Home > Guide > Aparment Living

Stopping Intruders in Their Tracks: What Gate Access Should You Use?

An old adage advises that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. From that sage advice, it is easy to understand that a fence is only as secure as its gate. A yard that is fully enclosed with a fence and secured with a convenient opening device provides a strong sense of security and peace of mind. 

Every home needs privacy and a secure place for pets and children to play safely, and a barrier provides it as well as preventing unwelcome intruders from entering unexpectedly. Robert Frost said that “good fences make good neighbours,” and a securely locked gate is a finishing touch. 

Choosing a Gate Access

Do you go for a simple lock and key or upgrade to a pin pad, buzzer, magnetic strip card, intercom/videocom system or a remote control. You need to choose a style of gate access control that meets your personal preferences and specific requirements. If you don’t mind getting out of the car to open and close a gate then go for a keyed or combination lock. Or if you prefer a more convenient way to enter or leave your property there are many other suitable styles are available on the market today, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Here we take a look at some of those and weigh up the pros and cons:

Using a Simple Lock and Key

• Advantages
Security is assured when authorized access is limited to people who have a key to the lock.
• Disadvantages
Manual gates require someone to open as well as close them, and that is the preference of many people. A lost key may fall into the hands of an unwelcome intruder, and many stores can duplicate them. Inclement weather conditions can make the task unpleasant.

Using a Pin Pad

• Advantages
A pass code is a series of letters or numbers that is easy to memorize and use for opening and closing an automated gate.
• Disadvantages
Security is compromised if the pass code is shared with anyone who does not live at the residence.

Using a Buzzer

• Advantages
Providing a safe way to enter, a buzzer alerts someone inside to activate the gate.
• Disadvantages
Unidentified intruders may take advantage of the system and enter the premises.

Using a Magnetic Strip Card

• Advantages
Looking like a credit card, a plastic card that has a magnetic strip on the back can securely open a gate when it is swiped through a card reader. An automated gate closes within a preset amount of time, disallowing further entry. All authorized users can have individual cards that are relatively inexpensive.
• Disadvantages
Frequent use can wear away the magnetic strip in the same way as credit or debit cards are damaged. The loss of a card may mean that intruders can gain entry.

Using an Intercom or Videocom System

• Advantages
As an improvement on the buzzer system, an intercom or videocom lets a person enter after someone inside knows who is at the gate. The system is especially helpful for elderly people who need to take precautions for safety reasons. Responsible children who are old enough to stay home alone can safely accept known visitors or refuse entry to anyone who is not recognized.
• Disadvantages
An unscrupulous person can find a way to hide from a camera or to disguise a voice.

Using Remote Control

• Advantages
One of the most convenient of gate access control systems, remote control allows a driver to press a button on a device that automatically opens a gate.
• Disadvantages
A dead battery in the remote control unit can render the system inoperative. A malfunction in the sending or receiving device can make the gate fail to work.

Matthew Suter is Managing Director of Fencemakers, a leading provider of Security Gates and Fencing in Perth, WA. Find Matthew on Google+.

comments powered by Disqus