5 Common Problems With Stair Gates (And How To Solve Them)

Whether you have pets or small children there's no denying the usefulness of a stairgate. From stopping said small creatures from getting up the stairs, falling down the stairs or getting out of a particular room, safety gates serve a very important purpose in the security stakes. So if your child is starting to stand and you think it is time to make things safer at home, this article is for you. Also, get some extra tips and ideas on our blog post on how to make a home safer when your baby starts to stand alone. But very often people experience problems when choosing or fitting stairgates. This can lead either to people not being able to use a stairgate at all, or fitting them in such a way that they may well not be providing the same level of safety which you should expect. If you want to make sure your home is fully safe for your little one, have a look at our post on making a home safe for a baby. It will give some ideas and inspiration in making things super safe for your little one. In fact poorly fitted or inappropriately chosen stairgates can almost represent a greater risk, because the visual appearance of the barrier could well encourage a false sense of security, and it may only take a quick grab or a casual lean against it to cause disaster. So in today's blog post we thought it would be useful to run through five of the most common problem situations people encounter when choosing or fitting a stairgate to either a staircase or doorway.

1. Stairway Or Doorway Is Too Wide

Although many of the stair gates on the market cater for standard width doors, there are solutions for those doorways or stairways which are extra wide. If you are living in a new property then the chances are you'll find that most standard gates fit easily, because doorframes and stairways tend not to be too wide. But if you are in an older property then you may well find that your standard stairgate doesn't reach far enough. So what are your options? In fact you have three main choices. Your first option is to go for a stairgate which has been built to fit wider widths. These might not so easily be found in your high street shops, but we do stock quite a good range. For example, you might be interested in taking a look at the Dreambaby Wide & Tall Stairgate  which can be extended easily to fit spaces up to 106cm wide. Alternatively you could go for a retractable stairgate. These work a little like roller blinds, but horizontally. Simply fix the rolled up barrier on one side of the doorway, and the secure lock on the other side, and then just pull the stairgate across from one side to the other. Your third option, which may be suitable in some situations, is to go for a stairgate which is completely flexible, allowing you to create a shaped barrier around the top of the stairs, or across two doorways. Have a look at the Dreambaby Newport Adapta Gate/Room Divider.

2. The Gap Is Too Narrow

There are actually quite a number of narrow stairgates available now, such as the Callowesse Carusi Narrow Baby Gate which fits doorways and stairways just 63 cm wide.

3. You Either Can't Or Aren't Allowed To Drill Any Holes

If you're living in a rented property then you may well find that you are not allowed to drill holes in walls, skirting boards, doorframes or banisters, and this can be a problem if you have a young child you need to protect from stairs. The solution is quite straightforward though, because today many stair gates don't need any holes drilled at all, working instead by using pressure to remain in a fixed position. Typically these sorts of stairgates have rubber cups on the end of long screws, and by rotating these the gate becomes fixed due to the sheer pressure pushing outwards from each side. As a tip though we recommend slipping a piece of spare wallpaper or material between the suction cup and the wall to avoid any damage caused due to the rubber cups pushing against the wall while being rotated.

4. The Surface On One Or Other Side Is Uneven, Or Curved

If you find that the wall on one side of the stairs is curved, or that the banister is curved, you could face a bit of a problem trying to fit a stairgate. On no account try to use a stairgate that's pressure fitted into place as it is probable that a good knock could easily dislodge it. A possible solution in really awkward cases like this is to consider a custom fit safety gate such as the Dreambaby Brooklyn Converta 3 in 1 Mesh Playpen/Gate The beauty of this product is that it is extraordinarily versatile, and allows you to block off awkward areas which normally simply wouldn't suit a standard safety gate.

5. You Aren't Likely To Remain In One House For That Long

If you are likely to be moving house in the near future then you may not want to spend a fortune on a stairgate which exactly fits your current property because the next one could have a much wider, or narrower doorway or stairway. Although one option is to buy extremely cheap stairgates, when it comes to the safety of a child we never recommend budget items that could be weak, flimsy or a poor fit. A better solution is to buy an adjustable stairgate. These either have the ability to expand or retract to fit almost any sized space, or have additional sections which can be slotted in on either side, increasing or reducing the width as necessary. If you need a stairgate for when you're visiting other people's homes then not only will you need an adjustable stairgate, you'll also need one which has a temporary pressure fitting rather than relying on screws. We hope this helps you to choose the right stairgate for your home, but if you have any questions or need any advice please either leave a comment below, or contact us on 01778 561086 to discuss your needs. Have a look at our range of stairgates to choose the one that best suits your needs. Also, make sure you follow us on Facebook to get the latest tips and reviews on baby products.

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