As soon as baby becomes mobile, a stair gate is a necessity for any parent who lives in a two storey building. Even parents who live in bungalows or flats may invest in gates, simply to create a barrier between their baby and a potential hazard.
When it comes to stair gates, one size does not fit all. So here is a little advice to help you make an informed decision on your stair gate purchase.
1. Gates which are side opening will need plenty of space. Assess whether there is enough space for the gate to swing into or would it potentially cause a hazard.
2. Retracting or concertina gates are advisable for small spaces or if you want the gate to disappear when not in use.
3. Take particular care with gates fitted directly at the top of the stairs. Only use screw fit options which open inwards.
4. Consider how easy the gate is to open. If your toddler could potentially open the gate, then it is not secure. Also consider that you may be opening it with one hand whilst holding a wriggly toddler.
5. Purchase a gate with an alarm which sounds when it has not been completely closed.
Types Of Gate
A pressure fix stair gate sits within a u shaped frame that is held in place by four pressure points. It requires no drilling and won’t leave marks in the walls, however this type of gate has a rail which runs across the floor which can be a trip hazard. Strictly never place this type of gate at the top of the stairs.
Screw Fix Gates
Screw fix gates are possibly the most sturdy and strong option and due to the absence of a floor rail, they are appropriate for use at the top of the stairs. Minimal DIY skills required.
Mesh gates are great for tricky spaces or extra wide doors. The heavy duty mesh material means this is a sturdy option although it can be a little more expensive than alternatives. No floor rail either!
Travel Safety Gates
As the name would suggest, this is a temporary solution whilst you are away from home. They are more appropriate as barriers and need to be put up and down each time you pass through them!
What about costs?
Costs really depend on the type of gate you opt for and the space in which it will be used. They can start from as little as £10 or up to as much as £100.