What is the 2016 UL 325 Standard?
The UL company (Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.) has been providing the world with innovative safety solutions since 1894. All doors, draperies, gates, louvers, windows, exterior awnings and other opening and closing appliances rated 600 V or less will be required to adhere to new UL 325 requirements starting 1-12-1016. This means that all gate openers manufactured on or after January 12th 2016 must be UL 325 compliant in regards to the new changes of the standard.
All gate operators manufactured on or after January 12, 2016 will be required to conform to new UL 325 standards.
The year 2016 brings new mandates for the gate opener industry. Key changes to UL 325 are outlined below.
- Gate operators will be required to have a minimum of two independent means of entrapment protection where the risk of entrapment or obstruction exists. To meet this requirement, a gate opener can utilize two inherent-type systems, two external-type systems, or an inherent and an external system.
- An external non-contact sensor or contact sensor may be used as a means of entrapment protection. However, the sensor must be monitored once every cycle for (a) the correct connection to the operator and (b) the correct operation of the sensor. If the device is missing, functioning incorrectly, or is shorted, then the gate operator will not run. In this case, the gate can only be operated by constant pressure on the control device, and portable wireless controls will not work.
- It is up to the installer to examine the installation and determine where a risk of entrapment or obstruction exists. If the installer identifies a risk of entrapment or obstruction, at least two independent means of entrapment protection are required.
- Type E (audible alarm) devices can no longer be used for entrapment protection. This change was made because the Type E device is really a warning device, not an entrapment-protection device. Also, all gate operator classes are now required to have an audio alarm that sounds when two successive obstructions are encountered via a contact-type system.
- The terms "primary" and "secondary" have been removed in the description of entrapment protection devices. This was done to emphasize that all entrapment protection devices are equally important.
Exceptions and Terminology Changes
- An exception has been added in the manufacturer’s instructional requirements for the location of controls that operate the gate. The instructional requirements state that these controls must be at least 6' away from any moving part of the gate. In the new exception, "Emergency access controls only accessible by authorized personnel (e.g., fire, police, EMS) may be placed at any location in the line-of-sight of the gate."
- An exception has changed for barrier-arm gate operators requiring entrapment protection. The previous exception stated that a barrier-arm operator did not require entrapment protection if the arm did not move toward a rigid object closer than 2'. The distance has been reduced to 16" so it more closely aligns with the industry-defined entrapment protection provisions in ASTM F2200.
- The definitions for installation classes for gate operators have changed. Class II now includes commercial locations accessible to the general public. Class III was refined to specify industrial locations not accessible to the general public. While minor, these changes may affect which gate operator is suitable for a particular installation location.
The new provisions of the UL 325 Standard are intended to prevent accidents from happening and are meant to keep you and your loved ones safe. For more information about how UL 325 pertains to your specific gate opener, please call (888) 378-1043 or contact the manufacturer of your gate opener.
If a professional is installing your gate opener, he or she should provide you with a safe gate operating system. To insure this safety, and to comply with the manufacturer's installation instructions and industry safety standards, your installer should present you with different options of certain safety devices that they feel are necessary to insure a safe gate system. We STRONGLY suggest that you discuss these options with your installer and heed his or her recommendations regarding entrapment prevention devices and gate construction criteria. You should also refer to the manufacturer's installation manual for more information on the safety provisions and requirements of your particular vehicular gate system.
UL 325 Compliant Monitored Photo Eyes
Looking for a monitored UL 325 compliant photo eye for your gate opener? The EMX IRB-MON is our most popular photo eye that complies with these standards.
Disclaimer: All customers and installers should check with UL (Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.) for the full UL 325 listing and most up to date regulations.