Archived Q&A and Reviews
I live on the second floor of an older home that has several windows that present a fall hazard for toddlers. I am interested in putting up bars or an other improvised system to minimize the risk. Looking for either some updated recommendations for companies that specialize in childproofing or a good handyman that could do the installation work.
For a childproofing company, I would call Home Safety Services at 650.571.7774. You can also check them out at www.homesafety.net. Kudos to you for making sure your windows are safe for your kids. dana
Contact Mark Altman at the Childproofer, 1-800-374-2525. He lives in the wine country but makes regular trips through the east bay and SF. He will go with you through your home and tell you what needs to be done, what doesn't need to be done, etc. He has a store that sells very high-quality child-proofing products, including window stuff, and can sell you what you need to do it yourself. Alternatively, he can install it all for you. The stuff he sells really works - much higher quality than what I found at the local hardware store. Also, in about an hour, he had my whole house child-proofed. It would have taken me days, so it was well worth it to have him do it for us. His solutions looked nice and kept my kid safe during his toddler years. We recommend him to everyone we know. Meryl
I'm looking for a recent recommendation for reasonable childproofing services. I'm wondering if anyone has some recent experiences and can give a recommendation. Thanks!
Mark childproofed my home recently and did a great job for a reasonable price. He installed everything really quickly and was great about advising me about what we needed. http://childprooferstore.com/ Anon
Are The Childproofer and/or KidsAssured still good options for baby proofing? Any others you would recommend? We are moving to a multi-level rental home in Orinda in mid-August with a 6 month old who is already on the go. We want to get this taken care of more thoroughly and quickly than we will be able to do it. Thanks! To-do list, too long...
I would highly recommend Home Safety Services. I use to work for them and they are not only experts in child safety but reliable, trustworthy and do top-notch work. You can check them out at www.homesafety.net and/or contact them at 650.571.7774. You'll be in great hands -- and your little one will be safe. Dana
Hi, my husband and I don't know where to begin when it comes to babyproofing our house, so we'd like some recommendations on companies that provide such services. Good/bad feedback welcomed. Thanks. procrastinator
The Childproofer is a wonderful business run by a husband/wife team. He comes to your house, does a walk- through, points out safety issues and what products you can use to address them. Then you decide what things you want them to address. I've used them in two different homes and it was worth every penny. Just installing those annoying latches on the drawers/cabinets alone would've taken us a whole weekend and he gets them done right in minutes. In our new house, he recommended the right kinds of gates to use on our stairs, which was a big concern for us. And he stands behind his work. Somehow a spring broke in one of our gates and he was over right away to fix it. Lots of my friends in SF and the East Bay have used The Childproofer and all have had a positive experience and felt it was money well spent. http://childprooferstore.com/ Fellow procrastinator with a very child-safe home
I am looking for a child-proofing service that comes to your home to consult and installs afterwards. I read the postings on BPN, but since they are from 2004 or older I was hoping to get an update. In particular, I understand that a number of people had a bad experience with ''Safe and Sound Children'', while ''The Childproofer'' has only positive feedback. (Though the team is slightly changed now.) So has Ed Rustovold. But again -- these posting are often 6/7 years old. I would love to hear about recent experiences & costs. Thanks!! U.
We've used the Childproofer's services twice in the last 3 years (2 different houses). Found them to be incredibly helpful both times. They are extremely professional and honest about what is worthwhile for them to do and what we could do ourselves. I think they they use really good quality hardware and, while they are certainly not cheap, it was wonderful to have our entire house finished in an hour! It would have taken us a whole weekend to do it all ourselves. Latches, Gates and Wall Bolts, Oh My!
I would like to recommend Gerilynn of Kids Assured (www.kidsassured.com). She and her husband are excellent. They will come to your house, offer a free consultation. You can stop there, buy the products from them and install yourself, or buy from them and let them install. They are very flexible. I have referred many clients to them and everyone says there is no pressure to buy, and they are very thorough. Good luck! Karen
Hello, I have read all of the postings for ''baby proofers'' but was hoping I could get a couple of more recent referrals. Thank you so much- Linn
Regarding baby proofing companies, we had a very mixed experience with Safe and Sound Children (www.safeandsoundchildren.com). Although we found the company owner and employees to be personable and nice to work with, we were very dismayed at how long it took them to complete our job (close to four months!). When we brought up our concerns, we learned that they seemed to have prioritized customers in order of ''urgency'' (i.e. how soon the family needed the childproofing) rather than the order received. In this case, it seemed that calling early had been to our disadvantage -- we called long before our child was crawling, but since the job took so long, our child was nearly mobile when everything was finally complete.
