WASHINGTON – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission this week issued a safety message for consumers around the purchase of TVs and furniture during the holiday season.
While many furniture companies already include anti-tip kits with clothing storage units such as chests and dressers, the CPSC encouraged encourage consumers to purchase and install an anti-tip kit if it is not included with the product or a TV.
By not anchoring a TV or piece of furniture – including bookcase units – to the wall, there is a high risk of tip-over, particularly involving children trying to reach items on top of the unit, including TVs. This is particularly true even in instances where a parent is in the same room, as shown in its “Even When You’re Watching” video that contains real footage of tip-over incidents.
The CPSC said that each year an average of 12,500 children are treated for tip-over related injuries in emergency rooms. It said it is aware of six children who died in 2018 alone.
The CPSC noted that a number of major furniture manufacturers and retailers “include anchoring restraints with their products, and promote anchoring safety in instructional materials and on their websites.” It urges all furniture and TV manufacturers and retailers to make tip-over safety a prominent element of their product marketing.
It also suggested these safety tips for homes where children live or visit:
- Anchor TVs and furniture, such as bookcases and dressers, securely to the wall.
- Place TVs on a sturdy, low base, and push the TV back as far as possible, particularly if anchoring is not possible.
- Avoid displaying or storing items, such as toys and remotes, in places where kids might be tempted to climb up to reach for them.
- If purchasing a new TV, consider recycling older ones not currently in use.
- Keep TV and/or cable cords out of reach of children.
- Even in rooms with TVs and furniture anchored, close adult supervision is still recommended.
The CPSC also offers more information on anchoring TVs and furniture, at anchorit.gov.
I’m Tom Russell and have worked at Furniture/Today since August 2003. Since then, I have covered the international side of the business from a logistics and sourcing standpoint. Since then, I also have visited several furniture trade shows and manufacturing plants in Asia, which has helped me gain perspective about the industry in that part of the world. As I continue covering the import side of the business, I look forward to building on that knowledge base through conversations with industry officials and future overseas plant tours. From time to time, I will file news and other industry perspectives online and, as always, welcome your response to these Web postings.