Safety campaigners are once again mounting a high-profile drive to reduce the risks posed by unsafe automated gates – and this time school children will be playing a critically important role.

The DHF (Door & Hardware Federation), the trade association which represents the automated gate industry, is looking for a school to be the "face" of this year's Gate Safety Week campaign. The school will help spearhead the campaign to other schools in the UK.

Gate Safety Week

The aim of Gate Safety Week, which has been run every year since 2014, is to raise awareness of the dangers posed by incorrectly installed and poorly maintained automated gates. Automated gates are becoming an increasingly common sight on residential driveways, housing and apartment developments and industrial and commercial locations. Evermore so, automated gates are being installed in schools and educational buildings.

Through its training programme ‘Technical Specifications’ and collaborative working, the DHF has seen an improvement in the quality of installations, as well as the knowledge of installers throughout the UK. However, the DHF estimates that there are still up to 70% of automated gate installations which are unsafe, many of which would have been installed pre-2010.

Raising awareness of gate safety

DHF’s CEO Bob Perry said: "There is still a lot of work to do to lower that figure even more. Promoting the Gate Safety Week initiative to the education sector is just the beginning. We want to educate the educators, who will then educate the populace. Each year we call upon leading manufacturers, installers, and maintainers of automated gates to support our crusade, which they do willingly."

"We have had tremendous support previously and urge more people to join our campaign in raising awareness and making gates safe"

The Gate Safety Week campaign will run throughout the whole of 2017. Patricia Sowsbery-Stevens, DHF Marketing Manager, stated: "Gate safety is an on-going year-round commitment, so we decided to extend our week to a rolling year! As always, it will culminate in a week of activity during October. We have had tremendous support previously and urge more to join our campaign in raising awareness, but more importantly, in making gates safe."

Safe Gates Save Lives

The campaign is starting off with an appeal to schools to run a competition among pupils to design a poster on the theme: Safe Gates Save Lives. Once the successful school has been chosen, the competition will start at the beginning of the summer term with entries being submitted by the beginning of June. The winning pupil will receive a prize and the successful school will win a quantity of art supplies. The winning poster will be used in a high-profile publicity campaign in the run up to Gate Safety Week 2017.

The poster will help educate the school, the parents, and the children on safety around automated gates, with the intention of rolling it out to all schools within the UK. "It is vital that all automated gates - wherever their location - have been installed in accordance with the latest industry code of practice governing safety," added Bob Perry"Our campaign will strengthen the message that automated gates in schools, public buildings and all other locations must be checked by qualified and trained engineers for safe operation and be maintained regularly."

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