Prevent A Tragedy - Securing Furniture To A Wall!
On either side of my eldest daughter’s bed are bookshelves, and they are connected together in the middle with another shelf. When we purchased the furniture a few years ago, we were told to secure it all to the wall. As with many things in our lives, if they aren’t done right away, it gets pushed off. With 3 little kids, none of whom were climbing on anything, securing furniture was not on the top of our list – though with everything I’ve learned lately, it should have been our NUMBER 1 PRIORITY! Just the thought of the tragedies that could have happened from unsecured furniture scares me.
Now, 3 years later, I have a son who likes to climb, and of course all 3 of my kids like to jump on the bed. One day, I walked in the room and the unit over my daughter’s bed was shaking from their jumping. That was frightening beyond belief. The idea of the entire unit toppling over and landing on somebody makes me ill, especially since it’s completely preventable. Every few months I go through and make a list of all the things that need to get taken care of around the house, and this last time, on the top of the list, was securing furniture to the walls. I bought straps to secure all of our freestanding bookcases and dressers, as well as our flat screen TV in the family room. Now, that may seem a little overboard, because dressers and other items seem heavy, but you just never know what can happen. For a few dollars I can have complete peace of mind that if one of my kids, or their friends, tries something stupid (like climbing the shelving unit), it’s not going to tip and crush anyone.
Several companies make the straps to connect furniture to the wall. Most of the companies that make products for baby proofing make them, but I decided to use ones that were designed for homes in earthquake zones. After reading a lot of reviews on several different brands, I ordered the Quakehold! Furniture Strap Kits for all of our furniture (they come in a bunch of different colors), and the Quakehold! Flat Screen TV Safety Strap (these come in a variety of sizes depending on how big your TV is) for our flat screen TV in our family room. This morning was spent securing furniture to the wall! The straps were quick and easy to install, one side has an extremely super sticky backing that attaches to the furniture, and the other side screws into the stud in your wall. After installing them, I pulled on the shelving units as hard as I could – they weren’t going anywhere! So far we’ve secured the furniture in our kids’ bedrooms. The TV will be done this afternoon, and then we will tackle the few other pieces of freestanding furniture.
If you’re furniture isn’t secure, you’ll want to read this article from the Consumer Product Safety Commission – it contains a lot of good reasons (they were the ones that convinced me not to wait) to spend a few dollars and secure your furniture. This is important in any home that has children living or visiting. It only takes a few seconds for a tragic accident to happen.
Watch how quickly and easily a piece of furniture can tip in this simulation (the video is also from the Consumer Product Safety Commission)! You will only need to watch a few seconds to understand.
To help prevent tip-over tragedies, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends the following safety measures in homes where children live or visit:
- Anchor furniture to the wall or the floor.
- Place TVs on sturdy, low bases, or anchor the furniture and the TV on top the base, and push the TV as far back on the furniture as possible.
- Keep remote controls, toys, and other items that might attract children off of TV stands or furniture.
- Keep TV and/or cable cords out of reach of children.
- Make sure freestanding kitchen ranges and stoves are installed with anti-tip brackets.
- Supervise children in rooms where these safety tips have not been followed.
Do you know someone with children who doesn’t have their furniture secure? Make sure you share this important information with them! Together, hopefully we can prevent another terrible accident.