Furniture tip-over awareness campaign

Every year, furniture tip-overs cause numerous cases of head trauma, internal injuries or suffocation. These accidents often require urgent medical attention such as resuscitation and can even result in death.

The OECD carried out a global awareness campaign in November 2017 which aimed to alert parents and other stakeholders about the dangers posed to children (particularly those aged 1-3 years) by television, furniture and appliance tip-overs. The campaign stressed the need to secure furniture to a wall or other structure if it is prone to tip, and to encourage other preventative action in homes, particularly where young children live or visit. It also called on suppliers of furniture and televisions to ensure that the products they supply are safe and fit for purpose.

The campaign was coordinated by Health Canada and Australia's Competition and Consumer Commission. Participating countries and jurisdicitions include Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the European Commission, France, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Russian Federation, Turkey and the United States.

Safety tips

Secure TVs and furniture with anchoring devices.

Purchase low-set furniture or furniture with sturdy, stable and deep bases.

Install child-resistant drawer locks to prevent drawers from being opened and climbed on.

Help us spread the word!

Twitter 

English: #AnchorIt

French: #FixezLes

Spanish: #FíjaloBien

Portuguese: #FixeOs / #Fixaí

Dutch: #MaakZeVast

Safety messages for parents, caregivers and consumers

Download as pdf

It is natural for children to want to reach, climb, and pull themselves up onto furniture and explore. Furniture, appliances, and televisions can easily tip-over in an instant, causing serious injuries to children and even death.

Certain types of furniture, such as tall bookcases and tallboys, can be particularly unstable especially if they are heavily loaded with typical household items like books, televisions or other appliances. Cupboards, free-standing mirrors, and chests of drawers can also become unstable if climbed on or tipped-over. Every year, children also pull large televisions onto themselves and are crushed.

 

Anchoring devices

  • Furniture and televisions that are prone to tip should be attached to the wall or other sturdy structure using angle braces, anchors or safety straps particularly in households where young children may be present.
  • If anchors are provided by a supplier to stabilize an article of furniture, follow the installation instructions carefully.
  • If you have an older piece of furniture, visit your local hardware store to purchase restraints or anchors. If possible, secure them to a wall stud with strong screws. Consult your hardware store specialist about appropriate hardware to attach your furniture anchoring devices.
  • Anchor bolts with spring toggles or other similar features can be used to secure furniture to plasterboard or drywall. Wedge anchors or plastic wall plugs can be used in masonry (concrete) walls or brickwork.

 

Consumer choices

  • Select furniture and televisions that are designed to resist tipping and look for information that indicates that the furniture complies with relevant safety standards for stability.
  • Choose storage furniture (bookcases, cabinets, Television (TV) stands and dressers) with wide and/or deep and stable bases that sit directly on the floor and/or have a low centre of gravity.
  • Check the warning labels on your furniture, TVs and appliances and look out for in-store signage or information bulletins about how to prevent tip-overs. Find out about safety features by visiting the manufacturer's website or talking to your retailer.

 

Safety in the home

  • Install child-resistant locking devices on drawers to prevent children from opening them and using them to climb up.
  • Do not put heavy items and items that are attractive to children, such as toys or candy, on top of TVs. Put TVs on low, stable furniture that is made for their weight and size. Attach your TV to the stand if possible. Place heavier items—like books—in lower drawers or shelves to reduce the risk of tip-overs.
  • Parents and caregivers should supervise children and teach them not to climb or hang from furniture or appliances.
  • Open only one drawer at a time. Close all drawers that you are not using.
  • If you’re renting a home, talk to your landlord or agent to get permission to install anchor devices to the wall. Explain why you want to secure your furniture and assure them that you will repair damage caused by the installation when the tenancy ends. Make sure you get the landlord or agent’s approval in writing.

 

Safety messages for industry, retail associations and suppliers

Download as pdf

Suppliers of furniture and televisions should ensure the products they supply are safe and fit for the purpose. The following safety initiatives will help to ensure such products do not cause serious injuries or death due to being unstable and/or unsecured.

Suppliers should:

  • Sell products that are stable.
  • Affix to the products (or supply with them) anchor devices that are fit for the purpose.
  • Provide consumer information about tip-over hazards and prevention that includes warning labels in user / assembly instructions, on any packaging, including for flat-packed furniture, and on the product.
  • Develop a company policy that outlines systems to address tip-over hazards associated with their products and states their commitment to support the policy.
  • Develop and maintain staff training programs and manuals about furniture and television consumer safety initiatives.
  • Provide consumer literature illustrating the various means of anchoring furniture and televisions.
  • Display warnings in the vicinity of tall furniture and television displays strongly advising consumers to use anchors to secure them to a wall or other building structure.

 Video produced by ACCC Product Safety, Australia

Video produced by Health Canada

Video produced by anchorit.gov and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, United States

Video in Spanish produced by the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce, Colombia