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5 Elements to Consider Before Installing Retractable Security Gates

Installing security gates throughout your home can be an expensive exercise. And if you buy good quality sliding security gates, you’ll be stuck with them for a very long time.  It makes sense, therefore, to do some research on security gate designs, not just on security gate prices, before deciding on a supplier. This will go a long way towards avoiding buyer’s remorse. 

Trellidor has some suggestions on how to investigate all your options before handing over your hard-earned cash to your sliding security gate supplier

1. DIY or Custom-made?

The first decision to make is whether to purchase security gates that you can fit yourself, or to get the experts in to measure, quote, supply and install. This is a tough decision if you’re working to a tight budget, because DIY products are cheaper. But on the other hand, house robbery has skyrocketed over the last 10 years, so are you prepared to take a chance with lower quality security gates that are easy to break through?

There is a place for off-the-shelf security barriers, particularly if the security gate price is the critical factor.  Just be fully aware of what you are purchasing and don’t expect these DIY retractable security gates to do the same protection job that custom made, professionally fitted and guaranteed gates would do.

A DIY sliding security gate will merely act as a deterrent to potential house robbers but can’t seriously be expected to keep them out of your home. Breaking through these gates takes seconds, so house robbers can be in and out of your home quickly, taking your TV, laptops and cell phones with them.

Custom made sliding security gates are made to fit as tightly as possible, increasing their strength and integrity. They require precise measuring and specification of the correct sliding gate design by an expert. 

Trellidor offers several different security gate designs, each with an increasing level of strengthening features to make them tough to break through. The model recommended for you will depend on the level of security risk you face at home.

2. Strength under Attack

Don’t let your supplier convince you that all security gates are the same and that you may as well go for the cheapest ones.  Sliding security gates can often look similar but are very different in how they are manufactured. Some will resist an attack for a lot longer than others.  You don’t want to find out after installation that cheap doesn’t equal effective.

One of the biggest problems in South Africa is that there are no recognised testing bodies to set standards for the strength of security barriers.  Trellidor does not believe in compromising on customers’ safety, so we went global and found a respected certification body that has established standards by which we can judge our signature sliding security gates. This organisation is called BRE Global Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB). 

The LPCB is an independent, third-party certification body that sets standards that ensure security products, amongst others, work effectively. They test security gates, shutters, doors and many other products against these standards and if they pass, award a Certificate of Product Approval that says so.  

Trellidor has three products with LPCB certification, all designed for extreme security situations rather than homes. But you don’t have to buy one of these products to get a reliable Trellidor security gate that will perform extremely well under attack by robbers.  All Trellidor Retractable security gates have built-in strengthening features and patented locking systems that give you the best chance of keeping them out.

No responsible security barrier manufacturer should ever claim that their products are impenetrable, because if robbers arrive armed with the right tools and have enough time to use them, they can eventually get through most security gates.  But wouldn’t you want to make this as difficult as possible for them by buying time to get help or escape? For this, you need to purchase the strongest sliding security gate you can afford.

3. Slam lock or Dead lock?

There is a misconception in the marketplace that slam locks are always the best for sliding security gates. Realistically, it is highly unlikely that you’ll ever need to slam a lock in an emergency. Break-in reports show that home invaders are more likely to get into your home through a door that’s left unlocked, or they try to break in through an unsecured door or window.  

The positive aspects of slam locks:  

  • They are quick to lock.
  • They can be primed and made ready for locking at any time.
  • You don’t need a key to lock the security gate. 
  • The Trellidor slam lock is patented and very strong.  But not as strong as the Trellidor deadlock.

The negative aspects of slam locks: 

  • It is very easy to lock yourself out accidently with a slam lock.  
  • It is also far too easy for a child to lock themselves in or out by mistake, with you stranded on the other side of the gate.
  • Many gates with this type of lock require two keys in two separate locks to lock the gate, which is a cumbersome arrangement and encourages unsafe short cuts such as using only one key in a hurry.  The Trellidor sliding security gate slam lock requires only one key in one keyhole, making it simple to use and therefore more likely to be used consistently.  
  • The slam lock designed locks are traditionally weaker and more vulnerable under attack than the deadlock systems. For added security, the Trellidor slam lock key engages in several different places inside the lock style, using just the one key point.

Why deadlocks are better

The lock recommended by Trellidor is the deadlock, which is fitted standard to Trellidor Retractable security gates because:

  • The Trellidor deadlock locks use one key in one keyhole.
  • It locks securely with a single throw or turn of the key.
  • It locks in several places in the lock stile, not just in one place, adding to its strength.
  • It is a stronger design than a slam lock.
  • No activation is needed to lock the gate.
  • There is no danger of locking yourself out or of children accidently locking themselves in a room or outside the home.

4. Reliable Guarantees 

Reputable security gate manufacturers offer extended guarantees because their products are reliable and do the job for which they were intended. Customers need to be aware of this when making their purchase and decide for themselves whether this matters to them or not.

To get a competitive edge, some sliding security gate suppliers are offering guarantees that are impossible to honour or possibly in contravention of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA).  If you should ever have to take them up on their overly generous guarantee, you’d have a minefield of terms and conditions to negotiate to get satisfaction. To be believable, guarantees should be realistic and enforceable in terms of the CPA.

If you live at the coast or in any other corrosive environment, then you need to know how long your retractable security gates will be guaranteed against corrosion. Trellidor manufactures security gates in steel as well as aluminium. Aluminium retractable security gates are an excellent option for coastal homes as aluminium withstands corrosive environments better than steel. 

All Trellidor security gates, whether steel or aluminium, are pre-treated for enhanced corrosion and UV resistance before undergoing powder coating.  This helps to retain the quality finish and increases the lifespan of the barrier, making them suitable for both coastal and inland conditions.

Remember that guarantees usually include clauses regarding the correcting cleaning and maintenance of products. These must adhered to in terms of the guarantee.

5. After-sales Service

Most of us only think about after-sales service when a product fails and we can’t get the supplier to make good on the purchase. One of the advantages of buying your sliding security gate from a Trellidor franchise is that the company has been around for over 40 years and even if a franchise changes hands, there is someone available to attend to your problem. 

A great example of this service continuity relates to a Trellidor Retractable Security gate installed in 1982 and still going strong 35 years later, when the homeowner wanted the locks updated to more modern versions.  The security gate was installed at the home of a Mr Maurer, who lives in Claremont, Cape Town.  

Mr Maurer told us that his Trellidor Retractable Security gate is still working just as well as on the day it was installed over three decades ago. In those days, the Cape Town area was serviced by a Trellidor branch office.  It was only in 2001 that the area was franchised. The Cape Town South franchise was purchased by Peter Snijman, previously the Cape Town Regional Manager. 

Peter’s son Jacques now manages the franchise and amazingly, Jacques still has the original Trellidor Retractable security gate order document from 1982 that authenticates the date of Mr Maurer’s purchase all those years ago!  

Quality has always been high on the list of priorities at Trellidor. This decades-old installation confirms that good quality products will stand the test of time and reliable companies will be around decades later to service your security gates, update locks or show you how to clean them to keep them sliding smoothly.

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