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Most Americans say they don't anchor furniture. US launches campaign following hundreds of deaths

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Posted at 5:30 PM, Sep 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-10 18:30:39-04

From 2000 through 2018, 459 children have died from accidental furniture tip overs, which are preventable fatalities that can be stopped by anchoring furniture to a wall.

In response, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission is launching a public service announcement campaign called "Even When You're Watching.” The campaign will show the dangers of leaving furniture unanchored. The campaign includes “terrifying” footage of tip overs caught on video.

In addition to the number of fatalities, the CPSC estimates that every 43 minutes, a child is injured by furniture tipping over.

"Even when adults are in the same room with children, dangerous tip-overs can occur," said CPSC acting chairman Robert Adler. "Many parents and caregivers do not know about this hidden hazard, or believe that they can prevent a tip-over by watching their children, but these incidents still happen. We urge adults to Anchor It! and to tell their friends and family to do so, too, because these tragic tip-overs can happen in the blink of an eye."

According to a CPSC survey, 80 percent are aware that furniture can tip over, but just 47 percent say they have their TV anchors, and 55 percent say they have anchored furniture in their home.

The CSPC offers parents the following tips:

To protect children from a tip-over incident, follow these safety tips in any home where children live or visit:

  • Anchor TVs and furniture, such as bookcases and dressers, securely to the wall.
  • Always place TVs on a sturdy, low base, and push the TV back as far as possible, particularly if anchoring is not possible.
  • Avoid displaying or storing items, such as toys and remotes, in places where kids might be tempted to climb up to reach for them.
  • Store heavier items on lower shelves, or in lower drawers.
  • If purchasing a new TV, consider recycling older ones not currently in use. If moving the older TV to another room, be sure it is anchored to the wall properly.
  • Keep TV and/or cable cords out of reach of children.
  • Supervise children in rooms where these safety tips have not been undertaken.

To view the public service announcement, click here.