We also had a laundry list of other minor complaints, most of which were due to misunderstandings, but when combined with the huge delay in our installation, left us with a lot of frustration and annoyance while the job was underway.
On the positive side, the baby gate and deck childproofing installations they did for us were excellent. Also, when I finally voiced our frustrations, they were very responsive and quick to complete our job.
Looking back on our experience I would recommend getting an initial consultation from a babyproofing company such as Safe and Sound, but purchasing materials yourself and setting aside a weekend to install them. There is almost nothing the babyproofing company installed at our house that is not readily available from another source, and their hourly rates for the installation were very steep. I ended up adding some additional childproofing to a room in our house myself, and it probably cost me a quarter of what it would have for a company to do the same task. Alison
Can anyone recommend a child-proofing service (i.e., one that comes to your home, tells you what you need, and does the installation)? I've checked the website but the last post is over 2 years old. Recent experience with child-proofing companies would be great. Thanks. sharon
We just used Safe and Sound Children (510-338-0222) to do our childproofing. They charge a fee (I think it's $125) to do the assessment, which I found very worthwhile -- it takes up to 2 hours and she is VERY thorough. They then give you a VERY detailed proposal, organized by room, of what they think you need to childproof. Keep in mind that childproofing thoroughly is NOT cheap. They were very creative in finding solutions to difficult childproofing issues. They were also open to selling us the equipment on the simple stuff (doorknob covers, edge cushions, etc.) so I could do it myself and save the labor $. They also were happy to split up the work into what we needed right away and what my daughter wouldn't need for several months or even a year. We were very, very happy with our experience with them and will be calling them again soon for the next phase in our childproofing adventure (climbing)! Lisa
I don't have a recommendation for childproofing services, but I wanted to disrecommend Safe & Sound Children. The only things they reported were totally obvious things that we had already figured out ourselves(electric outlets and such), and it took her weeks (and several phone calls) to even send us the report. Then we called them about doing some of the things they recommended, and she never called back (which seemed odd--you'd think they would want the business). This was a little over a year ago. Did our own childproofing
We used The Childproofer (1-800-374-2525). It's a family owned business and Mark Altman, the owner, is great. For a $20 inspection fee he came to our house and talked with us for quite a while, making suggestions not only about various options for childproofing equipment but also just things we could move to make the place safer for our child. He had tons of creative solutions to our rather unique living space too. They then write up a list of suggestions and you can order ''a la carte'' off the list -- buy any (or none) of the gear you think you need and then choose to either install it yourself and save a few bucks or have one of his amazingly fast and efficient guys come and do it all for you. (They put in a whole kitchen's worth of cabinet latches in the time it would have taken me to do one.) I've since had them come back and do a few other things when we had the cash. Can't say enough good stuff about the service and the people. Well child proofed in SF
My advice is don't bother with child proofing services, there is absolutely nothing that you can't do yourself! A mom of a 1 1/2 year old, my experience is that marketing has hyped up the need for toooooo much child proofing. We bought gates for our stairs (Rockridge Kids) along with toiletseat latches (get the swing arm kind, the smaller latches get broken by adults who don't know how to open it :), plastic plugs for the outlets (childs play on college usually has used bags of them for about $2.00. we also purchased plastic guards you put on door knobs for two reasons, one, so he couldn't open up the door to the basement and fall down the stairs, the other so he couldn't push in the lock and accidentally lock himself IN to the bathroom. We only use these knobs on 2 doors in the house where we need them. We also bought a latch for under the sink and the bathroom floor cabinet where chemicals/etc are held. Most items are under $10.00, can be found at Rockridge kids. Really, trust yourself and use the money for those services to go out to dinner! felicia
I have nearly 5 month old twin girls, and since one of them is now able to stand up on her own steam (!), I'm realizing that it's time to baby-proof my house. I've looked in the archives and seen references to Rachel at Safe 'n Sound Children, but does anyone have any other recommendations for a baby-proofing consultant/service I could consult with? Thanks! Jo
I highly recommend The Childproofer, (800) 374-2525. Marc, the owner, has a sharp eye for child safety dangers and he is extremely creative in coming up with solutions. I've been very pleased with the work he and his company have done for me. Good luck! Jen
I highly recommend Ed Rustovold with Baby Proof Now! He has done baby proofing for me twice now and each time he is very helpful, does an excellent job and is a really nice, guy. Good luck. patricia
We used Mark Altman twice, before and after we moved and really like him. See his website at childproofer.com. He'll come to your house and walk through it with you, noting areas that need childproofing. Then you can have him do the work or buy the items from him and do it yourself. He's a former contractor, his wife is a nurse, and they have kids of their own so he knows what he's talking about. He's also clean and professional and pleasant to have in your house--no weird vibes. Check him out! Christina
You might try Childproofer. They are at www.childproofer.com and their # is 1-800-374-2525. They will come out and do an inspection of your house (there was a $ 20 fee when we did it) and will make recommendations. Then they will list all the products recommended and you can buy the stuff from them and install it yourself or they will come and install it for a fairly reasonable hourly fee (I forget the $).
