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What can you recommend for a safety device for my automated gate? What should I consider in determining whether or not a loop detector is needed? One site is a single family residence with a one lane drive. Another is a 10 house subdivision with a 2 lane drive. Both sites have the gates swinging out, as the drives go uphill into the premises. Will a photoeye keep the gate from opening into a car if it is too close as the driver activates his remote? Naturally, we'd just as soon avoid cutting and patching the pavement, but don't want to compromise safety.

Applicable Products:
Automated Gates.

Thank you for your interest in our gate operator accessories. There are many different safety devices on the market. Loops and detectors, photoeyes, and safety edges are some of the more popular devices. Each have their advantages and disadvantages.

Non-Contact Devices: i.e. photoeyes and loops. Photoeyes are perhaps the most popular since they are inexpensive to purchase and install. Photoeyes work excellent on sliding gates as the beam may be aimed in a straight line parallel with the gate and protect most of the danger areas. Photoeyes also will prevent the gate from opening or closing on any obstruction, pedestrians and vehicles. Photoeyes are also easy to install for the first time do-it-yourself customer. Due to design, multiple photoeyes are often used to protect a swinging gate. You can see our complete line of photoeyes here: http://www.hooverfence.com/gate-acc/photoeyes.htm

Loops and loop detectors: Loop detectors are comparable in price, however are more difficult to install. They will protect larger metal objects only since they magnetically sense obstructions. They are effective for both swing and slide gates. Often three loops are installed. One in front, one behind, and one underneath the gate. All three need a detector. Often the inner loop serves a dual function, free exit and safety. The one in front and underneath 'shadow loop' the gate typically serve as a safety device only. You can see our complete line of photoeyes here: http://www.hooverfence.com/gate-acc/loop-detectors.htm

Contact Devices: i.e. safety edges. As with photoeyes, multiple edges are often required to safeguard gates and doors. They are effective for both swing and slide gates. All operators (after March 2000) have an inherent safety device, the automatic reversing mechanism. This mechanism will cause gates and doors to automatically reverse should it close/ open on an obstruction.  The sensitivity may be adjusted to account for different types of gates and weather conditions. Safety edges increase the sensitivity of the automatic reversing mechanism. Safety edges are a pad-like devices often installed on the leading edge of gates or horizontally to protect against scratched and dented vehicles. They are very easy to install for all customers. They are also an effective protection device for pedestrians.  You can find safety edges here: . http://www.hooverfence.com/gate-acc/edges.htm

To conclude, all automated gates and doors should have safety devices installed for protection against property damage and injury. Automated gates should not be used by pedestrians. A separate pedestrian gate should be installed away from the automated gate and equipment. Some operators are powerful enough to kill a person if trapped. Photoeyes, loops, and edges are all inexpensive when compared to costly repair bills. The correct safety device will depend on many factors, i.e. type and size of gate, type and quantity of users, and type of operator. Chances are multiple safety devices should be installed. Hopefully the above information will aid in differentiating between the various devices on the market. Please note we feature all our products online complete with current pricing, specifications, and helpful how-to information. We add products daily so check back frequently for updates.

Updated 06/02/06