needs and the look you want, but hopefully this guide has helped you understand the benefits and drawbacks of each material. For further information, enquiries or a detailed quote, feel free to contact us.

A Guide to Vehicular Access Control

Vehicular access control is an essential method of controlling traffic flow, so it’s no surprise that it’s in higher demand than ever. Think about the last time you visited a shopping centre, a hospital or a retail park. Did you have to wait until the car in front had gone through the barrier? Were there bollards that blocked your car from driving or parking in certain areas? These are just two examples of modern vehicular access control.

In this post, we will be offering a full guide to vehicular access control, including: what vehicular access control actually is, the types of vehicular access control systems and the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Vehicular AccessImage source: Project Manhattan, Wikimedia Commons (no changes made).


What is vehicular access control?

Many areas suffer from a rising amount of traffic that tends to congregate within one small zone, for example large retail car parks, city centres or hospitals. Despite driving laws, vehicular access control is a simple way of controlling the flow of traffic, and can effectively section off cars and drivers.

With the products produced by Portcullis, access control can be broadened to commercial or residential products. However, vehicular access control primarily tend to be used commercially, usually utilised by city councils or retail property owners.


Types of vehicular access control systems

The types of vehicular access control systems available are numerous and growing, as exciting new technology is made available to companies. Of course, there are already a variety of existing vehicular access control systems, ranging from the humble (yet effective) road blocker to sophisticated rising bollards. The three types in particular that we are going to talk about today are: commercial barriers, road blockers and bollards.

Commercial barriers

Commercial barriers

Commercial barriers provide vehicular access control for a variety of environments, from small car parks, to train crossings, to high-tech secure PSA 68 barriers. Although these barriers may look visibly similar, there are crucial differences in installation and maintenance.

Commercial barriers are an excellent method of vehicular access control. In terms of functionality, they are similar to bollards and road blockers, although more beneficial in certain areas – often these types of barriers can be seen in one-way system car parks such as retail shopping centres.

While it can be argued that these barriers are flimsier than bollards, they are also limited in functionality as they simply raise and drop. They are dynamic enough to let vehicles through one at a time, but unlike rising bollards, it’s difficult to completely move them out of the way when required.


Road blockers

Road blockers

Road blockers (also known as rising curbs) are machine-operated vehicular access control devices. There are different types of road blockers, some are surface mounted and can rise and lower, others – like a PAS 68 counter terrorism blocker – can stop a fully loaded 7500kg lorry travelling at 50 mph.

One popular type of road blocker is known as a surface mount road blocker. These blockers are the opposites of rising curb road blockers in the fact that they offer less security measures, but are cheaper. A bonus of surface mount road blockers is that they offer cost effective vehicular access control for areas such as golf club car parks, where high security is less of a concern than speed of entrance.

Also known as cheese wedges, rising curb blockers meanwhile contrast with the more affordable surface mount road blockers, as they are more expensive but offer a high level of security. As rising curb blockers can rise out of the ground, they are often used in commercial environments where vehicular access control is a top priority. These types of blockers are effective as a high security or counter terrorism measure, hence the higher price tag.

The advantage of road blockers is that you can truly customise your level of vehicular access control depending on your needs. The drawback is that the higher tech ones are costly – but we think, worth it.




Similar to road blockers, there are also multiple types of bollards, from manual bollards that are usually fixed into place, to PAS 68 tested, automatic rising bollards. Bollards are simply metal cylinders that serve as a blockade to vehicles. Bollards often appear in town centres close to pedestrian gateways or bus lanes, and they are often used in commercial environments.

The biggest benefit of bollards is their versatility – rising bollards are fantastic for vehicular access control at intervals, as they can be raised or dropped as required. This versatility makes them more dynamic than commercial barriers and surface mount road blockers.
The drawback of bollards is that to use them effectively, you need more than one in a given area. This can be more inconvenient and sometimes more costly than a simple barrier or blockade.

Whether you’re looking for low level control or maximum security measures, Portcullis can help you with your commercial barriers, road blockers or bollard requirements. Why not get in touch today?

