Apartment Access Gates
Posted by Government Affairs
on Sunday, July 17, 2011
Recently, a television station reported about a woman who died as a result of a crushing injury caused at an apartment community access gate. In the event of apartment related stories, HAA works to ensure that members and the public have information about laws and regulations that may relate to the issue.
The following is the information that HAA put together following the news story on the access gate. Check the HAA website and particularly this blog for guidance on other issues in the news.
Tips for renters regarding access gates:
• Never allow children to play on or around access gates. Access gates are large pieces of machinery and do not detect danger.
• Every vehicle should utilize their own access code or activate the gate with their own remote. Never tailgate another vehicle (most gates are not equipped with sensors and are programmed to close after the time that it should take for one vehicle to enter the gate).
• If you are a pedestrian, do not use vehicular access gates, if a pedestrian gate is available nearby.
• If you suspect that your access gate is malfunctioning, notify your property manager immediately. All properties in Texas are required to have an emergency maintenance number posted near the entrance to the leasing office. Also, you will want to put all requests for repairs in writing and give it to management.
• Residents should keep entry codes and remote controls in their possession and not share them with guests.
What the Houston Fire Department manual for apartment operators says about access gates:
“Access Control Gates and Key Boxes:
All access control gates and key boxes comply with all permitting and operational requirements. It is unlawful to erect, construct, build, or cause to be erected, constructed, or build any fence, gate or obstruction to vehicular traffic upon any private street or driveway, unless written approval for its erection is received from the Fire Marshal’s Office, after finding that it will not interfere with access emergency vehicles.
The security gates and the emergency operation shall be maintained operational at all times, or secured in the open position. Repairs shall be in accordance with original specifications and approvals.
All New and Existing Access Control Gates shall have written approval from the Fire Marshal’s Office please refer to Standards: Access Control Gates and Fire Department Access on www.houstontx.gov to make sure your property is in compliance.”
Visit the Houston Apartment Association Fire Safety and Inspections Resource Page for a downloadable version of HFD's Manual and other Fire Safety related information.