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New Standards for the Construction of Sliding Gates

The purpose of this page is extend the information to our clients. One major purpose of this standard (UL325) is to minimize the possiblilty of a tenant to reach through the gate. Reaching through the gate, while the gate is in motion (and/or) just prior to movement can cause extreme personal injury.

Do the new UL 325 requirements apply to both new and existing gates? UL 325 requirements will apply to all new construction of gates and existing gates that could be motorized. Older non-motorized gates may need to be altered to meet the new requirements.

Do I have to install guarding or screening on a gate? Yes. However, this applies only to horizontal sliding gates. The important fact to remember is that if a horizontal gate system is not guarded or screened in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, it cannot be claimed to be in compliance with UL 325.

Does the 2-1/4 inch sphere test start at the bottom of the gate or is it measured from the ground up to 4 feet? UL 325 requires that "All openings of a horizontal slide gate are guarded or screened from the bottom of the gate".

If a slide gate is on wheels and there is a 4 inch gap between the ground and the bottom of the gate, is this OK? The standard does not include provisions governing the gap between the bottom of the gate and the ground. however, the American Fence Association (AFA), DASMA and the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association (NOMMA) are working on a joint gate construction and installation standard that will address this matter.

Do swing gates need to be guarded or screened so that a 2-1/4 inch sphere will not pass through it? No.

Is compliance with UL 325 a national law? No. However, it became a state law in Nevada effective March 1, 2000. DASMA is continuing to monitor other states for potential legislation in this area.

Who is going to check the gate system to determine if it is in compliance with the new standard? No one at the present time. however, keep in mind two things: a) the Consumer Product Safety Commission has submitted a proposed revision to the new International Building Code where, if passed, building code officials would be inspecting gate systems for compliance where the IBC is adopted and enforced, and b) there is the potential for liability if a gate system is not installed in compliance with UL 325.

Am I required to upgrade existing installed operators to the new UL 325 standard? No. There is no retroactivity with respect to UL 325.

Can older operators that do not meet the standard be repaired? Yes. You may wish to contact your attorney or your trade association legal counsel regarding liability issues in repairing older operators that have no entrapment sensing provisions.

Can I upgrade, to the new standard, operators already installed? There are no requirements to upgrade existing operators. However, upgrading is dependent on the product itself; the operator manufacturer must be consulted on this matter.

What happens with the product that I have in stock that was purchased prior to March 1, 2000? Can I still install it? Yes. There is no recall provision in the UL standard. Products that have already been tested and listed can be installed.

What is the significance of the operator usage classifications? The classifications are intended to signify specific end use applications as defined in UL 325.

Can operators be classified under more than one of the classifications? Yes. UL 325 requires that "A vehicular gate operator shall be permanently marked to specify all intended Classes of applications." (underline added.)

What is the difference between a primary and secondary entrapment protection device? The secondary entrapment protection device is intended as a backup feature should the primary device fail or not work properly.

Do photoelectric cells or electric edges have to be installed on all gates? Not necessarily; these two options are among several acceptable options. Contact the operator manufacturer for acceptable protection devices to be installed on a particular gate.

Do I have to install both photoelectric cells and reversing edges as secondary devices to be in compliance with the standard? No; you do not have to put both on the gate. Either a non-contact sensor, a contact sensor or a combination thereof can be used as secondary devices.

Will an operator function if a photoelectric cell or reversing edge is not connected? This is dependent on the operator design. The operator manufacturer must be consulted on this matter.

How far away from the gate should an access device (push button, card reader, etc.) be installed? The first sentence of Section 51.8.4 f) reads, "Controls must be far enough from the gate so that the user is prevented from coming in contact with the gate while operating the controls."

If a reset switch is to be installed, where does it have to be installed? UL 325 requires that "Controls intended to be used to reset an operator after two sequential activations of the entrapment protection device or devices must be located in the line-of-sight of the gate."

Do I have to install a separate pedestrian gate? UL 325 states that if the operator is for a vehicular gate, pedestrians must use a separate entrance.

This article is reprinted from the March 2000 issue of World Fence News.