Tech Tips: Gate Security

May 19, 2023
Gates can be key to preventing drowning or trespassing and securing shared amenities.

Gates and fences are a very important part of safety and security because developing a secure perimeter is one of the first steps in security management. Virtually every crime begins with the violation of a security barrier, very often a fence or gate. Therefore, it’s not a surprise that the main tools of security involve locking and controlling the operation of doors and gates.

Increasingly, gates are found in multifamily and even single-family developments for a variety of purposes: securing vehicle and pedestrian entrances, parking decks and amenities like swimming pools, tennis courts and gyms. Deployment of professionally designed and installed equipment can greatly mitigate the occurrence of drownings, injuries and crimes.

Securing swimming pools and retention ponds is a priority. Drownings are common, and every year in the United States there are an estimated 4,000 fatal unintentional drownings, which averages out at 11 drowning death per day. Some drownings are due to unattended children entering pools and retention ponds. Locked gates and security fencing are protections against these events.

Trespassing is a crime where someone else enters or stays on the property without consent or permission. A property owner has the right to use his or her property in any manner that is not otherwise prohibited by law. Part of this right includes being able to use the property exclusively and preventing other people from entering the property without permission. Trespassing is a crime where someone else enters or stays on the property without consent or permission.

For single-family homes, gates and fencing can be used to keep others out of the property or driveway. A property owner is also responsible to varying extent, when someone becomes injured when they trespass onto their property.

Criminal trespass occurs when someone enters onto property which they know they do not have the right to enter or remains on property after learning they  do not have the right to be there. Both require some form of criminal intent. In the first instance, the person has notice that entry is prohibited, whether it's by a verbal warning or posted signs, but enters anyway.

Not everyone can spot observe property lines, gates or possible dangerous conditions on private or public property. If someone wanders onto property and is injured, you will likely have to get an attorney, and you may hear the expression “foreseeable liability” brandished by their side. If someone gets bitten by a dog or falls into a pool, etc. of unfenced property, it could successfully be argued that those events were foreseeable. Gates and fences can save lives and prevent such litigation for your customers.

Another concern is elopement. I think of elopement as the opposite of trespassing, and putting aside the romantic idea of true love conquering all, security professionals use the term elopement to describe someone leaving an area without authorization. Children, prisoners, dementia and mental health patients and inmates need to be protected from themselves, and in some cases the public needs to be protected from them.

Schools and industrial campuses are best protected by creating the largest perimeter possible, and fences walls gates and locks are all elements of these security management resources. Enlarging the perimeter buys time for security management to detect, intervene and protect.

Following are some of the gate products available to security pros.

Securitron GL1 Gate Lock and DR100 

The Securitron DR100 is the industry’s first wireless multiclass reader with relays. Paired with Securitron’s GL1 outdoor-rated gate lock, this unique product makes for an ideal solution for any exterior gate application.

These products also offer installers an opportunity to secure a different type of opening, outside of their usual installations, widening the services they can provide to their customers.

Securitron Gate Maglocks

The Securitron M62FG-SASM heavy-duty maglock was specifically designed to secure and protect gates. This weatherproof unit delivers 1,200 lbs. of holding force and comes equipped with conduit fittings and a special shock-absorbing strike mount (SASM). This unique design dramatically prolongs the life of the lock, the gate and other hardware by controlling excessive impact between the strike plate and the magnet. The SASM is also available as a separate retrofit kit and is compatible with M32, M62 or M82 Magnalock strike plates for areas prone to excessive force closures or slamming.

The Securitron M62G-EX is a strong, easy-to-maintain solution for exterior, perimeter and interior access control. Specialty applications such as gates, fences, and hazardous locations are all covered by this versatile Magnalock. Flexible mounting options support applications for hollow metal, concrete-filled metal, wood, or glass with aluminum frames, and Herculite doors, making it ideal in almost any application that needs an electromagnetic lock.

More info:

LockeyUSA Gate Closers

What good is a gate if it isn’t closed? When you need to ensure the gate will close every time, LockeyUSA has you covered with a wide range of closers for all types of gates.

Whether it’s for residential or commercial use — pool, courtyards, airports or other private or public areas — LockeyUSA offers gate closers for lightweight gates and doors and heavy-duty closers for heavier, high-use gates. LockeyUSA hydraulic gate closers are easy to install on a variety of gate materials, including ornamental, vinyl, wood, and chain link, and can operate in temperatures ranging from -40 to 122 degrees, depending on the product. For chain link gates, LockeyUSA LINX kits make for an easy installation of the gate closer (TBLINX, TB950LINX) and if you run into issues, this video walks you through the process.

TB100 Turtleback Gate Closer: The Turtle Back gate closer features a top-of-the-line design with improved seals and a higher performing cylinder. The TB100 pushes doors and gates up to 125 pounds and under 54 inches closed, and the adjustment knob allows for adjustable speed control. Commonly installed on pool, garden, and barrier gates, the TB100 is recommended for vinyl, wood, and ornamental gates, as well as lightweight (non-fire-rated) doors.

SUMO TB Hydraulic Gate Closers: The SUMO TB Hydraulic Gate Closers product line — TB200, TB250, TB400, TB450, TB600, TB650 — offer a quiet hydraulic action for easy closing of pedestrian gates. The range of products offer a reliable closing device for pedestrian gates from 30 inches to 72 inches wide from 50 to 250 pounds for use at hotel pools, parking lot or beach access, office complexes, resort gates, and barrier gates.

TB950 Magnum: The TB950 Magnum Closer is a concealed heavy-duty hydraulic closing system designed to act as both the closer and hinge. The TB950 has been million-cycle tested and operates in temperatures ranging from -40 degrees to 122 degrees. Ideal for man-gates and other heavy systems, it can also be installed on chain link with Lockey’s LINX link mounting kit TB950-LINX. The TB950 is installed at Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky, due to its heavy traffic and high use.

More info:

SDC GateLoks

The SDC GL160 and 260 series electromechanical GateLoks are designed to provide access control and remote locking and unlocking capability for manual or automatic chain link, tubular steel and wrought iron sliding or swinging gates. This is a robust and reliable device which is ideal for outdoor applications and can be welded on the gate and fence for increased security and reliability.

Available in either failsafe (locked when energized) or failsecure (unlocked when energized), the electromechanical GateLok provides a higher degree of security than electromagnetic locks. Locking and unlocking may be accomplished with an access control such as a card reader, digital keypad or remote control. All GateLoks are designed for a 3” (76mm) fence post and 2” (51mm) gate post and are adaptable to smaller sizes.

More info:

About the Author

Tim O'Leary

Tim O'Leary is a security consultant, trainer and technician who has also been writing articles on all areas of locksmithing & physical security for many years.