A Game Plan to Prevent TV/Furniture Tip-Over Deaths and Injuries

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It is officially Super Bowl season and for many that also translates to TV buying season. According to a forthcoming study from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, more consumers report buying televisions specifically for watching the Super Bowl than for any other sporting event – almost three times that of the World Series or NBA Finals. As consumers nationwide score deals on TV sales, new research from CPSC suggests that there are some very important steps to take once the new TV is brought home.

CPSC has previously reported that one child dies every two weeks and one consumer is injured every 15 minutes when a piece of furniture or a television falls over onto them. Children will climb anything to reach a wanted item. The results of children climbing on or near furniture and TVs can and have ended in tragedy.

Falling TV

According to a new CPSC study, when a television falls from an average size dresser, it can fall with the force of thousands of pounds.  Imagine this: the impact of a falling TV is like being caught between J.J. Watt and Ndamukong Suh colliding at full-speed—10 times.  Hard hits are sure to be delivered by the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, so imagine a child being struck by a force more than 10 times as powerful as a NFL lineman.

CPSC researchers conducted 38 drop tests simulating a tip-over of both cathode ray tube (CRT) and flat screen TVs on top of furniture. Using frequently reported incident scenarios and an accelerometer to help calculate the force, the researchers concluded:

  • The impact energy was typically much greater for a CRT TV than a flat screen, but both had forces that can cause serious injury on impact;
  • for acceleration of the TV, impact was between 73 Gs and 240 Gs;
  • for CRT TVs, the impact force was up to 12,700 pounds of force; and
  • for flat screen TVs, the force was up to 2,098 pounds of force.

With an impact force equivalent to thousands of pounds, no child is a match for falling TVs or furniture. Fortunately, simple and low-cost steps can prevent tip-over incidents.

CPSC’s new “Anchor It” campaign is urging caregivers to think about four important questions before buying a new flat screen TV:

Where will the old TV be placed?

How to secure the old TV in its new location?

How to secure the TV if not mounting?

Will the new TV be mounted?

Ask a sales associate for help selecting anti-tip devices. A secured TV is mounted to the wall or anchored to furniture with straps, brackets, or braces to prevent the TV from sliding.

TV-Anchor             Wall Anchor

 And lastly, remember to keep items that might tempt kids to climb, such as toys and remote controls, from the top of the TV and furniture.

Note: our friends at Safe Kids Worldwide have turned the day before the Super Bowl into National TV Safety Day.  Check out SafeKids.org or Facebook.com/safekidsworldwide for more great safety tips.)

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