Parents have been urged to stop using a popular child stair gate brand with immediate effect, after it failed to meet stringent EU safety standards.
Consumer watchdog Which? conducted a durability test on 10 stair gates and found that three did not reach the above standards.
The Dreambaby Retractable Gate – which is sold at leading retailers including Argos, Asda and Jojo Maman Bebe – was described as performing ‘shockingly’ by the service known for its expert testing, reviews and advice.
This is despite the fact that the gate – priced at around £50 – has attracted average four-star reviews from customers and also holds three parent awards, according to the company’s website.
After performing ‘fatigue’ testing – which forms part of EU standards and sees the gate moved 10,000 times in a manner which recreates a toddler’s action – on all 10 products, the Dreambaby Retractable Gate was found to only last for 10 applications of force before failing.
In response to the findings, Which? called for the product to be recalled immediately saying: ‘Anyone who owns this gate should stop using it immediately.’
On its pitfalls, it continued: ‘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.’
A spokesman for 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.’
Two other models also failed to meet EU safety standards and were also deemed ‘potentially unsafe’ as a result of the tests.
The Lindham Easy Fit Plus Deluxe Safety Gate failed after 2,570 applications of force, while the Safetots Self-Closing Gate also failed after 3,700 applications.
In both cases, adhesive pads that secure the gate to the doorframe became detached. However, a key point to note is that the Safetots Self-Closing Gate did pass the fatigue test when it was fitted with screws in place of adhesive pads.
Which? has advised owners of the above two brands to stop using the products until a fix for the adhesive pad failure can be implemented.
Both firms have argued that the products conform to the requirements of BS EN 1930:2011 – the UK standard for child safety barriers.
The test findings have been reported by Which? to Trading Standards and the Office for Product Safety and Standards.