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How to Install Folding Security Gates

Installing folding security gates requires at least two people, following the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Installing folding security gates on your property can seem a daunting task, but if you have the right tools, and at least one helper, you should be able to carry out the installation without too much trouble. Read on to find out the different kinds of security gates available, and the steps necessary to ensure a successful installation.

Different types of security gates and how to select the right type.

Swinging gates.

Swinging gates are mainly used for vehicular access, and as the name suggests, they swing open just like a door using hinges to allow the gate to open and close. When installing swinging gates, ensure there are clear indicators to show where vehicles must stop to avoid being hit by the gates as they open.

Sliding gates.

Commonly used in a commercial setting, sliding gates open by sliding to the side of the opening, either to the right or left. They are usually fitted with wheels that slide along a “V” grooved track secured to the floor or driveway. However, sliding gates can be installed using an overhead track, which means less dirt and debris will settle in the track, unlike the ground track.

Bi-fold gates.

Bi-fold gates are similar in design to the bi-fold doors you may have in your closets. They are comprised of two folding panels that come together when opened. Some of the bi-fold gates on the market today have four panels to allow for two-way traffic. They can slide along on ground, or overhead tracks depending on the situation. Bi-fold gates are considered to open and close the fastest.

Vertical rise gates.

As the name implies, vertical gates open sliding on a track. They take up less space than other types of security gates because they move vertically. Like bi-fold gates, vertical gates open quickly and come in various opening width sizes. They come in two variations, vertical lift, and vertical pivot. The vertical lift opens straight up using a track, while the pivot rotates 90 degrees as it opens upwards.

Pedestrian gates.

For foot traffic, four of the most popular security gates are:
Swing gate.
Like vehicular swing gates, this type opens using hinges to allow walkers to pass through. Space is taken up on either side to allow the gate to swing open.

• Accordion gate.
This is probably the type of security gate that is widely used but never noticed by pedestrians. If they are open, you will not see much of the gate since it collapses on itself to one side or the other of the opening.

• Folding gate.
A smaller version of the vehicular bi-fold gate, this gate has two panels that, when opened, fold together to allow pedestrians to enter.

• Turnstile.
Designed to allow one person through at a time, the turnstile or foot traffic portal spins around to give access to the property.

Benefits of a side-folding security gate installation.

Side-folding security gates have benefits such as:

They are easy to conceal with a pocket. Large department stores have side-folding doors, that are unseen when they are open because they slide, folding as they go, into a wall pocket.
They can be large, securing a wide opening, and protecting them from intruders.
They can be installed using a modular design making the replacement of parts easier than if the gate is non-modular.
If your application requires it, a side-folding security gate can be installed utilizing curved tracks.
They can have emergency exit doors incorporated.

Benefits of a roll-up security door installation.

A roll-up security door has the following benefits:

The opening and closing of the roll-up door can be motorized for ease of use.
The installation is relatively easy compared to other types of security doors/gates.
The operation of the door is quick whether it be opening or closing.
It is ideal for covering small openings and spaces.
When the door is open, it is barely visible to the casual observer.

What to consider when choosing a commercial security gate.

Available Space.

Knowing what space is available for a commercial security gate is an important factor in deciding which type of gate to choose. You need to be aware of the path the gate will travel as it opens and closes. You may have product displays to consider, fire safety exit routes, plus many more factors to take into account.


The operation of a commercial security gate will depend on the type. All the different types of security gates can be operated manually, but it is recommended that a vertical rise gate be motorized due to the weight involved. The others can be motorized to aid speed, and lessen the effort required in opening and closing.


Depending on the location and application, the design of the security gate can be made using clear polycarbonate panels, aluminum linked rods, perforated metal, tempered glass, or solid aluminum. The gate can be manufactured in a variety of finishes, such as black or clear anodized, and numerous powder coat colors.

Unique Applications.

Side-Folding Doors:

A church is regarded as a place of sanctuary, a place of worship, and spiritual guidance. However, churches must consider the safety and protection of both their congregations and the property. Entrances and exits can be secured by installing side-folding doors made with tempered glass to provide the protection needed without being obtrusive.

Universities and schools have a duty to protect students and faculty in the event of a crisis. Because of all the passageways, hallways, entrances and other access points, side-folding security gates can be operated extremely quickly to make the building secure.

Roll-Up Doors:

Residential windows may need some extra protection from intruders. Roll-up doors can be fitted to most residences. They can also have the added advantage of being hidden from view inside a fully-enclosed header when not being used.

Store checkouts, if they are positioned outside the main premises, can have smaller roll-up doors installed. They come in a variety of styles, colors, and varying degrees of opacity, so they can blend in with the main structure’s security gates.

Steps to install a folding security gate

Check this video to help you.

