A website called “Which?” publishes findings of important tests that they conduct on various products.
They have identified 3 (out of 10) baby gates that have failed to meet their rigorous safety tests and have issued a warning to unsuspecting parents.
They have asked for recalls to be issued, but their requests have fallen on deaf ears and the manufacturers have refused.
Which Gates Failed the Tests?
In What Way Did the Gates Fail?
These independent tests, held at an accredited laboratory and performed by expert assessors, seek to determine, among other things, in what way the baby gates perform under strenuous conditions that might mimic repeated use by boisterous children.
The “fatigue” test is based on the EU Safety Standard and answers the question: Will this baby gate withstand repeated attempts to force it open?
While this test is being performed, a 140N horizontal force is applied 10,000 times to the top middle of the barrier. One cycle of the test includes the force going from 0N to 140N in one direction, before then going back to 0N, and then going to 140N in the other direction.
All 3 of these baby safety gates failed to withstand the pressures of the fatigue test.
The Dreambaby Retractable Gate failed after 10 cycles when the metal tube (attached to the mesh) bent and detached from the casing.
The Lindam Easy Fit Plus Deluxe Gate failed when the adhesive pads became detached from the cups that secure the pressure spindles. This caused the gate to come loose because it lost pressure. The failure took place after 2,570 cycles of force. being applied.
The Safetots Self Closing Gate also failed when the adhesive pads became detached from the cups that secure the pressure spindles. Once again causing the gate to lose pressure and come loose. The failure on this gate happened after 3700 cycles. This gate, however, does come with the option to install using screws and did pass the test when installed in this manner instead.
Why is This Test Important?
A baby gate is an important barrier designed to prevent a child from leaving one room or area and entering another, or to fully block the entrance to a stairway. If a gate fails to perform this function, either by falling, coming loose, or allowing the child to breach it from pushing or pulling on it repeatedly, then the child can then be in danger.
By replicating any potential issues or repeated actions that are performed by adults during repeated use or by determined children who push or pull on the gate over time, it can be determined if the gate is likely to hold up against this kind of usage or not.
What is the Recommendation Based on These Test Failures?
The website “Which?” is recommending that you do NOT purchase or use these three gates based on their poor performance. They have labeled them as “Don’t Buys” with a 0% Test Score.
If you already own the Dreambaby Retractable Gate, “Which?” is advising you to immediately stop using this gate.
If you own the Lindam Easy Fit Plus Deluxe Gate or Safetots Self Closing Gate and they are installed with adhesive pads, the recommendation is stop using them unless they can be fitted with screws to properly secure them.
How Have the Manufacturers of These Gates Replied to the Situation?
All three companies have been notified and asked to remove these dangerous products from the market. None have agreed to do so at this time.
Dreambaby gave this reply to “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.”
Munchkin, the company that owns Lindam, told “Which?” that it is unaware of any evidence supporting their allegations. Munchkin also said it has reviewed and analysed customer complaints for the gate and not encountered any of the purported safety or reliability issues that they have alleged. Plus, they have said they have performed an internal inventory audit and found their gates to be compliant with all product safety standards as per EN1930.
Safetots has not yet provided an official reply to “Which?”, but they disputed our findings and said that the gate has been exhaustively tested in China and the UK, and has successfully satisfied the selected requirements of BS EN 1930:2011. (This is the same standard that “Which?” also tests to.)
Can You Return Your Gate for a Refund?
Not likely. Unfortunately, though “Which?” has reported their findings to the Trading Standards and the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) and to the companies that produce the gates, no action has been taken and NO RECALLS have been issued.
If you experience a failure of one of these gates yourself, however, or if you have purchased one within the last 14 days, then you should be able to get a refund from the manufacturer or from the retailer that sold it to you.
Which Gates DID pass the “Which?” Test?
The Best Buy for “Which?” recommendations include 7 Baby Gates that withstood their rigorous testing and can be found at their website.
If you are interested in reading our free expert Buyer’s Guide of many different brands and styles of baby gates on the market, click here. We, here at babygatesexpert.com, give unbiased reviews based on real-world experiences of other parents and caregivers just like you! We provide pros and cons for each product we discuss so that you can make the best choice for your family!