Friday 11 January 2013

Urgent safety checks must be carried out on automatic electric gates, urges Door & Hardware Federation

Building professionals are being urged to carry out urgent checks on automated powered gates to ensure their safe operation. The call from the Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) comes after an inquest found that an unsafe powered gate contributed to the tragic death of a young child.

Checks should be carried out to make sure every powered gate conforms to stringent levels of safety and meets the very latest legislation governing the safe operation of powered gates.

The inquest into the death of five-year-old Karolina Maria Golabek heard that the gate was unsafe because the force of its power was unacceptably high. The gate was not able to engage its stop and reverse function if it encountered an obstruction such as a pedestrian.

“We urge building professionals and all those responsible for building safety to have automatic gates checked by a competent person as soon as possible,” said DHF Powered Gate Group chairman Andy Holz.

“There could be a great many electrically powered gates in operation at residential and commercial premises without sufficient safeguards in place to prevent a similar tragedy. Our strong recommendation is that a qualified member company within the Powered Gate Group of the DHF carries out safety tests on a gate installation. Once its safe operation is established then the company will recommend a suitable regular service and maintenance programme to keep the gate safe and ensure its continuing compliance with the latest legislation and standards.”

It was the death of Karolina and of another young child that led to the DHF inviting leading gate companies to set up a specialist Powered Gate Group and so become the first industry body devoted to setting minimum safety standards for powered gates.

Said Andy Holz:
“All DHF members involved in the manufacture, installation and maintenance of powered gates are bound by a Code of Practice and work to exacting technical standards as set out in the Health & Safety Executive-endorsed guide to gate safety produced by the Powered Gate Group of the DHF. This guarantees that any gate supplied, installed or maintained by a DHF member complies with all current safety legislation, legal standards, and with the DHF’s own Quality Assurance Standards.

“The aim of the DHF is to eradicate unsafe and inadequate manufacturing and installing practices to ensure that tragedies like this never happen again.”

For more information about the DHF, its Quality Assurance scheme and a list of its members, visit .

Read more articles like this online in the Powered Gates section of our latest issue. 

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