Emergency services - access to gated Communities
An interesting thread on another forum describes the situation where a man's wife collapsed and an ambulance had to be called. The couple live within a locked gated community, similar to my own area. The husband had to leave his wife unconscious on the floor to go down to the gate, wait for the Ambulance and allow entry for the ambulance staff.
It has been indicated on this other forum that it is a legal requirement that the main entrance to a gated community must be open at all times to allow access for the emergency services. This of course defeats the whole purpose of having restricted access to the Community for security purposes
What are the rules from a legal point of view for access to gated areas by emergency services? Do you know how other Communities get around this problem while keeping the security intact ?
As usual your help would be very much appreciated.
I have pasted the reply from the forum in question below:
"Our committee tried to have the gates on our community locked part of the day ( night time mainly ) but our Spanish residents informed us that the main entrance to the community had to be left unlocked by law for the emergency services to gain access at all times. The main entrance gate was left unlocked. Your administrator should sort this out for you."
I've never heard of such a legal requirement.
And frankly, even if in existence, everyone ignores it in practice for blatant security issues.
Gates cannot be left opened "at all times" as it stands to logic. I do not know a single gated community that does this. Do you?
Do you know of any Community that has been fined for locking up its gates at nightime? During the daytime? I thought so.
In practice Communities leave their doors open during the day (so all delivery men can go about their jobs, gardeners, pool men etc) and lock them up at night. Additionally they have security guards that patrol the grounds.
Another matter are beachside gated communities which road is the only access point to a beach. These, by law, must leave the community gates open at all times for a different reason i.e. beaches in Spain are of Public Domain and must be allowed unrestricted access at all times.
Access to gated areas
Many thanks for you very quick and helpful response, which explains the situation perfectly
You're welcome Patrick.
We live in the gated community in Seminole County, Florida. We discovered that the Fail-Safe mode from our automated gates (entrance with battery + exit w/o battery) had been deactivated or removed (screw to prevent the gate to engage in lock position.) I sent the email to the Property Management, whose company has been managing our community, to inform them about the problem of the exit gates and asked for the procedure of how to open the gate in case of power outage/emergency. I could not believe their reply: the BOD members would come to the gates and manually open the gates in case of power outage, and we would not release the procedure to homeowners. Then I went online and checked out the specification the gates based on the manufacture and the model number. That is why I learned that there was Fail-safe mode on both gates. I called the gate manufacture; Doorking Inc. and asked them for their advise. The technical support staff explained that the reason that I could not push-and-open the gate gate with a very minimal effort in case of power outage because the Fail-safe mode had not been install (50 cent-screw) or had been removed. I went to talk with the members of the BOD, some said that It would be very expensive to have that feature on the gate! (these members obviously did not know anything about the gate specification) the other would say because they worried the homeowners would open the gates without their approval like "garage sale!" ... but none of them did not read the specification nor knew the name of the manufacture and the model till I brought to their attention. I even called the fire chief marshal about the fail-safe mode and the UL-991 and UL325, the fire marshal did not answer my email, however, on the phone, he gave me his opinion and interpretation that it would be ok for his fire department to access the site as long as one gate is open and about the fail-safe mode ? he never heard or awared of such feature (right now the entrance gate is open and the exit gate is in locked position during power outage) And I asked for some reason that the entrance gate might not be opened due to the worn-out / weak battery or mechanical failure then there was no way in + out, ...he was silenced and then just said "good bye!" ...
-Up to now :the entire of the BOD and Property Management Inc. have oficially awared that it only cost two 50-cents screws for two set of gate to reactivate the Fail-safe mode (the Doorking sent the diagram and it is very very simple procedure) But for some reason they are playing stoned deaf (they already issued the memo that is the way it should be before they knew that the fail-safe mode is on the specification of the automated gate units!)
-How can we let the BOD and Management Company know that they are tampering with somebody's live-and-death issue in case of emergency, and the reason the gate manufacture designed that Fail-save mode is to save critical time, therefore, is to save lives. We as the homeowner do not want to rely on their mercy on how fast for them to come to open the gate at 2 o'clock am during the thunder storm/hurricane, especially not even mention that they might get injured themselves ... The whole notion of deactivate the safety device from the manufacture in order for BOD have a tighter control on the gates versus of the notion of saving critical time therefore saving live seems very illogical to me.
Please we need your feed back on this issue.
Thanks in advance,
I am afraid that you are a the wrong Forum. This is a Spanish forum about legal issues in Spain, and as you live in Florida, we advice you to make your enquiry at an American Forum.