Types of Security Gate: Which Should You Choose?


If you own or run a business, then keeping it safe should be one of your primary tasks. You need to ensure that not only your premises, equipment and stock are protecting, but also that the safety and wellbeing of your staff and customers has been considered as well.

One of the most obvious and effective ways to do this is by installing security gates at the entrance to your site, in order to control who can come and go, but with so many types of gates available, how do you know which one you should choose?

To explain further, Newgate share their insight into the types of security gates, and which one might be most suitable for your business security needs.

Things to consider when choosing a security gate

There are lots of factors that you will need to take into consideration when you come to choose the type of physical security barrier or gate for your business, as these will help to dictate which one is right for you. One of the most important things to think about is the amount of space that you have available.

Different gates open in different ways, so take a look at whether a gate that slides to the side is more practical that one which swings forwards. You also need to think about the type of vehicles that will typically be gaining access to your premises, as larger commercial vehicles will generally need a larger opening than the average sports car.

You should also consider how much traffic you expect the gate to experience. Will there be a steady flow of vehicles throughout the day, or do you just expect a small handful spread across a few hours? This will help you to realise how quickly you need the gate to be able to move in order to keep things running efficiently. It will also help you to pick a security gate that is durable enough to cope with your levels of usage.

One of the most important functions a security gate will have, is its access control system. Often, your gate will open automatically, so you need a system that can safely determine who can come in and who should be left outside. There will therefore need to be some form of access control system, which could take the form of an intercom, keypad or even ANPR cameras. This will help to give you full control over who is allowed access to your site and who is not, so think carefully about what the most practical method will be for your business.

Slide Gates

A rolling slide gate is a common sight at many commercial facilities as it allows for much larger vehicles to pass through it. When opening, the gate rolls to the left or right so that it is parallel with the fence to minimise the space that it takes up and to prevent vehicles from having to wait too far away from it, which could lead to them blocking the road.

The movement of the gate is achieved through roller wheels which sit at the bottom of the gate and slide over a V groove track on the floor to make sure that it stays fully aligned at all times.

These types of gates do need regular maintenance as the rolling wheels can be subject to wear and tear, and dirt, debris, snow or mud can obstruct the wheels and prevent the gate from opening.

Another sideways sliding gate is the cantilever option, but instead of using rollers in a ground track, these makes use of roller trucks or wheels which are mounted to gate posts. They have a counterbalance section where the gate posts hold the roller trucks when in an open or closed position.

An overhead slide gate uses a beam which is overhead to support an enclosed track, and the gate panel is hung from this, allowing it to run back and forth. This tends to require less space as no counterbalance is needed, but it can create a height restriction.

Swing Gates

As you might expect, a swing gate is one which extends 90 degrees to fully open. This can be set to swing outwards or inwards according to the space that you have available, however, stopping lines will need to be put in place to make sure that drivers leave enough room for the gates to open. These are also not practical if pedestrians are likely to be gaining access through these gates.

Vertical Lift Gates

A vertical lift gate moves upwards to open above the height of the vehicle, making it a very compact option. It can cover large openings and tends to move quickly in a vertical direction, but you will need to ensure that the gate you choose has sufficient lifting height for the tallest vehicles that you expect to have on site.

Vertical Pivot Lift Gates

These gates also move upwards but this time it is achieved by rotating the gate upwards at one lower corner, causing the gate to move 90 degrees upwards. This will rest on its side when it is fully open. This can be particularly useful in areas where the amount of space that you have to the sides of the gate is limited.

Bi-Folding Gates

A bi-folding gate has two gates which meet at the centre when they are closed, and then fold and contract to each side once they are opened. It is possible to set these to only allow one gate to open if you prefer. These gates can sometimes use overhead tracks to guide their movements, so it is important to check what is most suitable for you. These gates tend to be some of the quickest and take up very little space.

Pedestrian Gates

For those arriving on foot, you can install specifically designed swing gates to allow one person at a time through. Pedestrian portals act a lot like a turnstile, which is particularly useful when dealing with large volumes of people.

Choosing the right security gate for your premises is vital, so it is important to understand what options available and which ones are the most practical for you.

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About the Author: Lucinda Thorpe