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Shocking number of children’s safety stair gates fail Which? safety tests

Gates from Mothercare, Lindam, Cuggl, Dreambaby and BabyDan

Eight stair gates tested by Which? have demonstrated serious safety failures that could prove dangerous for your toddler or child.

Samples of the Premier True Pressure and Perfect Close, both made by BabyDan, the Chelsea and Liberty, both made by Dreambaby, the Auto Close and Wooden Extending Gate, both made by Cuggl, the Lindam Sure Shut Orto and the Mothercare Wooden Wall Fix Gate all failed key tests that form part of the EU safety standard for stair and safety barriers.

The two main tests that these gates failed resulted in the stair gate dislodging. This could mean your toddler or child getting through the stair gate and potentially putting themselves in danger.

These tests are known as the fatigue test and the impact resistance test.


Go straight to the best stair gates that did well in our tests.


Video: See stair gates put to the test

Watch our video to see how these stair gates failed crucial safety tests.

Couldn’t withstand being shaken by a child

The fatigue test involves a mechanical arm being clamped to the top of the gate and it being pulled back and forth 10,000 times. This is to mimic the actions of a toddler or child shaking and rattling the gate over time.

Any gate that moves more than 25mm from the starting point, including coming out of the testing set up, is a fail.

Below are the stair gates that failed this test:

Couldn’t withstand a child shoving the gate

The impact resistance test is where a 10kg weight is used to hit different points on the gate. This is to replicate the actions of a child shoving, kicking or ramming ride-on toy into the gate.

Any gate that moves more than 25mm from the starting point, including coming out of the testing set up, is a fail.

Below are the stair gates that failed that test:

Second time we’ve found safety issues

This is the second time in less than a year that we’ve discovered safety issues with stair gates.

In October 2018, we discovered three stair gates that failed the fatigue test, and called for them to be removed from sale.

Check to see whether your stair gate is one of these.

We test gates according to the EU safety standard for safety gates (BS EN 1930:2011) at an accredited laboratory.

Our advice for stair gate users

Some of the pressure-fit stair gates that failed our testing have the option of being secured to the wall using screws as well as the adhesive pads.

When we tested the BabyDan Perfect Close, Dreambaby Chelsea and Dreambaby Liberty with the wall cups screwed into the walls, these gates passed the fatigue test.

If you have one of these gates we’d suggest you do this if you can.

If you’re unwilling or unable to fix the gate using screws, for example you live in rented accommodation, we’d advise you to stop using the gate immediately, as it’s potentially unsafe.

If you own a screw-fit stair gate that has failed our testing, we’d also suggest that you stop using it.

Instead, opt for one of our pick of the top five best stair gates. You’ll know that not only is it safe, it’s also easy to install and simple to open and close.

What the manufacturers told us

BabyDan

Babyt Dan told us: ‘At BabyDan we take feedback about our safety products seriously, as safety of children is paramount to us.

‘We manufacture to the highest possible standards. All our safety gates comply to the relevant safety standards (in this case EN1930:2011)

‘The safety gates mentioned in your publication have been tested recently by accredited labs numerous times without any remarks.’

BabyDan Premier True Pressure

Read the Baby Dan Premier True Pressure gate review.

BabyDan Perfect Close

Read the Baby Dan Perfect Close stair gate review.

Dreambaby

Tee-Zed Products, maker of Dreambaby gates, told us: ‘We do not accept Which?’s test results and consider them invalid.

‘They are contrary to testing we have regularly conducted with accredited test laboratories. Our testing used adhesive only on the mounting cups.

‘To further increase the security of our gates, the instructions for our gates will now state to use both adhesive and screws.’

Dreambaby Chelsea

Read the Dreambaby Chelsea stair gate review.

Dreambaby Liberty

Read the Dreambaby Liberty stair gate review.

Cuggl

Cuddl told us: ‘All our products have to meet high safety standards and are regularly tested.

‘No issues with these products have been identified but we are investigating these results with our supplier.’

Cuggl Autoclose Metal

Read the Cuggl Autoclose Metal stair gate review.

Cuggl Wooden Extending

Read the Cuggl Wooden Extending stair gate review.

Lindam

Munchkin, the company that owns Lindam, told us that consumer safety is paramount to its values as a company and it is dedicated to providing safe, top-quality products.

It says that the Lindam Sure Shut Orto complies with all applicable standards including EN1930.

A spokesperson for the company said: ‘Munchkin continuously monitors customer feedback and states that it has not encountered any complaints of the gate dislodging while in use. It will continue to monitor and audit its products to ensure they meet and/or exceed safety and customer expectations.’

Lindam Sure Shut Orto

Read the Lindam Sure Shut Orto stair gate review.

Mothercare

Mothercare said: ‘The safety of our customers and their children is our highest priority so, as a precaution, we have removed the stair gate from sale while we conduct further investigations and independent testing.

‘We would like to reassure our customers that the stair gate complies with the required safety regulations and has passed all safety testing – BS EN 1930:2011.

‘We have asked to see a copy of the full Which? report and the tests conducted in order that we can fully investigate the findings.’

Mothercare Essential Wooden Wall Fix

Read the Mothercare Essential Wooden Wall Fix stair gate review.

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