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Common Tip Over Hazards in Your Home & 4 Ways to Prevent Accidents

Steve Wagner

Synopsis

  • Panasonic Corp. recently announced the recall of a 55-inch flat screen LED/LCD television with tabletop swivel stands, stating that the TVs can too easily fall and injure children.
  • The recall affects about 755 TVs sold in America from July 2012 through March 2014 that were intended for use in hotels, government buildings and schools.
  • Since children often look at each experience and activity as play they may see the areas around a pedestal TV as a place for hiding.
  • Children account for 52 percent of the television instability or tip-over emergency department-treated injuries each year and an estimated 15,600 consumers are injured each year due to tip over incidents.
  • Adults in the home can help keep children safe from tip over hazards, by anchoring top-heavy furniture and TVs to the wall with inexpensive anti-tip devices such as brackets, braces and wall straps.
  • If you are a consumer using Panasonic’s recalled TV and swivel stand combination, you should immediately detach it, place the television in a safe location away from children and request the free repair kit. We have more information right here in today’s blog.

Panasonic Recalls Flat-Screen Televisions Due to Child Injury Hazard

Popular electronics manufacturer Panasonic Corp. is recalling flat-screen televisions that can fall and injure children. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says the recall affects 55-inch, flat screen, LED/LCD televisions with tabletop swivel stands. About 755 were sold in America and about 130 were sold in Canada from July 2012 through March 2014 for about $1,825 for the television and swivel stand, the commission said. The TVs were intended for use in hotels, government buildings and schools. The potentially damaging issue is related to the mounting screws on the stand loosening, causing the TV to tip over unexpectedly and cause a fatality, serious injury and serious risk for entrapment that can harm children. Luckily, no reports of injury or death have been reported so far.

Panasonic issued the recall on January 18, 2018 and says consumers using the swivel stand should immediately detach it, place the television in a safe location away from children and contact Panasonic for a free repair kit. To receive a free repair kit, call Panasonic toll-free at 855-772-8324 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or email prodisplaysupport@us.panasonic.com.

3 Common Tip Over Hazards in Your Home

Although TVs are responsible for nearly 70 percent of the tip over accidents each year in the U.S., they aren’t the only appliance associated with this household hazard. On average, one child dies every 10 days when a TV OR furniture falls onto him or her. Many other pieces of furniture that can become top heavy like bookshelves, dressers, or appliances that sit on kitchen counter tops can easily become a major tip and fall risk to the children in your home.

1) Televisions and Large Furniture

The high majority (70 percent) of tip over accidents that happen in the U.S. involve a television or large furniture like bookcases and shelving units. 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 and sometimes that dresser will fall with the TV. Even if you have purchased a safe sturdy dresser and bookcase from a reputable furniture store, it can still be harmful. Children like to use the dresser drawers as a ladder so that they can reach an item (like a TV button or remote) that is too high for them. Even if you have explained that climbing is dangerous to your child, a parent should not trust that a young, curious child will understand or remember their safety lesson.

2) Dressers and Tables

These tip over hazards include short chests with drawers, tall dressers, tables, open facing units with shelves and/or doors and more. Even if a small dresser is heavy enough or doesn’t have much space to fall, it is still a hazard for a young child. When a child opens even one drawer and climbs on it, the center of gravity changes and the furniture could tip over. The same goes for tables like nightstands. 46 percent of tip-over fatalities occur in a bedroom.

3) Appliances

Small refrigerators, computers, and kitchen appliances that sit on counter tops or tables account for a small percentage (4 percent) of tip over accidents and fatalities as well. Be sure you are tucking away any electrical cords that could easily get stuck on a moving chair, toy, or child’s arm. Push all appliances back firmly against a wall and out of easily accessible spots. Get rid of appliances you don’t use or store them in an alternative location.

Tip Over Prevention Tips

Wagner Reese attorneys have covered this topic many times on the blog, but we want to remind you again to protect your loved ones with these TV and furniture tip over prevention tips.

  1. Check and Secure TVs

First, assess the stability of the TVs in your home. Mount flat screen TVs to the wall to reduce the risk of TVs toppling off stands and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you protect your wall and have a secure fit for the right size TV. If you have a heavier, box-style cathode ray tube (CRT) TV place it on a low, stable piece of furniture that is appropriate for the TV’s size and weight.

  1. Recycle Old TVs

The U.S. electronics recycling industry processes about 4 million tons of used and end-of-life electronics equipment each year. More than 70 percent of the collected gadgets can be recycled, recovering items such as plastic, steel, aluminum, copper, gold and silver to be used in new products. Connect with your city or county’s recycling center and ask how to dispose of your old TVs.

  1. Secure Furniture

Anchor the furniture in master bedrooms and other rooms, not just the nursery or play room. 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. Always follow the directions included with the particular anchor or anti-tip device you are installing. Follow all manufacturer’s guidelines for safety.

  1. Rearrange Household Items

Keep heavier items on lower shelves or in lower drawers. Remove tempting items, such as toys and remote controls, from the top of dressers, TVs and other large furniture.

Wagner Reese Attorneys Can Help You and Your Family

If you know of a child who was killed or seriously injured by a furniture or appliance tip over accident, the Indianapolis-based product liability and wrongful death attorneys at Wagner Reese will fight for the compensation the family deserves. Our initial consultations are always free, and we never collect fees from you until your case is settled or won. Connect with us by submitting our online form and our attorneys will review your information. If you wish to speak directly with us, please call (888) 204-8440.

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