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We live in a flat where our kitchen is off the living room, open plan. We have a cat so in addition to the usual hazards you would want to protect your baby/child from we have the cat's food and water bowls and a covered litter tray.
I was worried when I began to look for a safety gate as initially I couldn't find one large enough to span the gap unless I bought a playpen that could be opened out. Then I found this the Babydan Configure gate (which can also be used as an extension the babydan playpen). It is 3 panels that you can angle so it would be ideal for awkward areas a regular safety gate wouldn't fit. When set up like a fence it is not completely rigid and does move a few inches at the section joints but even with my 11month son hanging off it for the past few months it's still standing!!
The mechanism to open/close the gate portion is a little stiff but you soon get used to it. It is fixed on to the wall but was easy to do and didn't take very long at all.
It is available for about £40/50
Three 60 cm (24 inches) interlocking sections adjust 10° increments and can be angled or set in a straight line as needed.