Security experts are unanimous in agreeing that the gate is a secure yard's Achilles heel. Most burglars enter the yard premises via the gate (either by breaking into it or climbing over it), despite the fact that in many cases this can be a mistake on the part of the burglars; if I were a burglar-I would choose to enter a yard by climbing over, or cutting through, one of the hidden side fences surrounding the house.
The gate is probably the worst tactical point of entry a burglar could choose. This is because the gate is usually located at the front of the house, which is, more often than not, a lighted and public place - the one place any sane burglar should want to avoid. Ok, that's enough of burglaring 101... The statistical fact is that most burglars choose the easy way in-through the front gate.
The logic or lack thereof-we will leave to the burglars themselves. Understanding the methods burglars use will help us in choosing the right type of gate for our needs, which is precisely what we will be doing later on in this article.
Security Gates and Fences
One cannot discuss gates without discussing fences as well. The gate is the designated entry point of the fence, and for this reason the main characteristics of the gate are generally determined by those of the fence. If you are reading this article, you are probably beyond the stage of choosing a type of fence and are now interested in what kinds of gates are best suited for the fence you've chosen.
In any event, if you have not already done so, it would be beneficial if you read through the article on fences provided on this site. Understanding fences is critical to understanding gates, and both subjects are, in my opinion, intertwined and inseparable
After having chosen the type of fence most suited to your needs (or if you already own a fence), the way to choosing a suitable gate should be fairly simple. A gate is meant to allow people and /or vehicles to pass through the fence, as well as fulfill the same purpose as the fence itself; if you already have a tall, high-quality protective fence-you will want to choose a protective gate that will provide the same level of security provided by the fence. If you own a low ornamental fence-you will want to invest in a matching ornamental gate.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Gate
I will concisely review the main guidelines mentioned in the article on fences, which also apply to choosing a gate:
1. Budget. Both the price of the actual gate and the cost of long-term maintenance should be taken into consideration.
2. Conforming to local style. Most people don't want to be different and conspicuous. It would therefore be wise to look around at the gates and fences surrounding some of the other houses in your neighborhood in order to get an impression of what the general accepted style (or style range) is.
3. Local crime rate. An abundance of break-ins in your area should force you to pay much more attention to the security aspects offered by your gate and fence.
4. Small children at home. Children playing in the yard can easily run into the adjacent road in the midst of a game. A suitable fence and gate can prevent unnecessary accidents.
5. Privacy. If you need your privacy, whether it be in the yard, pool or inside the house itself-you should focus on fences and gates that make peaking in from the outside all but impossible. The most suitable gate for this purpose will be tall and dense.
6. Yard and house style. The gate has ornamental value in addition to its functional value. The gate needs to blend in well with both the landscape and the house on the property. An antique looking gate will not go well with a modern house (unless you're going for a post modern look), and a plastic white gate will probably not look quite right sitting in front of a fabulous old manner with a gilded roof.
Security Gate Types
Residential gates can generally be divided into two main types; driveway gates and pedestrian gates. When choosing a gate, be it for vehicles or for people, some key elements need to be taken into consideration: the physical element of the gate (size, shape, material etc.) as well as access control (lock, chain, remote control, intercom etc.).
Physical Elements of a House Gate
The style of the gate should match the style of the fence, with respect to design as well as function. Regarding the design aspect, there really is not much to discuss since this is mostly a matter of personal taste. You can match the styles of fence and gate according to your own personal taste. The functional element is the more critical one. If you need privacy, for instance, and you've surrounded your property with a tall dense fence, it makes sense that the gate should be tall and dense as well.
Similarly, if you've surrounded your yard with a strong impenetrable security fence, you should make sure that the gate is, to the burglar, just as difficult to penetrate or climb over, so that it provides you with as much security as the fence does. The common meaning of the term "Security Gate" is a gate which is extremely difficult to breach - either by climbing over or breaking into it. A good security gate is one which is tall and does not provide good footholds. Also, the gate should have a strong, high quality lock which is not easily broken into.
Security Gate Access Controls
Access control is a generalized term for a wide range of products and solutions designed to allow gate entrance only to those persons with authorization to enter. The simplest and most ancient version of access control is, obviously, a lock and key. Lock-and-key locks are more suited for pedestrian gates than for driveways. It is very inconvenient to manually unlock and relock a gate every time you wish to enter or exit with your car.
To make the act of opening the gate easier, a wide range of automatic access control products have been developed. Nowadays it is possible to open a gate by using a remote control, entering a PIN code in a control panel or by identifying oneself in a remote intercom. The gate itself will open via an electric device which does not require any physical effort.
These solutions to the issue of access control can also, of course, be applied to pedestrian gates, but there is usually less of a need for the gate to open electronically in such a case..