My Dad always used to joke: “If you are going to take offence (‘a fence’ – word pun) at something, you might as well take the gate as well!” Whilst it was a brilliant way of putting a perceived ‘injury’ in perspective, it also shows the importance that a complete perimeter surround has in our lives. It is, after all, a fact that a wall or fence around a property is pretty much ineffective without the accompanying gate to allow access in and out of that property.
Worried about intruders? Combine walls and a gate!
These days, gates are more than just conveniences which help to fully enclose our properties – whether private, corporate or commercial – for the sake of privacy or convenience. Fences and boundary walls are aimed at keeping out those whose intentions are less than honest and therefore aid in securing the property against harmful elements.
Keep unwanted dogs out of your garden
In the private sector, gates are brilliant at keeping dogs in their own yards, and preventing unknown canines from entering and soiling our pristine lawns during their toileting activities. There is nothing worse than seeing – and smelling – dog excrement in your immediate surrounds, especially if you do not own a dog of your own. For those of us who do not own dogs, it is a smell which hits you right in the face and attracts flies and other dogs. A securely latched gate is your first barrier against such unwanted visits, although it will definitely not deter the local cats, to whom a gate is little more than a hiccup which can be overcome extremely quickly.
Match your boundary wall and your gate for maximum effect
Gates, like fences or boundary walls, come in all shapes, textures, materials and heights. The fence – or wall – should not be lower in height than the gate. Apart from looking unsightly, it will only highlight the fact that little thought has gone into the gate fitting. Gates and perimeter boundary structures should complement each other in some definable way. For instance, a high wall which is topped by razor wire would ideally be matched with a solidly constructed automatic sliding gate which offers the same amount of protection. The weakest point in any well-maintained wall is the access/exit point, which would obviously be the gate. Put a weak or damaged gate in place, or one that does not lock in some way, and you might as well not have a gate there in the first place. A lock, in areas where high security is not a prerequisite, could simply be a well-fitting spring latch which clicks into place once the gate is closed, or a sliding bolt which can be accessed from either side of the gate, making it possible for visitors to enter the property whilst still providing a barrier to keep (mostly smaller) dogs in their own gardens. High-security gates are automated and are opened and shut by means of a remote controller.
How do gated housing complexes and estates control access and exit?
In gated townhouse complexes, whilst entry may require action from someone within the complex itself to open the gate for visitors, exit may be enabled by a sensor mounted near the gate which automatically opens the gate for a short period to allow visitors to exit the complex.
Housing and business complexes usually have one of the following five types of sensors which are responsible for opening the entry and exit gates :
Radar Movement Sensors which are able to detect movement within a specified area near the gates. However, these specific types of sensors are unable to detect stationary traffic;
Pressure Sensors, which were one of the first types of sensor used when automatic gates were first designed. The sensors work by detecting trigger pressure or weight changes on a specific area of the ground, either in front of or behind the gates. This activation area, called a control mat, is responsible for all movement in and out of the gates. These sensors have the advantage of keeping the gates open as long as the control mat is activated, thereby presenting the gates from closing on a slow-moving or stationary vehicle;
Optical Sensors or Motion Detectors. These sensors are mounted on the sides of a gate to trigger the opening and closing mechanism. An antenna installed on the gate header produces a microwave beam which detects motion, thereby triggering the opening and closing of the gate. These sensors will not, however, open a gate if the vehicle is stationary, which can create a problem;
Passive Infrared Movement Sensors, which store the infrared image detected within a predetermined range. When a vehicle approaches the gate, the thermal image changes and creates a specific signal which triggers the movement of the gate. These sensors are considered to be relatively reliable, and can be set extremely accurately due to the precision of their detection ranges;
Active infrared Sensors, which boast high-performance optics through their two receiver chips and transmitter. They work through recognition by the receiver when the infrared light emitted from one or both of the transmitters is reflected by an object either inside or outside the scanning zone;
Loop detectors are used where boom gates operate automatically according to vehicular movement near the gates. The boom gates open automatically when a vehicle stops within the loop but will remain closed when the vehicle is outside of the loop.
In very busy or large gated entrances and exits, one or more of the above sensors may be used in different combinations to ensure the uninterrupted smooth operation of the automated gate system.
Whether you need a fence and gate for aesthetic appeal, for keeping unwanted visitors away, or for security purposes, there is always a gate which will fit your particular needs. Common sense and careful thought will enable you to combine both aspects for maximum effect. Whether your aim is country gentility or high-security protection, the right gate will help you to achieve your desires. There are gate specialists who are able to answer all your questions and provide you with either a standard and practical or uniquely designed bespoke gate to add that extra element of appeal and protection to your home or business. Check on Uptasker’s listings for the names of gate specialists in your particular location and leave it to the experts to make it all happen!