We used them 2 years ago and they were very low key, low pressure and really nice. Because we are very un-handy, we had them do the installation and the guy who came over was very fast and really good. He completed all the cabinet locks in our large kitchen in 1/2 an hour (it would have taken my husband and I all day). Also, you don't have to buy the whole package. We picked and chose the things that seemed most pressing and held off on other stuff. Good luck ! -RK
I read http://parents.berkeley.edu/recommend/services/childproof.html, but it has recommendations for only one East Bay childproofing service, Safe and Sound Children. They charge $125 for a consultation, plus $60/hour if you hire her to do any of the installation, which seems steep to me. I'd rather not hire someone who lives far away, though, in case they end up needing to come back more than once. Does anyone have recommendations for a childproofing service based in the Berkeley area? Nomi
We used Ed Rustvold, a general contractor who used to build houses but who now really enjoys doing childproofing (after the arrival of his now 24-month old). Ed is thorough, fast, uses the best equipment, does a beautiful job, and is a pleasure to interact with to boot. When we used him in June 2001, he charged about $65 for a consultation and about $60/hour after that for work done (please don't hold him to these numbers, my short-term memory is suffering from sleep deprivation right now). He was spot-on on his estimate also. We had him childproof our two decks, including enclosing a lower deck, as well as all issues in the interior of the house. For earthquake safety, regardless of children in the house or not, we also had him secure high cabinets, etc., as well. If you have the money and don't have the time to do it yourself and/or talent to do some of the more complex things like deck proofing, he is well worth the price. [We found Ed by picking up his business card at Baby World on College Ave in Oakland.] His El Cerrito numbers are: 510-232-8916 (tel) and 510-851-1749 (mobile). Kristie
I don't have a recommendation to offer besides Safe 'N' Sound Children but I wanted to respond to the concern you stated about their rates ($125 for consultation plus $60 per hour for installation). I thought the rates were very reasonable - an amazing amount of work was done for the time charged. Plus, she will happily teach you how to do the installation and let you do the rest yourself (if you are at all handy, this would work well - I'm not, and in the time it would take me to do one latch she did about twenty, and very neatly.) Fran
I recently moved into a new house and I used Baby Proof Now! 510-232-8916. I had a very good experience. The owner, Ed Rustvold, is a licensed contractor. He comes to your home, does the evaluation then he has the equipment on his truck so he installs it right away. I really appreciated that because I didn't have to arrange for two different appointments. He is an experienced father and did a terrific job for us. He has ads in the Neighborhood Parents Network newsletter and East Bay Moms newsletters. Good luck. Patricia
We used Safe & Sound, and although I know your concerned with the $$, you should speak with them about this and let them know your budgetary issues. They did a wonderful & lasting job for us, they stand behind their work and continue to be there for us with calls & concerns nearly 2 years later! Also, they're very good at pointing out what is essential and where you can cut costs. I was impressed by how professional (and clean) Safe & Sound was. Highly recommend speaking with them before ruling them out--they were great. Good luck. Leslie
I used The Childproofer, 1-800-374-2525 or childproofer.com. This is a family business out of Forestville, but they travel to the Bay Area quite often. I was extremely pleased with the evaluation, products, and installation. The evaluation was very inexpensive (I can't remember how much, but believe it was under $40 around a year ago). His evaluation price is based on your zip code. Deborah
