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Displaying posts by archives 'January, 2018'

CHOOSE THE BEST STAIR GATE FOR YOUR HOME

 

CHOOSE THE BEST STAIR GATE FOR YOUR HOME

 

With so many stair gates on the market, choosing the best stair gate for your baby and home can prove challenging.  To help you make the right choice, Safetots have come up with a guide to the different types of stair gates available, providing an insight into the benefits, pros and cons of each type of gate.  From pressure fitted gates, screw fitted gates, retractable gates  and gates for dogs, we highlight the features and differences to help you reach the right decision.

 

Stair gates are still one of the most popular baby safety items purchased for babyproofing the home.  Given the name ‘stair gates’ many parents who live in houses without stairs still install ‘safety gates’ in various doorways to keep their little ones safe from dangers in kitchens, bathrooms or simply to create safe play zones for their children to play.  Safety gates can be used in external doorways to prevent infants and pets from venturing outside and enable doors to be open during the summer months.  Safety gates are versatile and provide the ultimate safety for infants in the home. 

 

WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO BUY A STAIR GATE?

 

Installing a baby gate in doorways and stairwells is one of the first steps many parents take to baby proofing the home once their child shows signs of crawling or shuffling.  It’s best to think ahead and fit stair gates ahead of your baby crawling as once they find their legs, it’s simply a case of gaining speed and before you know it they will be into everything.  Babies generally start crawling from the age of 8 months, however some babies are earlier some slightly later.  When your child reaches the age of 5 months, take a look around the home to establish areas where a safety gate might be needed.

 

HOW MUCH IS A STAIR GATE?

 

Stair gates vary in price, and depending on the size and style you want the price will differ.  Today we are spoilt for choice and you can buy mesh gates, black metal gates, white metal gates and wooden gates and a wooden and metal mix to match your home interiors.  You can spend as little as £20 on a stair gate or over £100 for much larger safety gates with quality features.  Use our unique Safetots stairgate finder to view our range of stair gates for a tight budget through to our range of high end stair gates.

 

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF STAIR GATES?

 

Choosing the right stair gate can be challenging, here we have put together a guide to all the different types of stair gates and what to consider when buying a gate.  Different stair gates have different features and sometimes buying the most expensive gate doesn’t always provide you with the ‘best stair gate’. 

 

Popular brands include Bettacare, BabyDan, Dreambaby, Lindam and Safetots.  Different types of stair gates are suited to different areas of the home. 

 

Screw fit stair gates are recommended for the top of stairs as they have no trip bar, plus they have added stability thanks to the screw fit feature. For additional safety make sure the gate opens towards you if installed at the top of the stairs. 

 

Retractable gates are great space saving solutions and can be installed with ease in many areas of the home.  They virtually disappear once retracted and provide a great deterrent when in use.  Although made from strong mesh, retractable gates do not provide the same barrier as metal safety gates and wooden safety gates.  Retractable gates are ideal for small spaces or areas where a permanently fitted gate is not required.

 

Consider how the gate opens and closes, two way opening stair gates are the most versatile option but may not be suited to all spaces.  Automatic closing gates shut automatically once you have walked through, ideal for children with siblings who may not always remember to close the gate.  Manual closing gates have to be physically closed behind you, often featuring a slide and lift mechanism to open.

 

SCREW FIT STAIR GATES

 

Screw fit stair gate are the strongest most sturdy stair gates and recommended for the top of the stairs as they have no trip bar.  Wall mounting brackets are featured at either corner of the gate and drilling into walls or bannisters is required for installation.

 

PROS

As screw fit stair gates are drilled into place, they provide the strongest, most secure barrier.  Screw fit stair gates have no base trip bar making them the safest option for the top of stairs.

 

Screw fitted stair gates such as the BabyDan Configure Gate and the Safetots Flex Gate are made up of individual panels that range in size enabling you to create a gate configuration for your own unique space.

 

CONS

As screw fitted stair gates are physically screwed in place, once the gate is removed the holes will remain in place, however these can easily filled with the right materials.

 

Extensions are not available for many screw fit gates, it’s therefore important to ensure you have the correct measurements before purchasing.  Consider any skirting boards when measuring as this may be different to your wall to wall measurement.

 

PRESSURE FIT STAIR GATES

 

Pressure fitted safety gates are versatile, they can be moved easily from one doorway to another by simply releasing the pressure at the four spindles and re-installing at another doorway or stairwell.  There is no lasting damage to walls or bannisters with pressure fitted stair gates as they are installed using pressure only and no drilling or screwing into place is required.

 

PROS

Fitted by pressure with 4 spindles and wall cups there is no lasting damage to surrounding walls and bannisters once removed.

Pressure gates are versatile, they can be easily moved to doorways and stairwells measuring the same width.

Most pressure fitted gates are compatible with extensions. Extensions for stair gates come in a range of sizes enabling you to make a gate configuration to suit your space.

 

CONS

Pressure fit stair gates are designed within a U frame.  The base of the u frame forms a bar that can potentially be tripped over.  Pressure fit stair gates are therefore not recommended for the top of the stairs and more suited to the bottom of stairs and doorways.

