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Do’s & Don’ts of Retractable Security Gates

Retractable security gates, also known as sliding security gates, are a popular way of protecting people against crime, whether it’s at home or work. They are cost-effective, quick to install, and easy to use. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about these sliding gates.

Can I install a security gate myself?

Yes, you can install a security gate yourself if you buy one off-the-shelf from a DIY supplier. But you need to understand what you are purchasing. These gates are not the most effective form of protection against a home invasion. They are generally quite cheap in comparison to custom-made gates. This means that manufacturing costs have to be kept low. That, in turn, means that the gate cannot be as strong as one made especially for your door or window by a reputable manufacturer.

Quite often, DIY gates are not fully framed. Semi-framed gates are cheaper to manufacture but they are also weaker and less secure. Custom-manufactured gates usually have a full, four-sided frame, which gives these gates added strength and keep you safer behind it.

By fitting DIY gates you may be compromising on your safety. They will be a lot quicker for home invaders to break through than security gates with built-in strength and safety features, for which you’ll pay more.

Custom-made retractable or sliding security gates are made to resist an attack for longer, keeping you safer and giving you more time to escape or call for help. They can do this because they’re made with better-quality steel or aluminium. They also have stronger locks, stronger uprights and stronger fixings.

Gates made for your doors or windows will last years longer than DIY products. Off-the-shelf products may not have been through the same anti-corrosion treatment or have the same quality protective powder coating. They are more likely to deteriorate quickly, particularly in coastal conditions, harsh weather, or simply because they’ve been fitted to the outside of the door or window, where they are exposed to weathering.

Custom-made sliding gates fitted by an expert technician give you far better protection. They withstand a heavy assault for longer than DIY products due to the way they are made. The gates are fitted with tamper-proof fixings and the locks are designed to make it difficult for robbers to breakthrough.

Trellidor fit fully framed Retractable Security gates with strong, patented locking systems. The gates locks in several places inside the lock stile using just one key inserted into a single keyhole. You can’t see the locking mechanisms inside the lock stile, but they’re there, adding to the lock’s strength.

How to secure your sliding gate

The most important point to remember about securing sliding gates is to keep them closed and locked at all times. If it is a good quality gate, by keeping it locked you will ensure that no-one can get into your home and catch you by surprise.

Home invaders often target your home when they know you’ll be there. The common time frames are between 5.00 a.m. and 8.00 a.m. and between 5.00 p.m. and 8.00 p.m. This is because we switch off our alarms at these times and open up doors and windows, making it easy for home invaders to simply walk into your home.

The other points are to purchase a gate with strengthening features built in and a very good locking system.

Can you change the lock on your security gate?

Yes, you can change the lock on your security gate, but this should be done by a professional technician through your supplier.

You may need to change your lock under the following circumstances:

  • You’ve had an attempted break-in and the lock has been damaged.
  • If you have several sliding gates in your home, you may want to get your gates keyed-alike. This means that all your locks can be opened with the same key, instead of using different keys for each gate. Trellidor offers this option so that you don’t have to keep large bunches of keys around the home. The locks will have to be changed to do this.
  • If you’ve had a break-in it is advisable to change the locks. The home invaders may steal your keys and use them to get in again.
  • The same applies if you have dismissed employees that work at your home.
  • If you have moved into a new home that has sliding security gates, get the original manufacturer to change the locks. You never know who may have had access to the sliding gate keys.
  • If you keep your house keys on the same key ring as your car keys and have been hijacked. Change the sliding security gate locks to avoid the hijackers or accomplices breaking into your home.

How to clean your security gate

Maintaining your security gate is an important part of keeping safe at home or work. Cleaning helps delay the onset of corrosion as a result of environmental and/or industrial airborne contaminants i.e. salt, fog or mist found in close proximity to the sea, or acid rain found close to heavy industrial areas.

Cleaning and lubrication also help to prevent retractable security gates from becoming stiff and difficult to slide.

How often you need to clean your retractable security gate will depend on:

  • The location of the sliding gate, whether it is fitted inside or outside your home.
  • How close you live to the sea.
  • The prevalence of industrial pollutants and other corrosive air-borne pollutants in your area.
  • Environmental factors such as prevailing winds, if the sliding gate is fitted outside, on the weather side of the building.

A heavy industrial area, for example, could be as corrosive as a marine environment. A sliding gate in these areas will need more maintenance than one inside a home in an area with no pollution and away from the sea.

If you have installed a Trellidor Retractable security gate, your Trellidor outlet will guide you on how often to clean your gate.

Here is a general guide:

ENVIRONMENT DESCRIPTION CLEANING INTERVAL
MILD More than 10 km from beachfront Every 6 months
MODERATE 1 km to 10 km from beachfront 2 to 3 months
MARINE 500m to 1 km from beachfront 2 to 4 weeks
SEVERE MARINE Within 500m of beachfront 1 to 2 weeks

How to take care of your retractable security gate

The recommended cleaning method for Trellidor Retractable security gates is as follows:

  • Use a premium quality (salt-free) car wash liquid, mixed with water as per manufacturer’s directions and a soft cotton cloth to clean the entire unit.
  • Hard to reach areas may require the use of a soft nylon bristle brush such as a dishwashing brush.
  • Dry the unit with a soft cotton cloth or chamois.
  • Apply the Trellidor lubricating spray (available from your local franchise) to all moving parts, especially all hinge points inside the channel sections and into the top tracks.
  • Shake the can of lubricating spray well, apply to a clean cotton cloth and wipe the entire unit, or spray directly onto unit from a distance of about 20cm.
  • Wipe off the excess residue. This will form a protective barrier against both moisture and contamination of airborne pollutants.
  • A second application may be required if the unit has stood for too long without being lubricated and has become stiff, dry and difficult to operate.

Take special note of the following warnings:

  • Never use abrasive cleaners, detergent-based cleaners or solvent-based cleaners such as scouring agents, dishwashing liquids, washing powders, thinners etc as these could adversely affect the expected life of the sliding security gate.
  • Do not spray into the keyhole of the cylinder where the key fits!
  • Remember to read the warnings on the lubricating spray label as the product is highly flammable, must not be ingested and is irritating to eyes and skin.

For more information visit the Trellidor website

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