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Health Canada Reminds Canadians of the Dangers Related to Furniture, Television and Appliance Tip-Overs

Starting date:
February 4, 2010
Posting date:
February 4, 2010
Type of communication:
Household Items
Source of recall:
Health Canada
Important Safety Information
General Public
Identification number:

Health Canada is advising parents and caregivers to take precautionary steps to help minimize the dangers related to television, furniture and appliance tip-overs. According to data from the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program, there have been more than 5,000 reports of televisions, furniture and appliances falling over onto children under 10 years of age since 1990. Furniture or television tip-overs can cause serious head and internal injuries, as well as suffocation, which can lead to death. More than 70% of the reported television tip-over incidents in Canada happened to children between one and three years of age.

Common circumstances that can lead to tip-over incidents include children:

  • climbing on furniture, televisions or appliances;
  • reaching for items such as toys or remote controls located on elevated surfaces; or
  • pushing, pulling or accidentally bumping into televisions or pieces of furniture.

Take these simple steps to help minimize the danger in your home:

  • Always supervise children in the home and teach them not to climb on or hang from furniture.
  • Choose storage furniture, such as bookcases, cabinets, television stands, and dressers, with a wide and stable base that sits directly on the floor. Models with legs or wheels are more likely to tip-over.
  • Attach furniture to the floor or wall stud using the appropriate angle braces, anchors or safety straps. If these items come with the product, follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation.
  • Place televisions far back on low stable furniture that is designed to hold the weight and size of the television. Attach the television to the stand, if possible.
  • Keep electric cords behind furniture where children cannot reach them.
  • Do not place items that may appeal to a child, such as toys, plants and remote controls, on top of a television or tall furniture.
  • Do not place heavy items on top of elevated surfaces.
  • Regularly check that furniture, televisions and appliances are stable and secure and that electrical cords are out of children's reach.
  • For furniture with drawers, only open one drawer at a time to reduce the chance that it will tip over; completely close all drawers when not in use so they cannot be used as steps by a child; place heavier items in lower drawers; and install locking devices on each drawer if you have young children.
  • Do not assemble and use the furniture if instructions are not provided or if you cannot follow the instructions.
  • Verify a product's label, visit the manufacturer's website or ask the retailer to find out what safety features are available for the furniture you are considering.
  • Always use furniture for its intended purpose.

To report a tip-over related consumer complaint or incident, please contact your regional Health Canada Product Safety office toll free at 1-866-662-0666 or by e-mail at (please indicate the province or territory from which you are corresponding).

For more safety tips and additional information on the dangers of furniture and televisions tip-overs please visit:

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