 

RETRACTABLE GATES

 

Fabric gates that retract back fully are generally made of a strong mesh that fully retracts into the frame when not in use.  Retractable stair gates are installed using wall mounting brackets that are screwed into place, they can be fitted to the outside wall around a door entrance or within the door frame itself. 

 

Retractable stair gates are a deterrent for children or pets, providing an instant screening, however they do not provide the same strength as a more permanent fixed stair gate such as metal stair gates and wooden stair gates. 

 

PROS

The benefits of gates that retract is that they can be fully retracted into the wall mounted bracket when not in use. 

Retractable gates are ideal gates for small spaces or awkward spaces as they can be fitted inside or outside of door frames.

Mesh gates are discreet when not in use and provide an instant temporary room divide when needed.

Retractable gates have no base bar so there is no risk from tripping over.

Retractable gates are a popular choice for external doorways.

Retractable gate brackets can be practically fitted anywhere.

 

CONS

Retractable gates are not generally recommended for use with dogs as if chewed, damage to the fabric may occur.

Retractable gates are not as strong as wooden gates or metal gates and create less of a permanent divide.

Not suited to extra wide spaces.

 

WHICH IS THE BEST STAIR GATE FOR MY DOG?

 

The type of stair gate you choose to prevent your dog from entering various rooms in the home, or for keeping your dog safe in the home will depend on the size and breed of your dog.

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A STAIR GATE FOR YOUR DOG:

 

If you have a large dog which has considerable strength you may want to consider an extra tall screw fit stair gate.  A screw fitted gate is stronger than a pressure fitted gate and more suited to retaining larger, stronger pets.

 

For smaller dogs most pressure fitted gates or screw fitted gates will be suitable.  For pet owners whos dogs may be prone to chewing, a metal stair gate may be a more suitable choice over wood.

 

Pet gates with a cat flap are ideal for dog owners who also have a cat.  The pet gate creates zones for dogs yet enables a cat to enter and exit areas of the home not suited to a dog.  Dog gates with a cat flap are generally taller than standard size gates, making them suitable for larger dogs, smaller dogs and cats.

 

WHERE TO FIND THE BEST STAIR GATE?

 

To help you find a stair gate for your doorway or stair well try our Safetots stair gate finder.  Our unique stair gate finder enables you to key in your measurements and a list of compatible stair gates, pressure fitted, screw fitted and retractable will be shown.  The stair gate finder further enables you to narrow down your search by selecting ‘pressure fitted gates’ or ‘screw fitted gates’ with a further option to select colour and brand.

 

Visit Safetots.co.uk to find the perfect stairgate for your home, or for a more personal service, contact our Safetots Customer Service Team on 01438 728888 who will be more than happy to help and advise, or email us at info@safetots.co.uk

 

 

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Stair Gates Jan 24 ,2018

BABY PROOFING

BABY PROOFING

 

TOP TIPS FOR BABY PROOFING YOUR HOME

 

Happy New Year and welcome to 2018!  To help you keep your little ones safe throughout 2018, Safetots have come up with top tips for child proofing the home and the best time to child proof.  Thinking ahead and being prepared and proactive can prevent all kinds of incidents from happening with your crawling baby or inquisitive toddler.  Most babies begin to crawl around the age of 8 months but some are younger.  It’s a good idea to have everything in place ahead of your baby exploring the home to enable them to explore their surroundings safely.

 

So how can you baby proof your home and where do you start?

 

THE LITTLE THINGS

 

FIRST STEPS

 

From the age of 6 months your baby may be sitting up unaided or showing signs of sitting up unaided, and it won’t be long before they are frustrated with sitting still, they have found their little legs and the rest of the home becomes a whole new ‘play zone’.

 

FASTEN YOUR FURNITURE

 

Up until now your home has felt perfectly safe with no potential risks to any family members, but once your little one starts to crawl, the home can very quickly become a hazardous playground.  Take a good look around your home to see where there may be potential risks to your child. 

 

FURNITURE STRAPS

 

Be quick to fasten and secure any large items to the wall such as the TV, little ones love to pull themselves up on anything in reaching distance and fitting simple TV straps such as the Babydan anti tip TV strap can prevent the TV from toppling over.  Take a look around and identify all your heavy furniture such as wardrobes, drawers, bookshelves and any units that if potentially grabbed by tiny hands or climbed into or onto, could quickly topple and cause great harm.  Fixing furniture to the wall with furniture straps is one of the most simple, low cost yet one of the most important ways you can baby proof the home.  Furniture fastenings or furniture straps are designed to prevent infants from pulling heavy, unbalanced furniture on top of themselves.

 

PROTECT LITTLE FINGERS & FACES

 

CABLES AND PLUGS

 

Keep any cables out of reach or keep them tidy with a ‘cable tidy’ unit or wrap them up with suitable tape to prevent access.  Install plug socket covers to any open sockets, babies can be fascinated with open sockets and may find fun in poking their tiny fingers into the exposed holes or filling them with food or quite simply enjoy playing with them.  Plug socket covers are inexpensive and can be fitted quickly throughout the home, basic baby proofing equipment that can prevent endless toddler injuries or electrical problems.   

