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Choosing a Gate and Gate Operator for a Self-Storage Facility: Guidelines to Follow

Randy Johnston Comments
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Safety First

Gates and operators range in weight from a few hundred to a few thousand pounds. If a gate hits a car, the resulting damage can be expensive. If the gate hits a person, it could be deadly. In fact, The International Code Council approved a proposal a year ago that incorporates automated vehicular gate provisions in the International Building Code.

Something else to keep in mind is that the authority having jurisdiction―the governmental agency or sub-agency that regulates the construction process―may require gate operators to be listed to the UL 325 Safety Standard, the standard to which vehicular gate operators are designed, manufactured and tested. This is the case in Nevada, for example. 
Taking the First Step

The best place to start is with gate and gate-operator manufacturers. Most offer plenty of accessible information on their products.  You can learn about their operators as well as find a local installer. The dealer will represent the product before, during and after the sale. This is important, as his input is critical to a seamless installation.  

Choosing a manufacturer is not easy. Consider working with a company that supplies a complete range of access-control devices in addition to gates and operators, as this will make it easier to integrate your security systems. The most important thing is that you do your homework to find the best solution for your facility.   
With more than a decade of self-storage experience, Randy Johnston is the national self-storage specialist for DKS Doorking, which has provided access-control solutions for the self-storage, commercial, residential and industrial industries for more than 60 years. For information, call 843.679.5977; visit  
Glossary of Terms 

Gate-Operator Class I: Residential vehicular gate operator
Gate-Operator Class II: Commercial/general-access vehicular gate operator for self-storage, hotels, garages, retail, etc.
Gate-Operator Class III: Used for industrial-access sites including factory loading docks and other locations not for public use
Gate-Operator Class IV: Used for higher security, such as guarded industrial locations, airport security, and other restricted access that doesn’t serve the public
Continuous-Duty Operator: A gate operator that has been tested to open and close continuously for a long period of time without motor failure, used primarily in high-traffic areas
Harmonic Arm or Actuator: A mechanical device for moving or controlling a mechanism or system

Related Articles:

Finding the Right Combination of Self-Storage Security System Components

The Dangers of Gate Damage

Security Gates: Friend and Foe

Self-Storage Talk: Gate Chain Changing

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