Operation Safe Gate: Put An End To Automatic Security Gate Tragedies

CPSC’s Operation Safe Gate wants to put an end to preventable tragedies caused by automatic security gates.

While the good news is that deaths and injuries have gone down dramatically since the tougher Underwriters Laboratories 325 (UL 325) took effect in 2000, incidents and deaths still happen.

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.  In addition, 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. You can also find these sliding and swinging gates at the entrances of private homes as well as commercial establishments. So what can you do?

Operation Safe Gate Safety Tips

If you live in a community where an automatic security gate is present, warn children of the dangers:

  • 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.
  • A separate entrance for pedestrian traffic is a must.
  • Make sure your gate bears the mark of a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as “UL” or “ETL”.

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.

Installing safer gates and sharing safety information is a must to help prevent tragedies. Together, let’s end automatic gate related deaths and injuries.

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