According to 7Arrows Security, the driveway gate is the most common point of entry for armed robberies and 85 percent of all residential contact crimes start at the driveway gate.
With this in mind, it’s worth checking that your gate is doing its job of protecting your home.
“Ensuring your gate is as secure as possible provides an instant improvement to your security system – and one that can be made at a minimal cost,” says Dialdirect's Maanda Tshifularo.
7Arrows Security and Dialdirect have provided the following tips to improve the safety of your driveway gate:
- If you have a sliding gate, add a bracket to your gate motor. This prevents both forced entry and gate motor theft.
- Pay special attention to the ‘tooth bar’, that connects the motor to the gate itself. A tooth bar is a rack that is fixed to sliding gates to allow the electric gate operator's drive cog to move the gate in the chosen direction. Criminals are often able to use garden picks to bend this bar and gain access to the home. Protect the tooth bar by welding a flat bar into the space between the tooth bar and the gate.
- Sheeting can be added to a gate, which can help to prevent access to the tooth bar or motor.
- Importantly, sliding gates should be equipped with a bracket that will prevent the gate from being lifted off its hinges – this bracket should limit both upward and lateral movement.
An additional way to ensure that the entrance to your home is secure is to clear away excess foliage and anything else that would provide a safe place for criminals to hide.
According to Jason Mordecai, MD at 7Arrows Security, gates that swing open can be more challenging to secure, but the following steps are a good way to increase their strength:
- Install plates to prevent tampering with the connection between the gate and its mechanical arms.
- Ensure that when the gate closes, the edges fit together flush with each other.
- Gate arms should be fitted with sturdy padlocks, together with a magnetic lock that activates when the gates close; which means criminals will not be able to force the gate open.
- A device can be installed which will notify your security company if your gate has been opened by force. This device can be linked to the existing alarm system or act as a standalone device attached to an alarm transmitter.
Tshifularo adds that lighting surrounding the entrance to your home and illuminating the gate and the entrance provides an additional layer of security and a deterrent to would-be criminals. “The lights must be directed away from the house and ensure that occupants cannot be seen through the windows from the outside,” he says.
Mordecai concludes: “We have found that homeowners frequently leave their gates open by accident. This is a common error that comes down to habit and procedure. Warning devices that inform you when your gate has been left open can be installed. That said, the very best way to prevent crime in your home is visually ensuring that the gate is closed behind you.”