New Safety Standard for Automatic Security Gates Helps Prevent
Deaths and Injuries to Children
WASHINGTON, D.C.- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
is alerting consumers to a tougher safety standard that should
prevent children from becoming entrapped in automatic security
gates. These sliding or swinging gates are typically found at the
entrances of residences, apartment buildings, condominiums,
parking lots and garages, and commercial establishments.
Elimination of all gaps over 2.25 inches.
Installation of controls far enough from the gate so users
cannot come into contact with the gate while operating the
Installation of controls where the user has full view of the
Elimination of pinch points.
Installation of guarding on exposed rollers.
Posting of warning signs on each side of the gate.
Since 1985, CPSC has learned of 32 deaths related to automatic
gates, including 20 deaths to children. From 1990 to 2000, CPSC
has estimated that nearly 25,000 people have been involved in
automatic gate-related injuries, including 9,000 children under 15
years old. Each year over 2,000 people, including 800 children,
are treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries to the head,
neck, arm, or hand.
Children and adults can be severely injured or killed if they
become entrapped in the gates as they are automatically opened or
closed. The injuries also include cuts, broken bones, hematomas,
and amputations. Many older gates do not have sensing devices or
reversing mechanisms to prevent these entrapments.
"If your apartment or condominium complex has an older gate,
contact a manager or your homeowners' association and have it
replaced with a safer automatic gate that meets the new standard.
It could save a life," said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown.
"In educating the public about the danger these gates can
present, it is my hope that other families will not suffer, like
my family and nephew have," said Michelle Talbert, aunt of
8-year-old Marlow Santos, of Gardena, Calif., who died after he
became entrapped in a sliding gate.
CPSC worked with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to develop the
tougher safety standard that requires automatic gates to have at
least two mechanisms to prevent entrapment. These provisions are
similar to the standards in effect for automatic garage doors. The
standard, which UL adopted in March 2000, requires a sensing
device that will reverse the gate if it encounters an obstruction
when opening or closing; and a secondary sensing mechanism, such
as an electric eye or an edge sensor that will reverse the gate if
an obstruction is detected.
Additional safety measures related to gate installation include:
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