Gate & fence safety and security during the lockdown

With so many of us working from home these days a new light is shining on safety and security around the house, pool and yard.

For many people it’s not just them working from home in these extraordinary times – it’s that the whole family is “in da house”.

Dad, mum, kids, pets, inlaws, outlaws, the lot. The whole tribe is hanging out, inside and outside the home.

Since the threat of a lockdown over the “virus crisis” was first mooted in March, DIY equipment sales at hardware stores exploded.

Some envisaged what was to come, and how they might be house-bound for weeks or even months. Bunnings recently enjoyed its largest daily sales ever!

Why? Because many were gearing up for the worst – trapped in and around the house for weeks on end, with many an odd job begging. Paint and hardware sales rocketed accordingly. (Flour has been selling out in supermarkets simply because everyone’s at home baking cakes to kill time and calm the masses.)

So many household repair and maintenance projects and tasks that have previously gone neglected by busy parents are suddenly the focus of their endeavour.

After all, working from home is not just a pleasant distraction from commuting to work, but also a sly opportunity to goof off over a few chores throughout the day.

When it comes to residential safety, one of the classically-neglected-but-important challenges is maintaining and revitalising fences and gates.

Let’s face it, most houses have various forms of front gate, side gate, pool fence, garden gate, pet corral, perimeter fence…

Often times a problem gate or collapsing fence simply require a bit of TLC to make them function as intended, while others require more of an overhaul by installing new latches, hinges and panel repairs.

Fences and gates offer protection or resistance from intruders, in preventing kids and animals getting onto the road, toddlers getting into the pool area, unwanted neighbourhood dogs looking for pee spots, or even the family dog yearning for greater adventures in the burbs.

Simply, gates and fences are a critical part of home safety and security, and let’s never forget that drownings in backyard pools is still one of the greatest causes of accidental death in children under five years in Australia!

One home-grown company that has seen sales of its gate safety products soar during the prevailing ‘lockdown’ is D&D Technologies.

D&D is an Australian company dedicated to the design and manufacture of quality, state-of the-art gate latches, locks and hinges.

Many homeowners know them as those “tall, black magnetic latches” – the MagnaLatch® Child Safety Gate Latch – that adorn so many gates around swimming pools, childcare centres, playgrounds, creches, kindergartens, schools…

D&D invented magnetic gate latches and polymer gate hinges in the early 1990s, and today the multi-award-winning company exports its Australian-made gate hardware around the world.

Its MagnaLatch® quietly revolutionised the safety and efficacy of child safety gates. No longer did pool owners and householders need to struggle with troublesome mechanical latches that would jam, rust and sag.

Today there’s a MagnaLatch® to fit every child and pet safety gate imaginable.

The latest model of MagnaLatch® is the company’s time-honoured Top Pull model with built-in audible and visual alarms – the MagnaLatch® ALERT, with its simple beeps and flashing LED lights. In other words, it’s a latch-alarm, all in one.

The best part? Anyone with a few common tools can install it. Contrary to what the concept may infer, this battery-operated latch requires no wiring or electricians, just the appropriate installation procedure.

Each time the gate (i.e. latch) is opened a simple beep will be heard, alerting those in and around the house that someone is at the gate.

It’s only if the gate is left open (think pool gate danger) for 10 seconds that a second beep will sound.

And if the gate is left open for more than 15 seconds the unit begins to ramp into alarm mode, where a consistent alert will ring out and LED lights will flash until the gate is properly latched.

Fuelled by the early success of its life-changing MagnaLatch® D&D Technologies promptly conceived a “controversial” polymer gate hinge, the TruClose® Child Gate Safety Hinge.

Why controversial? Polymer, or plastic as some might refer to it, was not synonymous with strong, reliable gate hinges in the early 1990s.

It took a while for the ground-breaking design to catch on, but as many will concede polymer gate hinges are now the norm, and considered by most fencing professionals as the ultimate child safety gate hinge.

The fact is the TruClose concept overcame all the age-old problems suffered by traditional mechanical latches – rusting, binding, sagging, staining, chipping…

D&D has gone on to design and manufacture a complete range of other popular gate latches, locks and hinges at its Sydney facilities, including the general-purpose LokkLatch®, a higher-security/privacy LokkLatch® DELUXE and a handle-styled LokkLatch® MAGNETIC Gate Lock.

In recent times it’s introduced a range of commercial-style, hydraulically operating gate hinge-closers under the SureClose® banner, plus a range of no-fuss industrial metal gate hinges under the Shut It® brand.

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This article was first published in The Fence magazine.

By: Phil Doyle – D&D Technologies