The rise of bollards this Christmas

New York Bollards

Disclaimer – The following post in no way intends to trivialise tragic events – instead simply aiming to share the benefits of bollards and their widespread use.

Following the horrific and tragic terror attacks at Berlin and Nice, the new reality at festive markets is an increase in bollard usage. Although they are not totally effective against every type of terror attack, bollards can be invaluable for stopping car crashes and provide additional benefits by sectioning streets and controlling crowds.

In October earlier this year, The Telegraph reported that the Local Government Association had warned councils to be ‘vigilant’ and had ‘encouraged them to follow government guidance in protecting areas susceptible to mass casualty atrocities.’

What’s more, the BBC themselves reported that cities could be hardened with the use of bollards and barriers that were capable of withstanding direct impacts. This year, Birmingham, Bristol and Leeds have all seen new bollards and anti-terror barriers installed, with further work being planned and carried out across the country.

Bollards block terrorist vehicles
The idea behind bollards is actually relatively straightforward. Quite simply, these individual metal structures (usually short rounded poles) are placed in close proximity to each other to span the width of a road, essentially blocking vehicles from streets.

As previously mentioned, the growing number of terrorist threats has led to recommendations for councils across the UK to implement bollards in areas that could become dense with people.

It’s positive to see so many councils acting swiftly and taking security seriously, regardless of whether a specific threat has or hasn’t been detected. Leeds City Council, for instance, further emphasised the importance of safety in an article in the Yorkshire Evening Post:

“Whilst there is currently nothing to suggest any specific threat to Leeds, as always our first priority is working with the police and partners to make sure the city is as safe and prepared as possible.”

Leeds Bollards
(One of many types of bollards in Leeds City Centre.)

Bollards bolster crowd management
An additional benefit of bollards is their streamlining of crowds. With so many pedestrians congregating on streets lined with shops, especially around Christmas-time, car accidents can often be a worry factor if the street isn’t fully pedestrianised.

When used correctly, bollards can also serve to reinforce traffic systems, preventing drivers from turning down streets they shouldn’t and stopping a problem before it occurs.

The increasing use of commercial bollards is undoubtedly proving that councils are prioritising safety over cost-cutting – a decision that should be appreciated and applauded. If nothing else, it’s good to have the safety and security that seeing them provides.

Portcullis delivers successful door automation to national contract

Gate automation specialist, Portcullis Automation Ltd, has added a new service to its core disciplines following a successful delivery of door automation to Liberty Living Ltd.

Door Automation

The national client, Liberty Living Ltd, provides student accommodation and operates in 19 locations across more than 55 sites. The new doors are just one of the services delivered to Liberty Living by Portcullis including preventative maintenance with a 24/7 call out facility for gates, barriers, automatic doors and roller shutters. Both Portcullis and Liberty Living consider safety to be a top priority.

Portcullis were enlisted to provide assistance with the existing entrance swing doors which were proving to be the cause of a recurring health and safety issue. The layout of the building caused a wind tunnel which was emphasised by the doors and could cause harm to users. Liberty London requested Portcullis to design a door system with a high duty cycle that would not embody the same issue as the previous swing doors.

Utilising their experience with automation and entrance solutions, Portcullis proposed a new automatic sliding door system. The system would allow the door to be in constant operation without being susceptible to the weather. Liberty Living Ltd have already started to apply the solution on a national level.

Discussing the solution, Justin Earl, Managing Director of Portcullis Gate Automation Ltd, said:

Portcullis is pleased to have delivered another successful solution for Liberty Living Ltd. The previous swing door posed an unexpected risk and the quick solution shows Portcullis’ and Liberty Living’s commitment to health and safety.

The doors have had a positive reception and are already being rolled out nationally which just goes to show that Liberty Living have strong faith in our solution. We look forward to providing further assistance to Liberty Living Ltd with other projects.

The provision of door automation to the client follows recent news that Portcullis has retained Liberty Living Ltd for an additional three years.

To find out how Portcullis can help you, why not contact us today?

