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UL 325 6th Edition Introduction

1/25/2016
by Richard Woltjer, HySecurity VP of Marketing
There’s a tsunami of change on the doorstep for Distributors and Installers, but also lack of readiness and confusion about this transition now in effect.

Table of Contents:
Our tech support lines are full of installers seeking authoritative, unbiased answers to UL 325 questions. This document seeks to prepare you for the business impact of this sea change, as well as clear up some current industry confusion. We have done our best to be clear and objective.  Any interpretations of the UL 325 standard have been verified by Underwriter Laboratories.

UL 325 6th Edition-2016 requirements

  • A vehicular gate operator shall have provisions for or be supplied with at least two independent entrapment protection means.  At installation, both entrapment protection devices must be installed. Typically, the first means is the Inherent Entrapment Sensor built into almost all gate operators. The revision to UL 325, now effective, specifically addresses the 2nd entrapment protection means, and the requirement that all external entrapment protection sensors must be monitored for presence and correct operation.     
     
  • Most swing and slide gate operators manufactured on or after January 12th, 2016 will only function with a constant push input, unless connected to one or more* “monitored” external entrapment protection sensors. *An exception may be a swing gate that was tested and approved with a Type C (clutch or pressure relief valve) that limits the force to 40# maximum at the free end of the gate.
     
  • Swing gates and Slide gates must generally have external sensors installed that protect against entrapment in BOTH directions of travel – open and close cycle. In most cases, this requires a minimum of two (2) external entrapment protection sensors (photo eyes and or edge sensors).
     
  • You must check and install ONLY the entrapment protection sensors that have been tested and are authorized by the gate operator manufacturer.  Installing one manufacturer’s authorized sensor on another manufacturer’s operator may not work and will make your install UL 325 non-compliant (unless the other manufacturer also tested and approved the same sensor).
     
  • Following is the currently approved list of HySecurity sensors. Keep checking back at www.HySecurity.com/gatesafety for additions as HySecurity approves new sensors.
 

Be aware of different manufacturers’ interpretations of UL 325 compliance

Because the scope of a standard such as UL 325 does not tell manufacturers’ exactly how they must implement changes to meet its requirements and because two people frequently have different interpretations of the same sentence, differences in engineering solutions between manufacturers’ products are inevitable. Unfortunately, these differences, especially in the methods of monitoring external entrapment protection sensors, increase complexity in our industry and will likely lead to installer confusion.  Distributors need to become very informed of the new requirements and how each manufacturer has implemented the changes into their products, so that they can educate their Dealer customers. Download and study the following guides to answer many of the detailed questions that will arise and in order to fully understand the HySecurity solution to the new UL 325 6th Edition requirements. 
 
 

HySecurity Specific UL 325 Compliance Help

FAQ
UL 325-2016 Standard for Safety Frequently Asked Questions
Read this first to find the most asked questions AND answers to them.

The HySecurity Solution to UL 325 – 6th Edition
HySecurity’s Simple. Reliable. Secure. Roadway to UL 325 Compliance and installing a safer gate

HySecurity UL 325 Approved Sensors & Accessories
List of photo eyes and edge sensors approved for connection to HySecurity gate operators

HySecurity Quick Start - Supplement
Site planning and reference tables that help explain the UL 325-2016 requirements for monitoring of external entrapment sensors and step-by-step HySecurity gate operator configuration.

Learn it on Video
Some train best “in person.” Watch HySecurity’s in-person recorded in-person training online.
 
 

Where else can I go educate myself about changes to 2016 gate operators?

 

Distributors: Prepare for an Avalanche of Sensor Orders

Most gate operators won’t function in automatic mode until external sensor(s) have been installed.
 
Do you have the right sensors, and enough of them to meet customer need?
The UL requirement for monitored external sensors dramatically increases demand for photo eyes and edge sensors. Not just any sensor, but sensors that have been tested and approved for use by each gate operator manufacturer that you represent.
 
It’s clear from a quick survey that most distributors have insufficient quantities of approved sensors, especially new edges sensors with 10k Ohm resistors (required for monitoring) and edge accessories, such as wireless transmitter/receivers that comply with the new requirement for monitoring. Additionally, demand for some products may outstrip supply in the short run.

HySecurity Approved Sensors: (click to enlarge)
Edge Sensor Inventory Warning: 
Edge sensors that have been used previously cannot be monitored to comply with the needs of a post-January 12th, UL 325 gate operator. New edge sensors feature a 10k Ohm resistor and some operators also require a Normally Closed (NC) adapter device (GEM-104) which allows the gate operator to monitor edge sensor presence. There may be a shortage of both edges with 10k Ohm resistors and GEM-104 adapters. There may also be a shortage of wireless monitored edge transmitter / receiver sets because Linear “Multi-Code” or “Mega-Code” gate edge transmitter and receiver cannot meet the requirement for monitoring.
 

Why should installers follow all of the UL standard?
 

  1. Safety must be your most important priority. It is well known that, “A moving gate can cause serious injury and death.”  Unfortunately, every year gates do inflict serious injury and sometimes death. Ensuring that your installations are configured to protect all areas of potential entrapment is your first responsibility. 
  2. Non-Compliance Creates a Serious Business Liability. Not meeting the UL 325 and ASTM F2200 safety standards has the potential to seriously damage, if not destroy your company in the advent one of your installations suffers an accidental injury or death and you end up in court defending your installation practices.
  3. Protect Against Personal Injury Lawsuits.   UL 325 and ASTM F2200 are not laws, but in a court of law, your lack of knowledge or compliance to this and other MINIMUM industry safety standards is the kiss of death. That’s not HySecurity’s opinion. It’s the experience of many unfortunate business owners cross examined by a plaintiff’s attorney. The U.S. jurisprudence system doesn’t suffer ignorance, short-cuts or misapplying safety standards. Not following widely published industry-produced safety standards is indefensible in a court of law.
  4. It’s not a law, but Code Enforcement is increasing.
    These defenses won’t help you:
    1. “UL 325 and ASTM F2200 are not laws”
    2. “I’ll never be caught.”
    3. “No one inspects gates where I do business.”
    4. “The standard isn’t clear – I can’t be held responsible for lack of clarity.”
    5. “It’s the end user’s responsibility, not mine. They forced me to reduce costs so much that I couldn’t afford to protect all potential entrapment areas.”
    6. If I try to do all that extra stuff, I’ll lose bids, lose jobs . . . I could go out of business while my competitor grows his.
Plaintiff’s lawyers love these poor defenses. They don’t carry the day when it’s clear that compliance with minimum, established and widely published safety standards took second priority to profit. In fact, UL 325 and ASTM F2200 are just starting points. It’s up to installers to audit their site for all safety concerns beyond those presented by UL 325 and ASTM F2200 and to properly address all of those concerns.