Product Type: Lindam safety products
Newest Review: ... it so whilst not perfect it would be unfair to criticise this aspect too harshly. For a shade under £16.00 I think the Lindam Easy F... more
Exceedingly tricky handle mechanism-ed stair gate
Lindam Easy Fit Plus Safety Gate
Member Name: worst_trip
Lindam Easy Fit Plus Safety Gate
Advantages: Pressure fits to the walls without screw-in fittings
Disadvantages: Handle mechanism to open AND close is a real pain in practice
The Lindam Easy Fit Plus Safety Gate is a safety feature intended for houses that have small kids / dogs living in them. These gates function as interior barriers to stop said kids / dogs getting into areas of the home that they shouldn't - and where there isn't a door you can use to keep them out. Typically, such safety gates get fitted at the top and bottom of the staircase, to keep children off the stairs. We used one (a slightly different model from this) when we were living in rented accommodation and needed to keep our baby out of the kitchen area of our flat. In that case, there was an open-plan kitchen - living room, but we managed to wedge the safety gate in a narrowed space against the wall just before the kitchen part began. Now we have several of them in the house; two on the stairs and the most recent acquisition, this Lindam Easy Fit Plus, which fits in to the gap where our kitchen door would be if we had one.
This Safety Gate is a pressure-fit model, which means it's not necessary to screw it into place in eg. your stair banisters / door jamb. Instead there are four plastic pads attached to the sides of the Safety Gate by means of thick, heavy-duty screws. The pads screw outwards from the edge of the stair-gate, until they fit flat against the upright surfaces of your daoor etc. and hold the Safety Gate firmly in place. The width is somewhat adjustable, and it can be fitted across any gap of between 75cm minimum up to a maximum of 81cm.
One of the reasons we don't have a kitchen door at the is that the doorway there is a slightly non-standard shape, and though it's not particularly wide, at about 85cm, this is more than the blurb on the stairgate says it's intended to accommodate. Luckily, we were able to test one of the (different model) Lindam stairgates we've already got in the gap and it still fit, so we went ahead and bought this one from the Argos catalogue shop, where it cost £21.99.
Actually I had intended to buy exactly the same Lindam pressure-mounted stair-gate as we've already got, but although this is what I ordered in the shop, due to one of those irritating quirks of Argos stock-taking policy, we ended up with this 'Safety-gate Plus' version, which in my opinion isn't nearly as good as the basic, 'original and best' one. The reason for this has to do with the child-proof handle that you use to open and close this model of the Lindam stair gate. It's difficult to describe but basically has got a very weird catch: there are two buttons that stick out from the top of the handle, front and back. To operate the handle, you need to depress both of these at once - which allows the latch part to lift away from the main part of the handle. This is quite difficult to do in practice, and I find it almost impossible, even once you've worked out the overall knack of operating the mechanism, to accomplish one-handed.
Even closing the stair gate is a pain in the neck. The old model, you can simply slam shut and it locks automatically. With this one, you have to line up a little narrow groove that's set into the handle of the swinging door part EXACTLY with the 'head' slot that fits into this groove, which is attached to the fixed part of the stair gate. The part of the latch that goes up and down past the two buttons to allow the gate to open / close also moves the grooved part, which is on a sort of extending lever, in and out. Once slot in the fixed post of the stair-gate, and the groove part from the door are EXACTLY lined up - bearing in mind this mechanism is only about 5mm wide while the door part of the stair-gate will swing open a couple of feet either way - you have to bring down the up-and-down 'latch' part of the stair-gate handle, which moves the slot part of the locking mechanism and the groove together. Once the latch part of the handle moves far enough down the locking mechanism to get past the two buttons that you have to depress to open it (remember those?), everything clicks into place and that fixes the stair-gate shut.
Unfortunately, things don't get easier with practice: it is almost as much of a faff to open and close this stair gate in practise as it is to describe the process in print. It's such a (minor, if tiresome) hassle to use that the temptation is to leave the up-and-down 'latch' part in the part-raised position - so that the bolt and catch part keep the safety-gate shut, but the mechanism isn't totally locked (since the latch isn't down past the two buttons in the handle). This upstanding latch-handle works like a magnet for engagine the attention of every child in the area: the baby invariably homes in on it when we leave the safety-gate like this and though he hasn't quite worked out to get through as yet, it's only a matter of time.
Well, it's maybe not quite as bad as I've described as I'm exaggerating for the purposes of this review, but I'd still liken the hassle of using this stair gate, if you have to open and shut it properly every time you go through, to maybe having to undo and redo a bolt-type latch on a freely-swinging door every time, as that would be about a similar level of inconvenience.
If this gate wasn't sited at the kitchen, from which we generally exclude the baby only while we're cooking meals because of the hot pots and pans etc., the inconvenience would have outweighed the usefulness of it, and I'd have sold it on Ebay long before now and bought another of the automatic-closing ones.
Summary: All right but no design classic
More reviews in the field of Child Safety
- Dreambaby Blind Cord Wraps
- Dreambaby Cabinet Glide Lock Extra Long
- Dreambaby Bottle & Nipple Drying Rack
- Dreambaby Blind Cord Wind-Ups
- Dreambaby Bathroom Safety Kit UK
- Hauck Trigger Lock Safety Gate
- Emmay Care Grooming Kit
- Emmay Care Health & Hygiene Kit
- BabyDan Premier Pressure Safety Gate
- Boots Wrist Reins