ACCC warns against unstable TVs, furniture

With awareness campaign.

The ACCC, in partnership with Kidsafe, is urging parents to check their homes for dangerous and potentially deadly situations caused by unstable furniture that includes TVs, bookcases, wardrobes and sideboards, with a national awareness campaign.

An awareness campaign was first launched in November 2017 to alert consumers of the dangers and how to combat risks, as well as call on suppliers to supply anchors at point of sale.

An estimated 2,600 Australians receive hospital treatment for injuries caused by toppling furniture and televisions each year, equating to approximately 50 people per week. Since 2001 at least 22 children under the age of nine have died with children under three years of age at greatest risk.

ACCC acting chair, Delia Rickard, said tip-over accidents happen quickly and reinforced the importance of parents and carers securing furniture to make their homes safer for children.

“We strongly encourage parents and carers to check every room in their home for toppling hazards and anchor any tall or unstable furniture or large TVs,” Rickard said.

The ACCC will continue to work with retailers to increase awareness about the dangers posed by unstable furniture. This includes ensuring retailers supply appropriate anchoring devices to consumers, better in-store signage is displayed, and warning labels are affixed to products.

Kidsafe Victoria CEO, Melanie Courtney said that children’s curiosity and lack of awareness of danger placed them at increased risk of injury from TV and furniture tip overs.

“Children are naturally inquisitive and common household furniture can look very different and interesting from a toddler’s perspective, for example, they may see items of furniture like bookcases and shelves as a ladder to gain access to reach an item that is stored up high.”

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