In this section
to explore their environment, and through climbing,
they can find ways to access out-of-reach items or toys. Free-standing
furniture, appliances, and televisions
are often the right height to climb on, but are unstable and can easily topple,
causing serious injuries or even death if a child is underneath.
average, two children die each year and hundreds more injured because of
toppling furniture and televisions. Children under 10 years old are most at risk, and more than half of tip-over
injuries involve a child under 4 years
items like bookcases, chests of drawers, cupboards, wardrobes and free-standing
mirrors are usually unsecured, leaving them susceptible to toppling. Most furniture tip-over deaths are caused by
asphyxiation due to the crushing
weight of such heavy furniture and household items. Other injuries caused by
furniture tip-overs can include:
take quick, easy and low-cost steps to prevent furniture tip-over deaths and
injuries. With a little effort, 100 per cent
of tip-over incidents can be prevented. To
make your home safe:
looking to install an anchoring device, you need to consider the weight and dimensions
of the furniture to ensure any anchor attachments are strong enough to hold the
It is also
very important to use the right anchoring device for the wall or floor material.
Different screws types are available for wood studs, plasterboard or masonry.
Consult with your local hardware retailer for advice.
If you are
unsure about how to install an anchoring device, or what anchor you need to
purchase, it is a good idea to talk to a professional (e.g. handyman or carpenter) who can install or advise you
renting a home, you should speak with your landlord or agent to get permission before
you install anchor devices to the wall or floors, but don’t let this process
put you off securing your furniture. Offer to repair damage (e.g. drill holes) caused by the installation of
any anchor devices once the tenancy ends. You should get approval in writing to
have a record of your agreement.
When buying furniture, ask staff to advise on safer
options for homes with small children. You should also consider the following:
During 2017, safety regulators reviewed retailers
across Australia and found that very few (only 12 per cent) supplied anchors for any furniture that required them. Although
there are no legal requirements or standards, the Australian Competition and Consumer
Commission (ACCC) has encouraged suppliers and retailers to ensure appropriate
anchoring devices are supplied to
consumers, better in-store signage is displayed, and warning labels are affixed
to products, to improve safety and reduce the risk of tip-overs.
Developed by Community Information. First published