Firstly, safety gates are an important part of home safety equipment if you have a small or young child to look after. They are designed to restrict your baby's or child's movement from one part of your house to another. In other words they are there to stop your child wandering into danger whilst your back is turned and it does this by creating a physical barrier to danger. The most frequent areas of use for these safety gates are the stairs and the stair areas.
But, which one do you buy? That is the question, there are many makes and models around in the market place currently and all perform different tasks as they are made to be fitted in different ways.
One of the commonest of stair gate bought is the quick and easy pressure fitted stair gate that fits to the aperture without the need for any tools or equipment. This type of stair gate should never be used at the top of stairs as the fixing can easily become unsafe. They are designed for use in doorways or door frames and can easily be put up and taken down at a moment's notice. It is this ease of use that makes them unsafe for the tops of stairs as they can be pushed over.
The travel safety gate is exactly what it says, it is designed for when you need to travel around, this sort of safety gate is easy to erect as it uses the pressure system to lock onto the walls. Again this sort of safety gate must not be used on the stairs, but they are light weight and easy to transport around.
Screw fitted stair gates are exactly what they say they are. They are designed to fit at the top or bottom of stairs and are fitted to the wall at the top of the stairs with wall fixings. They are more permanent than the normal pressure safety gate but can but put up and taken down without too much problem. The benefits of having this type of safety gate is that it cannot come loose with use, and they do not have any cross posts at the bottom of the unit which can be a bit of a trip hazard when moving through the gate. This sort of safety gate comes in all kinds of colours and designs and even come in wood, which makes then look more pleasing than plain white plastic.
There is on the market currently a range of auto close safety gates. We have all done it, gone through the gate and forgotten to close it behind you. Well with this type of gate as soon as you release the gate it will start to close. Again this is a pressure type of fitted gate and must not be used at the top of stairs.
As with all kinds of safety equipment it only as safe as you allow it to be. Don't allow children to climb over the safety gates as this can weaken the structure and render them unsafe. Do check the fittings from time to time, particularly the ones that have pressure fittings to them. Never ever leave your child unattended or rely on the safety gates top keep them safe.