It's great to see other parents investing in childproofing. It not only saved us a lot of frustration to have it done professionally, the house was totally ready for our active baby to try out all without ever having to be in a play pen. I recommend The Child Proofer, they're found in the 707 area code. They were excellent, came back to re-do a few drawer/cuboard latches that were'nt effective (the spring-types) although I always asked for them to do some extras to give them an incentive to come back. The tech was so efficient, he did one latch in less than 2 minutes. We had most of our home childproofed by them, including over 40 latches. We also liked that they charged us only $20 or so to do a full-home assessment prior to any installation. Even though I thought they couldn't teach me more after I had read two books on childproofing... they had excellent ideas on where to place the safety gates in my many stair-cased home. They also knew what latches to use on what types of drawers. They knew which gates worked and which didn't on the market. They also had a catalog which showed you which products they used. I opted to buy my own electrical safety outlets they recommended through a catalog company, and some others I was able to get else where cheaper. However, you can't beat the efficiency of them installing those latches! We tried to do one latch urselves, and I'm embarrassed to say that iit took us 40 minutes (it was hard walnut wood, hum). Good luck. Tell them the Fish family sent you! -rbfischner
Rachel Murray at Safe and Sound Children is outstanding as a childproofer. She really knows what she is doing is she is very reasonably priced. She stands behind the products and her work. She has been so terrific in helping us childproof some very complicated areas of our home. I cannot say enough good things about her. Her number is 510-338-0222. Her website is http://www.safeandsoundchildren.com/ and she is located in the Rockridge/Montclair area. In addition to being great at what they do, this is a woman/mother-owned business too so I like patronizing that as well. Best Regards, Shannon
Has any one had experience with childproofing companies that come to your house and do the installations? I saw an add for a company named Safe and Sound Children, Inc., anyone with experience from this company? Jena
I used this firm and was very pleased with the service. The woman who runs it is a mom who was a civil engineer in her past life. She's very thorough, but pleasant and very flexible. She was willing to do even the most basic things such as install cabinet latches, as well as much more complicated stuff. She came up with some very creative solutions for our particular hazards. Her work was very neat (several people have commented on how attractive our baby gate is!!). Although her hourly rate may seem a little high, she packs a lot of work into the time spent, so that I felt her charges ended up being very reasonable. Fran
There is a childproofer expert who comes into your home and gives you a free consultation of what you need and an estimate of what it would cost if he comes back and does it for you (or you can do it yourself). You can also pick and choose and have them do some things and do others yourself. They are in Marin but go all over the bay area. Their toll-free number is 800 374-2525. It was great for us because we are totally not handy and it saved us a lot of time and likely frustration. -- Karen (6/99)
I recently hired Home Safety Services to baby proof our house. For a nominal fee [under $50] the technician, Marty, who is a licensed general contractor, made a thorough inspection of the house, and provided an extensive list of recommendations to enhance the safety of our home. His recommendations included a price list of items (including installation costs), and I was free to pick and choose which of the products I wished to purchase and have him install. Each service van is fully equipped [with cabinet latches, safety gates, window latches, edge cushions, etc] so the installation can normally happen on the same day as the inspection, although one is under no obligation in that regard. In homes which present more difficult safety issues, they can fashioned custom items [gates, window latches, etc.] to fit unusual spaces/situations. I found Home Safety Services to be prompt, courtesy, and remarkably thoughtful (they brought a dust-buster to assist in cleaning-up!) and recommend them to anyone lacking the time or ability to adequately baby-proof their home.
Home Safety Services is located in Redwood City -- but they will travel throughout the bay area.
Home Safety Services, Inc. 1-888-388-3811 pros at homesafety.net http://www.homesafety.net/
[editor note: contact information updated March 2004 per email from Home Safety Services, Inc.]
From: Sherry (3/99)
Another Safety Service which puts out an extensive brochure of safety devices is:
Safety at childproofer.com