The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a warning to those who have purchased or plan to buy large items like flat-screen TVs, chests and drawers for their homes. Large furniture can pose a serious safety risk if not anchored properly to the wall, especially when young children are present. Every year in Arizona and across the U.S., emergency rooms treat an average of 30,700 people for injuries caused by these fixtures, and over 50 percent of them are children.
The CPSC even runs an "Anchor-It!" campaign to remind families to securely attach their TVs and furniture. The organization also has advice for individuals who are shopping around for such appliances. Installing anti-tip devices should be easy on sheetrock walls. In older homes with plaster or brick walls, it may be best to hire a professional to drill the required holes without making mistakes. Should they install the devices themselves, homeowners will want to get a stud finder, a drill and detachable tip restraints.
While most American furniture manufacturers comply with the safety standards set by ASTM International, this compliance is purely voluntary. For this reason, potential buyers should check furniture for safety labels. The top drawer of most chests will contain a permanent tip-over warning label. When buying furniture online, individuals should check for an explicit statement that the product meets the safety standards.
When injuries or death result from defective products, the victims or their families can consider filing a product liability claim. In Arizona, the statute of limitations is two years. Hiring a lawyer is usually a good idea since the settlement may be large. An attorney can assess the claim and determine if the victim or his or her family contributed to the accident. Negligence invalidates a wrongful death suit and lowers the amount of compensation in an injury claim. A lawyer can then proceed to negotiations or litigation.