What Happens With Automated Gates In The Event Of A Power Outage?

Automating a driveway gate requires the installation of a gate controller that uses a powered motor to open and close the gate without manual force. The gate controllers commonly use electricity for their power needs. The question becomes, what would happen if the electricity supply is suddenly cut? The common fear is the property’s occupants would either be stranded inside or locked out. Is an electric gate manually operable? If it is, how secure would it be? We will answer these questions below:

Most Automated Gates Have A Manual Release Mechanism

All the top gate controller manufacturers now incorporate in-built manual override features that ensure electric gates remain operable when power fails. The manual release mechanism is triggered with the use of a key that disconnects the motor drive from the gate shaft, releasing the gate for manual operation.

Your gate opener kit will come with instructions on what to do in the event of a power outage. To ensure the smooth flow of vehicles through your driveway gates, especially on commercial property, it is important that all security staff are fully trained on how to trigger the manual release feature.

Will Automated Gates Remain In Open Or Closed Mode After A Power Outage?

This is the worry for most people. If the automated gate does not default to ‘locked’ mode after power failure, the concern is the gate becomes less secure, especially if that power failure happens at night. Generally, however, most automated gates remain open during power failures, meaning you would need to assign security personnel to secure the entrance and ensure uninterrupted access control. With these ‘fail-open’ systems, the gate would remain open until power is restored or at least until you have activated the manual override mechanism. If you are worried about the possibility of unauthorised people taking advantage of the power failure to gain access to the property, you may find ‘fail-secure’ automated gates to be more secure. With these gate controllers, the gate defaults to a closed position when power is cut.

Use Battery Backups Or Solar-Powered Gate Controllers To Mitigate Against Power Outages

If you live in an area where you experience frequent power outages, either due to vandalism of grid infrastructure, lightning, or rain storms, you may be better served investing in a battery backup for your automated gate. Battery backups are designed to kick in the moment normal electricity power is cut.

Be Cautious When Manually Operating An Automated Gate

Automated gates work best when electrically operated. While your gate’s manual override feature will allow you to manually open and close the gate, the gate will not move as freely. You will need to push it slowly and steadily as there will likely be some resistance. Most gate controller manufacturers will also have their own proprietary manual release settings, which may be different from your neighbor’s. It is important to carefully read through your own manual and fully understand how the manual override system works so you don’t panic when you finally experience a power outage.

Jay 360 has built a strong reputation as an installer of solid manual and automated driveway gates.

We would like to help automate your manual gate. Contact us for a consultation today.
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