Written by Lauren Theobald on January 25, 2017

Sunday, February 5th, 2017 is the day of the Big Game. You know, the last game of the season with the entertaining commercials and big half-time show. The Saturday prior – February 4th, 2017 – marks National TV Safety Day. The timing of these two events is no coincidence.

The day before millions of Americans gather around their TVs to watch what will likely be the most-viewed event of the year is the perfect day to bring attention to TV safety. 

With TVs getting lighter and thinner, it may seem that TV-related injuries should be on the decline, but sadly, this isn’t the case. Flat screen and curved TVs are top-heavy on a slim base, which makes them very unstable. Injuries to children from TV instability have increased by 31% over the past 10 years: Every 45 minutes a child is sent to the emergency room due to a TV tip-over, and every three weeks a child dies from a television tipping over.1

How can you keep your family safe from these types of accidents? Here are some helpful TV and furniture tip-over prevention tips:

  1. Safety Check: Check the stability of all TVs in your home: both flat screen and tube-style TVs apply. Unsecured TVs can cause injuries regardless of TV size and shape. In fact, a TV can fall with the force of thousands of pounds. That is 10 times more powerful than being hit by a NFL lineman.2

  1. TV Safety: Flat Screen and Curved TVs: The best way to secure these types of these televisions is to mount them to the wall. If mounting a TV isn’t an option, anchor the TV to the piece of furniture it is sitting on and/or to the wall.

    It is best to choose a mount that has been safety tested to hold its advertised weight capacity. Look for third party verification such as UL, CSA and ETL. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions to ensure that you have a secure fit.

    Tube TVs: If you have a box-style cathode ray tube (CRT) TV in your home, place it on a stable, low piece of furniture. If this TV is used infrequently or not at all, you can recycle it at no cost to you. Find a location to safely and easily recycle your TV at GreenerGadgets.org.

  1. Secure Unruly Cables: Cords from TVs, cable boxes, DVD players and other media devices pose a safety risk for children. Remove the temptation to grab at and play with electrical cords by securing them with a cable management system. This can be done with an in-wall system, which places cords behind the wall or an on-wall system, which covers gathered cables and secures to the wall.

  1. Stabilize Furniture: Use brackets, braces or wall straps to secure unstable or top-heavy furniture to the wall. Install stops on dresser drawers to prevent them from being pulled all the way out. Multiple open drawers can cause the weight to shift, making it easier for a dresser to fall.

  1. Rearrange Household Items: Reduce the risk of an accident by removing items that tempt children to climb, such as toys and remote controls, from the tops of furniture. Additionally, make sure heavy items like books are placed on lower shelves.

 Finally, here is a really great Home AV Safety Checklist for you to share with friends and family. Together, we can spread the word and make a difference!

 

1, 2 Source: 2014 U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission report “Product Instability” https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/InstabilityorTipoverReport2014Stamped_0.pdf

Topics: Home Safety