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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
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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-
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
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
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.
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)!
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
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!
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
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.
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!
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 !
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?
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).
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
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!
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.
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?
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.
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
-- 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.
pros at 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
Safety at childproofer.com
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