Gate Safety Week 2017: Installing and Maintaining Powered Gates

One of the most important weeks in October for anyone within the gate industry should always be Gate Safety Week. Powered gates are becoming increasingly popular however, the gate industry has experienced issues with poorly installed and maintained gates leading to serious accidents and fatalities. From 9-15 October 2017, Gate Safety Week ran to raise awareness of powered gates and to prevent accidents, here Portcullis Gates share their thoughts on the #SafeGatesSaveLives campaign.

What is Gate Safety Week?

Gate Safety Week is an initiative created by DHF to raise awareness about the safety concerns of powered gates within the industry. According to DHF, only 30% of all powered gates operated in the UK are deemed fit for purpose. The deaths of six adults and three children provide are stark reminders.

Alongside raising awareness about the dangers of poorly maintained gates, Gate Safety Week hopes to share information on how to ensure that your gates meet safety standards. It is crucial for any gate owner, provider or expert to be able to understand the dangers of unsafe powered gates and how to effectively install and maintain powered gates.

The Dangers of Unsafe Powered Gates

While they are undoubtedly convenient, powered gates can still pose risks. Although the health and safety law may not apply to domestic homeowners, private powered gate owners can still be liable for any harm or damage caused by their gates. Dangerous incidences caused by unsafe gates may include human safety concerns such as people being hit by the gate or electrocuted by the motors, weather related concerns such as the gates blowing over, or work related concerns such as them moving unexpectedly if not sufficiently restrained when maintenance is underway.

To prevent your gates from becoming unsafe, it is important to ensure that they are installed correctly and that regular checks are undertaken to ensure that their safety is maintained.

How to Ensure Effective Installation of Powered Gates

By law, all powered gates must be installed in accordance with the Machinery Directive as noted by recent safety advisories from the Health and Safety Executive. In addition, a product standard for gates is in place to aid manufacturers and installers in meeting gate safety requirements.

It is advised that your powered gates are installed by a professional to prevent accidents or injury, especially as these types of gates are reliant on an electrical supply to power the motors. Choosing which provider to go with can be tough however, it is always recommended that you choose a company that is bound by a Code of Practice and can meet current technical standards; we recommend choosing a DHF Automated Gate Group member.

Regardless of whether a client is commercial or residential, user instructions must be supplied so that the client is aware of how to maintain the gates.

Finally, laws are in place concerning supply. These laws detail information about the responsibility of the manufacturer to ensure that the powered gates are implemented in accordance with the Supply of Machinery Safety Regulations. These regulations take into account the environment as well as potential risks to safeguard your installation process.

How to Ensure Effective Maintenance of Powered Gates

To make sure that you are correctly maintaining your powered gates, refer to the user instructions that you were provided when you purchased your gate system. Dependent on the location of your gate, you will either be subject to health and safety laws or you will have continual responsibility to ensure that your gate is safe to anyone who may encounter it.

Be sure to perform regular checks on your gate. If component parts appear to need replacing, contact a professional to replace that part of your gate system. Some gate suppliers provide a maintenance and repair service which can be preventative or reactive dependent on your needs. These services are run by professional engineers who will assess the situation and take responsibility for leaving your gate in a safe condition.

How to report an unsafe gate

If you notice that a gate is unsafe or dangerous don’t simply ignore it, be sure to pass the matter on to the gate or site owner. If possible, put this into writing and include reasons as to why you believe the gate is unsafe so the owner can quickly resolve the issue.

If you wish to take the matter further by reporting to an authority, then the correct authority must be contacted. Powered gates that are in residential, agricultural, construction or industrial areas should be reported to the HSE. Commercial premises should be referred to the Local Authority Health Department and for private domestic premises, you should contact the local Trading Standards Service.

Discussing the matter of gate safety, Justin Earl, Managing Director of Portcullis Gate Automation said:

As a DHF accredited gate specialist, we take gate safety incredibly seriously. We think that the Gate Safety Week is an incredibly important time of the year and we wholeheartedly support DHF with their #SafeGatesSaveLives campaign.

“Too many people have been tragically affected by a lack of safety and compliance across the industry which is why we place the safety of gates at the top of our priority list.”

Gate Safety Week is an annual awareness week, to find out more information please visit dhf.

