Springtime Cleaning: Safety Tips - Personal Injury Legal Blogs Posted by Arthur L. Bugay - Lawyers.com

Springtime Cleaning: Safety Tips

How to be Avoid Furniture Tip-Overs while Reorganizing and other Safety Tips

As the weather changes and the warmer, spring season comes along many of us begin to reorganize, de-clutter, decorate and switch things around in our homes. Although “spring-cleaning” is a ritual for many families, it can also include some bumps, bruises or even more serious injuries. We have taken some spring-cleaning safety recommendations from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and hope that you and your loved ones can use them as a guide for safely redecorating your home this season!

Children get seriously injured from furniture tipping over every 30 minutes throughout the country; sometimes the injuries result in hospital visits and, sometimes, can be fatal. But, furniture tip-overs can be preventable when the necessary precautions are taken. Many furniture and television manufacturers know this, and have begun to include safety devices in their packaging.

The CPSC observed that when a child is hit by a falling television, more than 80% of the time it was sitting on a piece of furniture that was not necessarily a television-stand. More than 90% of the televisions that fell were CRT TV’s, which are older, bulkier, non-flat screen models. What is particularly frightening about these television tip-overs is that when a CRT TV falls, it can do so with roughly 12,000 pounds of force, causing severe or even fatal injuries.

Because of these dangers, the CPSC recommends mounting all flat-screened televisions. Most flat screen TVs come with pre-drilled holes that are used for anchoring, simply requiring some drilling. The commission encourages consumers to get rid of their CRT TV’s, citing the heavy weight as carrying a particularly high and unnecessary risk of injury or death. These items can be recycled and will leave some extra space in your home. If you decide against anchoring or mounting your flat-screen, you can have it sit on a piece of furniture designed as a television-stand. Most TV stands are manufactured to sustain the appropriate amount of weight. It is important to remember that children are prone to climbing and that as you de-clutter, it is advisable to take away any temptations around the television that may encourage a child’s curiosity to make those potentially dangerous reaches.

Sadly as many of us have heard, dressers can also result in the serious injury or death of a child when they fall over. The CPSC examined several dresser tip-over incidents and found that in all but one, there were no anti-tip devices installed. A quick internet search turns up an array of available and economical anti-tip devices that consumers can install, all of which hold varying amounts of weight measuring up to hundreds of pounds. There are different styles of anti-tip devices, such as straps or brackets. Most new dressers come with anti-tip devices, but if you have an older dresser or discover that newly purchased items do not come with one, you can simply purchase one and easily install it. It could end up saving a life.

It isn’t just children who can get injured, although they are the most susceptible to getting hurt from furniture tip-overs. Spring-cleaning itself can be exhausting and come with a lot of physical exertion. Many people do lots of heavy outdoor activities, such as mowing the lawn, planting gardens, trimming plants and digging. It is important to remember that just like with any other physical activity that staying hydrated, taking plenty of breaks and stretching beforehand is always a good call. When it comes to lifestyle questions, as always it is best to consult directly with a healthcare professional.

Lastly, spring-cleaning is a good excuse to make sure everything in your home or apartment is up-to-date. Make sure that your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are all in working condition and are not in need of replacement or new batteries. Air pollution is another issue, so changing the filters on AC units or furnaces can help to inhibit the amount of indoor pollutants you and your family members are breathing in. If you do not have a fire extinguisher in an easy-to-reach place, purchase one in case of an emergency. Similarly, it is best to be careful and have a first aid kit.

Although there are necessary and important precautions to take, such as anchoring or mounting furniture and protecting your children by installing anti-tip devices, don’t forget that spring-cleaning can be fun and a good time for your family to enjoy working together. Many of the CPSC’s safety tips can help to prevent a serious injury from occurring, and taking other precautions can only help make your home a safer, and therefore a more enjoyable, place!

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Arthur L. Bugay

Licensed since 1991

Member at firm Galfand Berger LLP

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