• Thomas Russell

5 ways to kid-proof your furniture

Suggestions are part of U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's Anchor It campaign

HIGH POINT — As part of its ongoing Anchor It campaign to educate consumers about the dangers of furniture tip-overs, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission earlier this year published a list of ideas on how to kid-proof furniture. While seemingly obvious, these ideas may get overlooked by consumers.

Here are five of the CPSC’s suggestions as noted on the agency’s website:

1. Select furniture that is intended to hold large items: Televisions, the CPSC notes, should not be placed on any flat, elevated surface. Instead, put it on a piece designed to hold the weight such as a low-profile TV stand.

2. Secure the TV: This includes mounting flat-screen TVs to the wall to prevent them from toppling. Freestanding TVs that are not mounted should be anchored to a wall or stand using an anti-tip device. Consumers who are not comfortable doing this themselves should hire an expert to do the job.

3. Fasten furniture: Top-heavy pieces such as a dresser or an armoire should be anchored with inexpensive anti-tip straps. New furniture pieces are sold with anti-tip restraints that should be installed immediately. Again, hire an expert to install if you are not comfortable doing this yourself.

4. Follow instructions: Don’t just toss the instruction manual in the trash, the CPSC notes. Make sure you reach the manufacturer’s instructions to secure TVs and furniture properly.

5. Eliminate appealing items: Curious kids climb and hang on furniture to reach their favorite plush toy, remote control, juice boxes, DVDs and other electronic accessories. The CPSC suggests keeping these items out of sight when not in use so children are not tempted to climb up and grab them.

According to CPSC data, unsecured TVs and large pieces of furniture kill a child every two weeks on average. In addition, some 38,000 Americans go to emergency room each year with injuries related to tip-overs of top heavy furniture and TVs placed on furniture instead of a low-profile TV stand.

These are incidents the CPSC and the industry are trying to reduce through the Anchor It and other safety initiatives. What is your company or store doing to help reduce tip-overs? Feel free to respond to trussell@furnituretoday.com or simply call Senior Editor Tom Russell at 336-605-3815 to share your thoughts or safety tips that should be added to this list.


Thomas RussellThomas Russell | Associate Editor, Furniture Today

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.

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