Many of us think of our televisions as fixtures in our homes, as solid and immovable as the walls. But unsteady televisions or other furniture may be dangerous and caused serious premises liability accidents suffered by guests, especially children.
Each year, approximately 22,500 Americans visit an emergency room because of injuries caused by tip-over accidents involving furniture, a television or an appliance, according to data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission cited by the North Carolina Department of Insurance in a Feb. 8 release.
People under 18 suffer almost 44% of these injuries. Every three weeks, a child dies in this country from injuries caused by a tipped over television.
Safety experts claim that too many wall-mounted flat screen televisions are inadequately secured. Televisions that are not mounted are often top-heavy and have narrow supports.
The North Carolina Insurance Commission issued recommendations for general home safety. Some of these are especially important for television-watching events such as the Super Bowl.
Televisions must be secure. Mount flat-screen televisions to the wall. Older, box-style televisions should be placed on a low and stable piece of furniture which is designed to carry more weight. Anchor the television to the wall or the furniture.
Furniture should be attached to the wall with anti-tip brackets, braces, or wall straps. Install stops on dresser drawers to stop them from being pulled out all the way.
Household items also need to be rearranged. Store heavy objects in lower shelves or drawers. Try not to place remote controls, video games, toys or other items in locations where children may be tempted to climb up or reach for them.
Guests may be entitled to compensation where these injuries are caused by a negligent or reckless host. Attorneys can help obtain evidence and represent their interests in court and negotiations.