Portcullis retains Liberty Living Ltd contract for another three years

Gates specialist, Portcullis Gate Automation Ltd, has been chosen as the mechanical perimeter security partner for Liberty Living Ltd for the next three years.
Liberty Living
Image from pexels

The national contract between Liberty Living and Portcullis was renewed following Portcullis’ ongoing maintenance and support to Liberty Living.

Moving forward, Portcullis will continue to provide planned preventative maintenance with a 24/7 call out facility for their gates, barriers, automatic doors and roller shutters. Together, Portcullis and Liberty Living will continue to prioritise student safety within Liberty Living’s accommodation.

Committed to providing Liberty Living with outstanding engineering support and customer service, Portcullis feels honoured to be chosen as the mechanical perimeter security partner to one of the leading UK private student accommodations providers.

Operating in 19 locations from Aberdeen to Southampton, Liberty Living Ltd functions across more than 55 sites. To date, Portcullis has enjoyed an amicable partnership with the prolific brand.

Commenting on the contract renewal, Justin Earl, Managing Director of Portcullis Gate Automation Ltd said:

“This is really gratifying news and a welcomed ‘pat on the back’ for the whole team at Portcullis from our helpdesk team to the front line engineering workforce.

“To be rewarded with the contract for a further three years emphasises that we doing things right. This is further evidenced by the fact that a client as prolific as Liberty Living Ltd has placed their trust in us for their perimeter security requirements.”

On the basis of the renewed contract, Portcullis confidently believes that they have found a sector of the market where they can truly add value to the client’s offering. Having been the mechanical perimeter security partner for more than three years, Portcullis understands the needs of this type of client and is looking forward to continuing to impact upon the student accommodation market.

Based on Portcullis’ ongoing success with Liberty Living Ltd, Portcullis believes that in the near future, this could be an area of the marketplace for concentration, allowing Portcullis to offer their wealth of experience to similar clients.

To find out how Portcullis can help you, why not contact us today?



Automatic vs Manual Gates: Which option is better?

Choosing the right gate can be challenging as there are many factors that should be taken into consideration. Whether you are seeking commercial gates or residential gates, one of the biggest decisions you will need to make is whether you need an automatic gate or a manual gate. Let’s take a look at the two options and the benefits and drawbacks of each.

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If you are restricted by budget then a manual gate is likely to be the best option. Automatic gates are more costly as they require power and therefore will raise elevate your overall electricity bill! Additionally, the incorporation of technological features in automatic gates such as remote controls and keypads, bump up the price. Generally though, manual gates are much cheaper.

It may go without saying, but automatic gates offer increased security over manual gates owing to the increase in technology. With manual gates, once the lock is broken there is no barrier between your property and the outside world. With automatic gates, security features can be added such as key operated switches, sensors to detect cars or digital keypads that require input before opening. If budget isn’t a concern, then you can even make use of advanced technology such as voice or fingerprint recognition however, these will of course be much pricier than standard options.

With manual gates, a drawback is the lack of convenience. Of course, very small garden gates can be opened easily however, industrial gates will often require somebody to unlock them which can be troublesome. Automatic gates are beneficial in the fact that you can quickly allow somebody to enter or leave your premises while maintaining a high level of security adding to their convenience. On the flipside, automatic gates require a constant power supply and this can be particularly inconvenient for occurrences such as power cuts which could leave you locked in your own property!

The most obvious maintenance consideration is of course electricity supply. Automatic gates use motors to allow movement, therefore a consistent source of energy is required (this also impinges on the cost of these types of gates.) Be sure to regularly check the safety of your electric supply as well if you are using automatic gates, faulty wires or blown fuses all can inhibit the smooth operation of your gates and you don’t want to find yourself locked out or injured!

Other maintainability concerns are affected by the materials used. Wooden and metal gates can be affected by sun, rain and wind so will require constant nurturing – you can read about this in our recent post on how to protect your gates in different weather conditions.

We always recommend using a professional to install your gates but manual gates are easier than automatic gates which can be significantly difficult to install. Automatic gates need to be hooked up to the power supply but even an electrician should not install an automatic gate unless they have had specific gate training.

These factors should all be taken into account when deciding between an automatic or manual gate but if you are still uncertain, why not contact a Portcullis representative who can advise you further?