Last updated: August 6, 2021

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Children love to discover the world for themselves. Everything lying around the house, whether building blocks, fruit or toys, looks to children like treasures in Indiana Jones. Above all, the most dangerous objects literally attract children. The cooker top is tempting and a staircase offers hundreds of options for climbing or a quick painful descent.

But nothing is more important than the safety of your offspring. Especially for children, safety measures should be provided in their own four walls to avoid possible injuries. For our product comparison, we have compared different models and worked out the most important aspects.




Summary

  • Stair gates should generally be installed from crawling to the age of two.
  • You can usually find a wide variety of stair gates and door gates in the shops, which can only be distinguished by their material, but which have different functions when you look further.
  • Whether with clamps, drilling or roller blinds, stair gates can be easily installed nowadays. The only important thing is to fit the appropriate mounting to the appropriate household location.

The Best Stair Gates: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for stair guards

In order to find a safe and reliable stair guard, we have worked out some buying criteria that can help you in your product selection. These criteria should simplify the comparison of the individual models so that you can make an objective and informed choice.

The criteria that help you to compare the stair guards with each other include:

Material

Stair guards are usually made of wood, metal or nylon fabric mesh. Mixtures of wood and metal are also a common find. In principle, it's a matter of taste what you choose in the end. The difference in quality between wooden and metal safety gates is hardly noticeable.

However, nylon nets are less stable in comparison, but are perfectly adequate as a passage barrier. The greatest advantage of nylon nets is noticeable when using travel guards. These are usually quick to put on and take off and often come with a bag when purchased, in which the net can be quickly and easily stowed away.

Dimensions

Today, different staircases are a dime a dozen. The manufacturers are also aware of this. Therefore, stair gates are produced with variable widths. A margin of up to 40 cm is usually not uncommon. Therefore, it is advisable to measure the dimensions of the stairs, doors or any passages that are to be closed off with the grille before making the final purchase.

When buying, take a second look at the adjustable widths of the stair guard. If this is still not sufficient, some manufacturers also offer spare parts for manually extending the stair guard in order to secure even very wide passages.

Installation

A distinction should be made as to whether a staircase or doorway needs to be protected. Doorways are easy to install. So-called clamping systems are used here. The barrier is simply clamped into the door frame. Strong springs then ensure that it cannot be levered out by children. No drilling is required.

The doors are then fitted with an opening device, which varies depending on the company. Some are even equipped with auto-close functions. This means that even if the door is forgotten, it can be securely closed.

In comparison, the installation of the stair guard is somewhat trickier. If there is a wall on both sides, a door barrier can be installed in the same way. It is important to note that when installing the stair guard, the door should not point in the direction of the stairs. This should be self-explanatory and comprehensible.

If a door is not locked properly, there is no danger of the child opening the door inwards and falling down the stairs.

The child would first have to pull the door open to be in danger of falling, which is usually still a big challenge for the child.

In summary, it is recommended to know beforehand where exactly the stair guard is needed and whether the method of attachment of the respective guard is suitable. As already mentioned, when attaching a stair guard you should look carefully at whether a clamping system is sufficient, whether it has to be drilled or whether a combination of both provides the solution.

Mechanism

With the Auto - Close function, the stair or door guard has the function of hooking itself back into place. A constant check that the lock is engaged is no longer necessary and safety is ensured.

Minimum height and extensions

The grille should always be higher than 60 cm, otherwise the child will have an easy time falling into the danger.

Some brands offer extensions in addition to the product. If the width is not quite right, Y-adapters or clamps as well as spare parts for a width increase are often offered by the manufacturer and are therefore easy to obtain.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about stair gates answered in detail

In the following, we would like to answer the most important questions on the subject of stair guards and thus provide you with a better and more in-depth insight into the subject.

For whom is a stair guard suitable?

As a rule, for anyone who is able to secure access to hot cookers, dangerous rooms or the way to the stairs for small children.

Although they are then rather unhappy with the cordoned-off areas, the barrier serves their well-being. A child-proof closure prevents small children from easily opening the door and, despite all this, allows adults to use the stairs or rooms as usual.

A stair guard can also be very decorative and inconspicuous in the house. Due to the versatile application possibilities, the protected rooms can vary.

What types of stair safety gates are there?

Stair and room safety gates come in a wide range of variants.
For pets, the same safety gate is used as for children. As these are usually over 70 cm high, neither of them can get over the grille and thus remain in good sight.

A distinction is made between protective grilles for stairs that can be clamped, drilled or rolled.

Safety gates with a clamping system are often more flexible in use and can be fitted anywhere. No tools are needed and installation usually takes between 5 and 15 minutes.

A stair guard is a safety device at the top of a staircase. It is designed to prevent small children from accidentally falling down the stairs. (Image source: 123rf / Sasisakulporn)

Stair guards for drilling provide consumers with a special type of stability that is important when going up and down stairs. Adherence to the minimum height results in an impassable wall for children. This guarantees a high level of safety.

The third type is the stair protection roller blind. These are made of dense, flexible materials such as nylon nets. Roller blinds have an enormous advantage in that they are infinitely adjustable and can therefore be used universally in any passage width. Once installed, the roller blind provides a fixed place of action. From a visual point of view, it also fits better into modern flats than conventional safety gates.

What does a stair guard cost?

Basically, there is something for every price range. Inexpensive entry-level models with standard dimensions are available from around 20 €.

Price range Available products
Low-priced (20 - 50 €) Mostly protective grilles with standard dimensions, few functions, always something to choose from in terms of price and performance
Medium-priced (50 - 100 €) Here, the grilles are of higher quality and provide even more safety, the functions are variable and sizes can be adapted
High-priced (from 100 €) Mostly luxurious protective grilles with a few more functions

Depending on the material, design, brand or size, it is quite possible that a safety gate can cost over 200 €.

When do I need to use a stair gate?

After the first few months of a child's life, a stair gate is not usually necessary, as the child is not yet able to move on its own. Only after the first crawling steps have been learned is it advisable to take care of protecting the danger zones in the house.

How long do I use a stair gate?

Manufacturers often specify a period of use of about 24 months. From this age, the child learns to analyse and imitate the environment around it.

This means that close observation of how the corresponding mechanism opens can be quickly tried out. This means that the safety gate loses its real usefulness. In the case of further offspring, however, it is still advisable to leave the safety gate attached until the last child has reached 24 months.

It is quite possible that the child will still be protected by safety gates at the age of two or three, although it would be advisable to teach the children how to behave on unprotected stairs.

Conclusion

To increase the feeling of safety at home for small children and pets, the purchase of a stair gate is helpful. Thanks to today's technology, the installation of a safety gate does not require great craftsmanship and is usually done within 10 minutes.

The versatility of many partition grilles also makes it easy to integrate the product into normal everyday life.

Image source: annebel146 / 123rf

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