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Imagine the scene. I'm washing up and my 20-month old little girl is playing happily with her toys. I suddenly realise that it has gone very quiet and go to check on her. She's gone ! I see that the hall door is open and think that she must be in there. She's not in the hall. She's halfway up the stairs and beams down at me and says " Hiya ! " to me. " Hiya ! " I say back, at the same time wondering how on earth she has suddenly become able to open the door and climb up the stairs.
Needless to say, my thoughts turned immediately to ways of preventing this happening again, especially since when her sister comes home from school, she will now be following her upstairs at every opportunity !
Solution ? Obviously, it has to be a safety gate. I got out my trusty Argos catalogue and looked at what they had to offer. There were 6 to choose from, ranging in price from £ 16.99 to £ 29.99. The words " easy fit " and " free extension " leapt out at me. The Lindam Easy Fit Plus Gate came ready- assembled and cost just £ 19.99. It looked quite stylish plus I had heard of Lindam before. The decision was made and off I went to my local Argos.
What can I say ? It came in a large, flat, brown cardboard box. When I saw that it was flat, it was obvious that the claim that it came ready- assembled was a true one. There was a hole in the box for your hand, which was handy ! It made it easy to carry despite its large size. Also it wasn't too heavy, so there were no problems in carrying the box to the car.
When I got home, I immediately opened it and found that there were just 4 things inside. The gate, a box containing the screw adjusters and locking rings and wall cups, the instruction leaflet, and the free extension offer form. I had a quick read of the leaflet and thought that there shouldn't be any problems in fixing the gate. I'm glad to say that I was right !
ASSEMBLY & FITTING ****************************
Ready-assembled is what it said in the catalogue, and ready-assembled it was. No screwdrivers or drills were needed unless you chose to secure the gate using the screws provided. I didn't feel this was necessary for us as we were using the gate at the bottom of the stairs. If it was to be used at the top, I probably would have used the screws to make it even more secure.
The instructions were straightforward. The important part was the statement that the gate is for openings between 750 mm and 820 mm. No smaller and no larger. If your opening is larger, then you can obtain free extensions from Lindam. All you pay is £ 3.50 postage and packing and fill in the form that is in the box. The only downside to this is that you will have to wait for the extension to arrive before you can use the gate. I don't know how long it would take to come as I didn't need the extension.
Another important point is that the opening must be strong and solid. Mine was and so I set about fixing the gate.
If you want to use the gate at the top of your stairs, you must fix it on the top stair. If it is to be used at the bottom, then it must be fixed on the lowest stair.
You put the gate into the opening, ensuring that the gaps on either side are equal. You secure it into place by adjusting the screw adjusters and then tightening the locking rings. You do the bottom ones first and then the top ones. It will be fitted securely when you can lock the handle properly. I must say that it was extremely easy to do and took me about 10 minutes, and even though it is called Easy Fit Plus, I was impressed that it was so easy. I also felt quite proud of myself !
I didn't feel the need to use the wall cups that came with it, which are secured by using the sticky pads or screws provided. However, Lindam do recommend using them if the gate is to be a permanent fixture.
Overall, I would say 10 out of 10 for ease of fitting.
Very stylish indeed ( if a safety gate can be called stylish ! ) The main body of the gate is white, while the handle, hinges and locking rings are all sky blue. White and sky blue are lovely colours and so familiar. Maybe a certain football team wears those colours... Anyway, it looks good, and there are no sharp bits whatsoever. If you want to have a look, it is on page 1402 ( no.3 ) of the Argos Extra catalogue.
USING IT ************
The handle is designed to make it impossible for little hands to open. You push 2 buttons in to release the handle, and then lift the handle up and open the gate. To close it, simply push the handle down and listen for it to click into place. The gate can be opened in 2 directions, but if you want to open it one way only, you can turn down one of the 2 stops at the bottom of the gate. If you turn them both down, there is the bonus of extra security.
The opening in the gate itself is quite wide, and so you don't have to turn sideways to get through it !
It says on the leaflet that the gate is suitable for children up to 24 months of age. After that age, Lindam recommends parental supervision, which is fair enough, even though I cannot imagine my daughter being able to open it for a good few months yet.
DOES IT WORK ? *********************
In other words, does it stop my daughter from climbing up the stairs ? Yes, it does, especially when people remember to close it ! Husband, please take note ! She has banged it, rattled it, shaken it, tried to climb over it, and in every case, the gate has done its job. She has tried to open the handle, and knows that it is the important part to master if she is to continue her exploration of upstairs. However, there is no way that she can open it, which has led to one or two temper tantrums !
The Lindam Easy Fit Plus Safety Gate complies with BSEN 1930:2000 when fitted as instructed, which means it has passed the relevant safety tests. That is a comforting and important point.
SAFETY STUFF *******************
You must remember that the gate is not a climbing frame, nor is it a swing for children to play on. It is recommended that you check it every day to make sure that it is still securely fixed, and in case any of you were wondering, it is not a good idea to use the gate across windows !
RECOMMEND OR NOT RECOMMEND ? ***********************************************
You'll probably already have guessed by now that I recommend this safety gate. It is a good price, looks stylish, is easy to fit and use, and most importantly, it does its job perfectly. There have been no more outings to the top of the stairs since we got it, much to the annoyance of my little girl !
You can buy it from Argos, Babies R Us and www.the babycatalogue.com.
If you want to find out more, the website is www.lindam.com.
The Lindam Easy Fit Plus Deluxe Stair Gate is a pressure mounted gate with a two way ... more
opening and triple locking mechanism. Squeeze and lift handle for easy one handed opening. This 4 point pressure fitting gate has a U shaped power frame, strong steel construction and extra wide opening that provides a solid fit in stairways, doorways or hallways. Features a squeeze and lift triple opening action for easy one handed operation, double locking option to provide extra security and one or two way opening for maximum flexibility. The Lindam Easy Fit Plus Gate adjusts to fit widths from 75cm to 82cm and if required, can be extended to fit wider spaces using the Lindam Sure Shut extensions. Complies to EN 1930:2011 when fitted as instructed.