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Home Improvement

Prevent tip-over accidents

10/3/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

One of the single easiest methods to preventing tip-over injuries is to anchor furniture to the wall. All furniture with shelves, drawers and doors should be anchored into a stud with an appropriate device.
Photo courtesy of MetroCreativeConnection
Modern conveniences in a home are meant to be enjoyed. However, items such as TVs, appliances and furniture can prove quite dangerous when they are involved in tip-over accidents.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says between the years of 2008 and 2010, 43,400 Americans were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries related to the instability of TVs, furniture and appliances. Between 2000 and 2010, 293 fatalities were reported, the highest percentage of which were among children ages 1-8. Fifty-two percent of injuries involved only furniture falling. Data from the Brooke’s Angel Wings, an organization that hopes to raise awareness about the dangers of unsecured furniture and TVs, says every two weeks a child loses his or her life to an accident involving unsecured furniture or TVs in the home.

Fortunately, tip-over deaths and injuries are preventable. Individuals making improvements around their homes might want to give special attention to renovations that can improve safety in and around the house. One of the first steps to take is securing furniture and TVs to prevent tip-over accidents.

One of the single easiest methods to preventing tip-over injuries is to anchor furniture, TVs and appliances to the wall. All furniture with shelves, drawers and doors — anything that can be climbed or pulled over by curious children — should be anchored into a stud with an appropriate device. Even if an item seems stable or heavy, some simple precautionary measures can help prevent an injury and possibly save a life.

Many different safety devices that can prevent tip-over accidents are now available. Products from Safety 1st to Kidco to Hangman all offer furniture straps to secure items. However, do-it-yourselfers can use “L” brackets, as well as other bolts and hardware that are sturdy enough to hold the weight of a fully loaded piece of furniture. Remember, walls can always be repaired should damage occur from bolts and straps, but lives cannot be replaced.

Flat-screen TVs are safer when mounted on a wall than they are when placed atop a piece of furniture. If TVs are on a TV stand, they should be secured to the surface.

Homeowners hoping to prevent tip-over accidents can follow these tips:

  • When loading dresser drawers, put the heaviest items at the bottom and the lightest items in the top drawers.
  • Do not put things on top of dressers that might entice children to climb up the dresser.
  • Keep items you do not want children to have out of sight.
  • Do not assume children will remember the dangers associated with climbing or always follow the rules.
  • Don’t forget to also secure computer monitors.
  • Check safety straps frequently to be sure they are still secure.
  • Think about other items around the house that can present a danger were they to fall. Secure everything and anything that is large and could cause injury if it fell down onto a person.

Homeowners should not put off securing items around the house. Spending five minutes now can prevent a tragedy later on.

 

This information was provided courtesy of MetroCreativeConnection.

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