Home Furniture Safety Tips to Help Protect Your Family From Accidents and Injury
By Bridget Mwape
Thousands of People are treated annually for injuries associated with furniture. The majority of these injuries and deaths are to children. Here are tips you may use to make your household environment safer for yourself and your family.
1. Falls are a leading cause of injuries and deaths in the home. To lessen the likelihood of falls, eliminate clutter, be sure rugs have slip-resistant pads, keep electrical cords out of walkways and clean up spills immediately.
2. Position or Place furniture in low-traffic areas such as corners and sections of the room, out of the range of mobility so that people do not accidentally run into furniture.
3. Shelves should be strategically placed in bedroom and living room areas to limit reaching. They should be low enough to avoid using a step stool but all items should be at eye level in order to find them easily.
4. Make sure furniture is stable and without sharp corners, if possible. This will minimize the chances of injury.
5. Make sure that furniture surfaces are smooth and free of splinters or rough edges. Nails, screws and other joiners should be tight and unexposed.
6. Be careful not to overload the shelves on bookcases. In some cases, it may be a good idea to secure the top portion of the unit to the wall to prevent it from tipping over, especially if children are present in the home.
7. Use the correct size furniture to house your television. Because of their weight, especially the popular larger models, TVs can fall forward if they are not properly supported.
8. Place TVs on lower furniture, as far back as possible. Use angle-braces or anchors to secure furniture to the wall.
9. Make sure that lids have safety latches that prevent the top from falling freely or slamming shut on fingers or a child's head. Lids also should not lock automatically. If you have an older chest without safety latches, it is recommended that you contact the manufacturer for a replacement latch or remove the lid.
10. Arrange furniture so that outlets are available for lamps and appliances without the use of extension cords. If you must use an extension cord, place it on the floor against a wall where people cannot trip over it. Remove cords from under furniture or carpeting and replace damaged or frayed cords immediately.
11. Remove rugs and runners that tend to slide. Apply double-faced adhesive carpet tape or rubber matting to the backs of rugs and runners. Purchase rugs with slip-resistant backing.
12. Lamps or switches located close to each bed will enable you to get up at night and see where you're going. Rearrange furniture closer to switches or move lamps closer to beds. Install night lights where possible.
13. Never allow children under 6 years-old on the upper bunk of a Bunk bed. Bunk beds should have guardrails on each side of the top bunk, with the side against the wall or opposite the ladder running the full length of the bed.
14. It's a good idea to check periodically to make sure all screws, bolts, brackets and other joiners on your furniture are tight and secure.
15. To prevent tempting your children to climb on furniture, do not place enticing objects on tops of tables, dressers or bookcases.
16. You should not place furniture near windows where children can climb or fall out.
When shopping for home furniture, choose quality furniture that is not only comfortable and beautiful, but safe as well.