Evaluate the installation opening.

The first decision should be whether the gate is to be installed on the wall outside the opening, or in the opening itself mounted to the sides of the opening.

Select the correct folding security gate.

If the gate is to be installed on the inside of the opening, make sure it will fit under the top of the opening when collapsed. The gate is taller when opened than it is when closed. Choose a gate that is a little wider than the opening. If the opening is 12’ wide, select a 12’ – 14’ folding security gate.

Tools and materials needed for installation.

You will need various tools to complete the installation, such as:
Impact drill.
Hammer drill.
Drill bits.
Concrete screws or lag bolts.

Installation site preparation.

Make sure the opening is clear of any debris. If there are any imperfections in the area, repair them. For example, if the uprights have any left-over material chip it away until the surface is as smooth as you can get it. The same applies to the floor. Any bumps in the floor area could impede the opening or closing of the gate.

Install the gate pivot hinges.

Stand the gate upright holding it approximately 1.25 inches from the wall and mark where the bottom pivot pin will go. Drill a hole into the floor at the point you marked at a diameter and depth recommended in the instructions that came with the gate. Drop the pivot pin into the hole and check the gate will swing clear of the opening so as not to be an obstruction to pedestrian traffic when not in use. Once you are sure of the position, you can begin the installation.

Install the folding security gate.

Using a level, mark where the top bracket is to be positioned. Drill the requisite number of pilot holes into the frame or wall. Bolt the gate to the frame or wall through the bracket using lag bolts or concrete screws. If you are installing double folding gates, then repeat the process on the opposite side.

Fit the gate locks.

For a single folding security gate, extend the gate to the opposite wall and line it up with a locking bar. Position the locking bar on the frame or wall and mark the position of the holes in the locking bar. Drill the necessary holes and secure the bar with lag bolts or concrete screws. Double folding gates will require extra holes to be drilled in the floor to accommodate the extra drop pins. With both gates extended, locking mechanisms can be attached to the central uprights to keep the gates securely locked.

Gate alignment adjustments.

If the gate does not align correctly with the locking bar, then you will need to make a few adjustments. The locking bar should have oval or elongated holes where the bolts go through; both horizontal and vertical. The lag bolts or concrete screws holding the locking bar in place should be loosened just enough to allow you to move the bar to the correct position. Retightened them once the gate aligns correctly.

Testing the gate.

To test the gate, open and close it several times to check that the operation is as expected. Double gates should be tested to make sure the drop pins fit the holes drilled in the floor, and be able to be locked in place. If any problems are discovered, then adjustments to the gates should be attended to before the job can be considered complete.

Maintenance and ongoing care.

Like anything mechanical, security gates need ongoing maintenance and care. Wheels on the bottom of the gate that allow smooth movement when opening and closing, should be inspected periodically, and lubricated. A folding security gate has multiple pivot points that need to move freely when the gate is being used. All moving parts should be inspected and lubricated if you want the gate to operate as intended.

How much does a security gate cost?

Manual gate price.

A manual security gate does not have complicated mechanisms. They are relatively cheap to install using tracks, wheels, or hinges. The average price for a manual security gate is $2,500, but it can get more expensive, reaching upwards of $4,000 for quality materials such as weather-resistant aluminum and an intercom.

Electric security gate price.

Unlike a manual gate, if you want your security gate to open automatically, then it will require electronic components. Because of the additional materials required, your outlay will be much greater. Electric gates on average cost $7,000, but if you want the latest technology and would like remote controls, keypads, and intercoms, expect to pay a bit more.

Frequently Asked Questions.

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How Folding Security Gates Enhance the Effectiveness of Your Other Security Tools.

Having folding security gates not only delivers security by way of a physical barrier between your property and would-be intruders, but they also make other security devices more effective. Security cameras can capture attempted break-ins for a longer period because of the security gates. Alarm systems are afforded more time to alert the police as the gates mean it is more difficult to get inside. Also, since criminals want to get in and out as fast as possible, security gates may be enough of a deterrent to make them think twice about attempting a break-in or smash and grab.

What is a commercial security gate?

A commercial security gate is a controlled access system specifically designed to manage vehicular and pedestrian traffic into all types of properties. They can be found in parking garages, office buildings apartment complexes, industrial compounds, and gated communities.

What is an electric gate?

An electric gate, as the name implies, is powered by an electric motor to open, and close. You may know them as automatic gates, but whatever you know them as, they do not require human input to operate. Sensor beams or pressure pads located near the gate when activated, will open the gate, which will close automatically after the traffic has passed through.

Do you need an electric gate?

If you have a high volume of traffic, then an electric gate is a must especially if the traffic is accessing the property both day and night. It will be more cost effective than employing staff to control access.