Furniture: The Hidden Hazard in Your Home

Young children are often curious little climbers and many parents may not realize the hazards of the furniture in their home — as a television, couch or appliance can tip-over onto a child and cause an injury or sometimes death. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), every two weeks a child dies when a television, a piece of furniture or an appliance falls on him or her.

 “About 70 percent of tip-over incidents involve a television and the dresser, bookshelf or stand on which the television was placed,” said Kim Dulic Press & Public Affairs Officer of the CPSC. “According to a recent study by CPSC, when a television falls from an average-sized dresser, it can fall with the force of thousands of pounds. Thirty-eight drop tests of older, cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions and flat-screen televisions showed impact forces up to 12,000 pounds for CRT TVs and 2,000 pounds for flat-screens TVs. Both had forces that can cause serious injury.”

Parents can take steps to create a safe home for their children. “These tip-over tragedies are preventable,” said Dulic. “When purchasing a new television, decide, before bringing it home, where it will be placed. Purchase anti-tip devices for the new and old TVs and furniture while in the store. When in doubt, ask a sales associate for help in selecting the strap, bracket or brace appropriate for the TV and furniture item.”

Tips To Prevent Furniture Tip-Over

  1. Secure large furniture such as dressers, bookshelves and appliances to the wall.
  2. Place TVs on a stand or base that is appropriate for the size of the television.
  3. Anchor your TV to the base.
  4. Remove any items such as toys, remotes and beverages that might entice a young child to climb the piece of furniture
  5. If anchoring is not an option, place the TV on a sturdy, low base and push it as far back as possible, and actively supervise children at all times.

Learn more about tipover dangers, by visiting the CPSC's website.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in {April, 2015} and has been updated for freshness and accuracy.