December 15, 2009

DTQ: Anyone Know How To Say 'Snow Fencing' In French?

So we're getting ready for our Christmas trip to France, should be gone a while. We've got the kids' new suitcases, the kid's bringing her recurring ear infection ["amoxycillin's amoxycillin, except they call it le amoxycillin."], and K2 is as big as she's gonna get before she starts climbing the open-railed flying staircases that criss-cross my mother-in-law's house.

There's really no way to put safety gates on the metal railings, and a kid could just crawl around them if you did. So I'm thinking I'll pick up some snow fencing and some zip ties at Mr. Bricolage, [the French Home Depot], and just wrap the railings and hope for the best.

short answer: Tenax Barrière de Neige or Grillage de balisage
Oh, and zip ties are "le serre cable" [the cable clamp] or "attache cable," or Tyrap, the British trade name of Thomas & Betts, who invented them.

Any other ideas for securing open railings from the relentlessly cute, inquisitive, and tumble-prone?

Here's the setup:

dt_railings_of_doom.jpg

14 Comments

My father's house had a open metal spiral staircase he had built himself. It was a deathtrap. We were at his home virtually every day. As a result, we watched the kid like hawks - there really wasn't any other solution. Sometimes that's just the way it is.

Please reconsider taking a sick child on a plane. Ear infections make landings super painful, and eardrums can rupture. It happened to a friend of mine.

Around Paris, perhaps in other cities, there's a cheap fabric store called "Toto" (not to be confused with the cheap clothing/household goods outfit "Tati") that might have a few options--they sell all sorts of fabric. I remember some mesh-type stuff that might work and not block light too much.

Good luck.

I like the snow fencing idea. I spent a winter in Park City putting that stuff up and down for ski races and events just about every day. You'll get really good at it after a while.
I'd say line the staircases with the stuff and then grab a cowbell for when the kids come barreling down.

We used the snow fencing for a gate across our driveway - works great & was way cheaper than getting the official driveway thing from the baby catalogs. Seems like it would work well for blocking the railings, & be a cinch to take up & put down.

Ok, that should be "put up & take down." I wish the boy would sleep later...

+10 for the cowbell.

You can say "barrières en plastique orange, comme pour les travaux". They use often this materials
for the works in the street..

Barrière de Neige

By snow fencing you mean the orange mesh stuff? We had to use that at my in-laws house- they have a deathtrap of a stairwell down to the basement- just a hole in the middle of the hallway- with a 1970 railing around it- hey, I could fall through the railings they're so far apart, never mind the kid! And we tyrapped it to the railings (in the military we call it a tyrap- guess the British guy sold it to the govt). Worked great, even if it is hideous. Or they could just install a railing that meets current code- ha, ha, ha! Yeah, right. Orange mesh- works great, doesn't damage the in-laws house, keep the kid from plunging to his death. Winner all the way around.

Snow fencing ? I'm afraid you might have difficulties finding anything like that in a French retail shop (even a Castorama which is the bigger version). Although it's snowing over here today, the French don't usually use such stuff. Wouldn't an old bed sheet do the same job ?

Snow fencing is pretty cool if it is installed right

About the ear infection...I had them chronically into adulthood until I started chewing gum for medicinal purposes - the chewing allows the fluids to drain so the bacteria can't flourish. Once it hurts though it's too late and amoxycillin is your best bet.

Another option is transparent Plexiglas panels. That would preserve the style while increasing safety. Of course, it's a bit of a hassle getting them the right size and shape, but if they had small holes drilled in the corners, you could tie them onto the railing with something that wasn't too noticeable.

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