Overview of the UL-325 Standard for Gate Operators

US Gate Supply is a responsible wholesaler in the automatic gate industry. It’s part of our mission statement to educate home owners, construction companies, installers and architects on the different safety standards governing the gate operator use.

Through this blog post we would like to shed some light on the technical aspects of the UL-325 standard and make it easier for consumers and home owners to understand the benefits of installing a UL-325 certified gate operator. Well known brands such as LiftMaster, Doorking, All-O-Matic, Linear and Hysecurity always pay special attention to consumer safety. A majority of their gate operators are manufactured to comply with the UL-325 standard unlike a flood of DIY (Do-It-Yourself) gate operator kits which can pose a serious safety risk since they are not installed by professionals.

What does UL stand for in UL-325?

UL stands for underwriters laboratories which is an independent and global safety certification company for a range of products including garage door operators and gate operators. Their primary aim is to develop safety specifications through continuous research in consumer products. It is up to manufacturers to adhere to these safety specifications/standards for their products. Some manufacturers also work alongside with UL to ensure their products are UL certified. According to the UL website there are now about 22 billion UL marks on various products. It is important to note here the term “independent” which means that UL is not a government regulated body. They are responsible for their own findings and research on various products. Based on which they come out with safety standards.

A look at the corporate video for UL

Is it Compulsory for all manufacturers to have a UL-325 certified gate operators?

The answer to this is NO. It is completely voluntary for manufacturers to test and make their gate operators UL-325 certified. It’s voluntary because UL is not a government body so its not an ABSOLUTE requirement or mandate for manufacturers to comply. UL is more of a community standard which is laid out to help make our world a safer place to live in. The UL-325 standard undergoes constant revision through an “open and non-exclusionary process” which means various stakeholders can contribute their findings and research in the development of a UL standard. Furthermore a lot of UL standards undergo a canvas process to gain a wider acceptance and enroll itself as ANSI (American National Standards). UL-325 is a ANSI accepted standard.

What Exactly is the UL-325 standard?

Simply put, UL-325 is a standard for Door, Drapery, Gate Louver, and Window Operators and Systems. The following image will give a better idea of the scope of UL-325

Scope of UL-325

 

How can a Manufacturer Attain UL-325 Standard?

As stated earlier in the blog post, UL-325 is a voluntary standard. Manufacturers who wish to attain this standard need to send their products for testing. If the products pass they are successfully “listed” and can use the UL-325 “mark” on their products. It’s important to understand here that a gate operator is not approved by UL or other testing laboratories. It’s a safety standard which implies that the gate operator in question complies to the safety standard set by UL. But it’s also the responsibility of the manufacturer to have proper technical documentation of the gate operator. Moreover the liability of proper and professional installation of gate operator lies with the property owner/manager.

Why do Property Owners/Managers need to care about UL-325 standard?

Gate operators are complex machines. If not properly configured and installed by a professional with the right safety devices it can lead to serious injury and even death of family members or pedestrians. In such a case the liability of the property owner/manager towards the affected party can even result to bankruptcy if a suit is filed. Thus in our view its essential for a property owner to look for a UL-325 operator when he’s out shopping in the market.

photo credit: David Gallagher via photopin cc

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