Three brands of baby stair gates are 'potentially unsafe', warns Which?
The consumer watchdog has recommended an immediate recall
Owners of three popular child stair gates are being urged to stop using them immediately by consumer watchdog Which?
The warning comes after Which? tested the durability of 10 stair gates and found that three failed to meet EU safety standards.
The Dreambaby Retractable Gate, which costs around £50, performed “shockingly” in tests conducted by the organisation.
The gate, which is available at leading retailers such as Argos, Asda and Jojo Maman Bebe, is listed on the company’s website as the winner of three parent awards.
However, Which? has called for an immediate recall of the product saying: “Anyone who owns this gate should stop using it immediately.”
One of three models identified as “potentially unsafe”, the consumer watchdog performed “fatigue” testing on the durability of a total of 10 products – a method which forms part of the EU safety standard.
During the test, gates are moved 10,000 times in a way that simulates how a gate can be moved by a toddler over time.
The tests found that the Dreambaby model only lasted for 10 applications of force before failing.
Which? said: “Shockingly, the Dreambaby Retractable Gate failed after just ten applications of force, with the metal tube that is attached to the stair gate becoming bent and detaching from the casing that holds it in place, which led to the gate sagging in the middle.”
The other gates which failed to meet EU safety standards include the Lindham Easy Fit Plus Deluxe Safety Gate and the Safetots Self-Closing Gate.
The Lindham Easy Fit Plus Deluxe Safety Gate failed after 2,570 applications of force during testing when the adhesive pads that secure the gate to a door frame became detached.
The Safetots Self-Closing Gate also failed when the adhesive pads became detached after 3,700 applications.
It is worth noting that this gate can also be fitted using screws instead of adhesive pads and, when the screws were used, it passed the fatigue test.
As a result of its findings, Which? has advised people who own the Safetots Self-Closing Gate or the Lindam Easy Fit Plus Deluxe Safety Gate to stop using it until a fix can be implemented.
In response to the findings, Dreambaby told Which?: “Complaints relating to the quality of our products are rare but when received they are investigated immediately.
“However, our ability to undertake a thorough investigation of the matters raised have been significantly frustrated by the failure of Which? to provide sufficient background detail despite our repeated requests for this information.
“We are therefore unable to provide a considered response at this time.”
Safetots has not yet provided an official reply, but it has disputed Which?’s findings.
It told the consumer watchdog that the gate has been exhaustively tested in China and the UK.
Munchkin, the company that owns Lindam, also told Which? that it is not aware of any evidence supporting its allegations.
Munchkin said it has reviewed and analysed customer complaints for the gate and not encountered any of the purported safety or reliability issues that Which? has alleged.
The findings have been reported to Trading Standards and the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS).