When Installing a Driveway Gate, Think About 911 Access

A driveway gate offers many benefits, from protection against intruders to increasing your home’s curb appeal. Whether you live near a busy street or out in the county, security gates safeguard your family, pets, and property. However, many people forget about 911 access with a driveway gate. What are the options when emergency vehicles need access to your home, but can’t get through the gate?


Emergency responders have to respond when you call 911. Fortunately, most vehicles stock a wide array of tools that help them get through almost any point-of-entry. The real question is whether you’ll still be able to use the gate after they’re done. If you lock your gate with a chain and padlock, first responders will most likely use bolt cutters on the chain. If you have a more elaborate entry point, then you need to consider different options over losing your security.


Today’s technology certainly makes giving 911 access through your driveway gate much easier. There are several types of emergency access devices:

  • Secure master switch or key
    First responders have a master key specific to your geographic area that lets them access an override switch for access through your gate in an emergency. These keys are regularly inventoried to make sure each one is accounted for, to ensure no one has access to your home except emergency responders. No one can purchase these keys without the fire marshall’s signature, which also keeps them secure.
  • Audio-response

Your gate can be programmed to open when it hears a high-decibel sound, such as the “yelp” of an emergency siren.

  • Radio frequency

Using portable or mobile radios, first responders can activate driveway gates through radio frequency technology

  • Optical systems

Your driveway gate responds to the strobe lights on emergency vehicles to open.


A delay in access to your property could mean the difference between saving your home and total loss. Worse, it could be a life and death situation. Although first responders can push through your gate or use bolt cutters or other mechanical devices, these activities take time. Plan now to allow first responders quick access to your property to ensure your safety.

We will will make sure that your driveway gate is at least 12-feet wide, to allow emergency vehicles clear access. During installation, we discuss different options for 911 access, depending on local ordinances of your community and type of gate that you’re installing.