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Safety Gate Guide and Tips
Safety gates are one of the most important items needed to properly baby proof or pet proof your home. They are essential at stairways to prevent falls, but can also be used to segregate rooms or areas, create barriers, and to surround a fireplace or wood stove. Safety gates come in many styles, sizes, and designs, and it can be somewhat difficult to find the best safety gate for your specific needs. This Safety Gate Guide will define the different types of gates available, the different mounting types, and the steps needed to find the perfect safety gate.
Safety Gate Types
There are three basic types of safety gates available:
Safety Gate Mounting Types
Hardware Mounted Safety Gates attach permanently to the adjacent walls, posts, or railings with screws and hardware. They are the most secure safety gate and are recommended for the top of stairs. When installing a safety gate at a stair make sure it does not swing out over the stairway, but swings away from the stair. Most safety gates can be setup this way. Hardware mounted gates must be solidly attached to wood trim, wood posts or the wall studs behind drywall or plaster walls. Often times a gate mounting kit may be needed where there are no wall studs, where there are wrought iron railings, or where wall baseboards interfere with the gate hardware. See page "When to use a gate Mounting Kit" for more information.
Pressure Mounted Safety Gates are quick and easy to install and remove, and do not require any tools or drilling. They are recommended in doorways, wall openings, or to segregate rooms, but not for use at stairs because they are less secure. Most pressure mounted safety gates can be made wider with optional extensions. Pressure gates push against the adjacent walls with pressure pads and have a bottom bar for rigidity. The pressure can be adjusted for a secure fit, and some models have a pressure gauge showing when the correct pressure is reached.
Free Standing Play Yards or Play Areas are often very useful for segregating your little one when other gating options do not work. Play yards can be used indoors or outdoors and provide a safe play area. They come in standard sizes, some have gates, and most can be expanded with optional extensions.
Safety Gate Design and Finish
Safety gates come in a wide variety of colors, styles, and finishes to complement the many styles of home decor. Metal safety gates are available in white, black, aluminum, bronze and other colors with straight tops, arched tops, and other features. Wood safety gates come in natural, oak, cherry, and other colors in varying designs. There is also a retractable mesh safety gate available. You must balance the finish choice with the cost and size needed to determine your perfect safety gate.
Steps in Selecting a Safety Gate
Safety Gate Tips