   

FURNITURE EDGE GUARDS AND CORNER GUARDS

 

Fit table corner guards and table edge guards to tables and units with sharp edges and sharp corners.  Babies are inclined to pull themselves up on tables and units and unsteady toddlers are inclined to topple and fall as they learn to walk.  Take a look around each room in your home for any furniture with sharp edges that your child may come onto contact with should they trip, stumble or fall.  If any of these furniture items are at a level that could lead to injuries particularly to your infants head or eyes, it may be wise to fit table edges and corner guards.

 

THE ULTIMATE SAFETY – LOCKS & LATCHES

 

Window & cupboard locks

 

Cupboard locks, drawer locks, kitchen locks and bathroom locks are invaluable little items that can prevent big problems.  Locks and latches for drawers and cupboards enable you to lock up any dangerous cleaning products, medicines, electrical items or sharp objects that could be harmful to infants.  Magnetic locks or adhesive locks enable you to secure your furniture without leaving any permanent damage.  Window locks enable you to have windows open without being open to a dangerous level where a child may topple out.  Window locks prevent young children from opening windows independantly and should they manage to open a window, it won’t open fully. 

 

THE BIGGER THINGS

 

STAIR GATES

 

Top on our list for keeping your toddler safe in the home are ‘Stair gates’, fitting a safety gate to the bottom and top of your stairs prevents children from climbing the stairs or falling down the stairs. Learning how to use the stairs safely takes time in the early days of crawling and toddling and it’s not always possible to be there at all times to help and ensure your child is safe around the stairs.  Installing baby gates enables your child to have freedom in the home, upstairs and downstairs without the risk of injuries from stairs.  Once a child has progressed from a cot to a bed, many parents choose to install a safety gate across their child’s bedroom door, keeping them from roaming around the house should they choose to climb out of bed unannounced.  Safety gates can be used throughout the home to create safe play zones for children to play or to prevent them from entering kitchens and bathrooms when your back is turned.  Consider fitting safety gates throughout the home when your child is showing first signs of crawling or toddling and if possible, don’t leave it until they are on the move.

 

FIRE GUARDS & RADIATOR COVERS

 

To keep young children safe around open fires, log burners and even gas fires consider installing a fire guard.  Unlike a fire screen which is a stand free guard, a fireguard is fitted around a fire and securely screw fitted in place.  A fireguard prevents children from having any contact with fire, and as they are screw fitted in place they provide the ultimate safety for children around fire.  If you have an unusual size fire place consider choosing a flex fire guardFlex guards are made up of individual panels from as small as 20cm through to 72cm in a range of sizes in-between, enabling you to connect fire panels of various sizes to make your own bespoke configuration. 

 

If you have radiators that get particularly hot, consider fitting a radiator coverFabric radiator covers enable you to cover radiators with ease without eating into the space in your room.  The dual mesh fabric is lightly padded and heat resistant preventing bumps and burns should your little one come into contact with a radiator.       

 

BANNISTER GUARDS

 

Something many new parents often overlook are the gaps between the spindles on a bannister.  Some gaps are quite large and tiny bodies with flexible soft bones are able to squeeze through.  If your little one is able to squeeze through, a fall from a height onto a wooden surface below could prove to be fatal.  Not all bannisters have wide spindles, but if you do have a young baby who is on the move, take note of your bannister railings and ensure they are safe for a baby to be near.  If in any doubt, consider fitting a bannister guard.  Bannister guards consist of a clear, unobtrusive film that encases the spindles preventing infants from putting limbs through or throwing items through.  Bannister guards and simple to fit and remove when no longer needed, leaving no lasting damage to furniture. 

 

MORE TIPS.......

 

Cut that BLIND cord

 

Childproofing the home can seem like an endless task and often when your baby starts to crawl you will suddenly find potential dangers in so many items and areas in the home once deemed perfectly safe.  Have you checked your blind cord or blind chain is fixed to the wall, OR at a height unreachable by your toddler? Make sure they are unable to climb on to near bye furniture and fall into a blind cord.  Blind cords should be cut short, out of reach and/or securely fastened to the surrounding wall.

 

KEEP THEM SAFE FROM SCALDS AND BURNS

 

Keep infants safe around hot stoves and kettles.  Ensure kettles are out of reach and there is no easy access to hot taps and hot kettles.  Install cooker guards to prevent toddlers from reaching up and pulling hot pans onto themselves.  Keep them safe from scalds and life-long scars by a cooker guard or ensure pans are placed to the back of the hob with handles out of reach.  Some ovens can get exceptionally hot and by simply fitting an oven guard, should your child come into contact with the oven surface they will be kept safe from burns.

 

Child proofing the home is all about being vigilant and attentive.  Take note of potential dangers in each room and make the necessary changes to make each room a safe haven for your child, or simple close off areas with Safetots child safety gates.

 

For all the best baby safety items for home and away visit Safetots.co.uk

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Childproofing Jan 15 ,2018