An Un-Safety Gate

A father of three and an owner of several canines, I am no stranger to safety gates. Whether to keep toddlers off the stairs or pups off the couch, my wife and I have purchased and have given away innumerable such devices over the past 25 years.  Some were plastic with lift gates, some wood which accordianed, but we bought and installed them all.  The children are on their own now and some of the dogs have departed.  But our walls still bear the scars of affixation, a daily attestation to the role they played in supporting those marvelous gates and keeping our loved ones safe and our furniture soil-free.

Today, IKEA recalled the Patrull Klämma and Patrull Smidig pressure-mounted safety gate due to a fall hazard.  According to the Danish manufacturer, the friction between the wall and the gate is insufficient to hold the device in its intended position and the lower metal bar can be a tripping hazard. The recall involves about 58,000 units in the United States and 17,000 in Canada, the defective products sold in IKEA stores nationwide and online from August 1995 through February 2015 for about $35. The implicated safety gates are white, made of steel and plastic, and measure about 29 inches high with an adjustable width from about 29 inches to 34 inches. The gate has a spring mechanism that fits between the two sides of the door frame to hold the gate in place. A permanent label is attached to the metal bar at the bottom of the safety gate containing an article number.

There have been 18 incidents reported worldwide, including three in which children were injured from falling down stairs. No injuries have been reported in the U.S.  The manufacturer has urged consumers to stop using the safety gates and to return them to any IKEA store for a full refund. Consumers who want to keep them for limited use can contact IKEA to receive free updated user instructions and new adhesive warning labels to put on their safety gates.