When it comes to home safety, anti-tip brackets might not be the first thing that pops into your mind. They are, however, one of the least expensive and easiest ways to prevent accidents and injuries in your home. With over 25,000 Americans admitted to emergency rooms each year for accidents related to tip and fall injuries, installing these is an excellent way to spend a portion of your weekend afternoon.
Anti-tip brackets are used to ensure that large objects and furniture like TVs, tall shelves and cabinets that can be top-heavy are secured to the wall behind them and can’t fall on yourself, your children, or your pets.
What is an anti-tip bracket?
Physically, anti-tip brackets are nothing special. Most commonly made of metal or plastic, they are made to hide behind furniture and not be seen regularly. Functionally, however, they are an unsung hero of home safety. Household accidents from heavy objects or furniture tipping over and causing injuries are more common than you might think.
The good news is that with anti-tip brackets, you can prevent these incidents from happening entirely, and it won’t take you more than a couple of hours.
The most common anti-tip brackets are simply a 90° piece of material with holes placed at either end for you to screw one side into your wall and the other attached to the objects that you want to secure. There are also anti-tip straps that work quite well, which involve plates that screw onto the wall and cabinet or shelf and connect with a strap in between.
Anti-tip bracket inspection
While anti-tip brackets aren’t part of a home inspector’s checklist, they are an excellent thing to keep an eye out for in any new home you’re in. Especially when it comes to children, these can be life-saving devices.
Home inspectors are responsible for assessing the central systems of your home. They look at the foundation, structure, roof, electrical, and plumbing systems. They are not responsible for furniture or electronics, even if they are included in the sale of a house. Because of this, anti-tip brackets aren’t something home inspectors will look for. While the condition of built-in furniture may fall under their responsibilities, by definition, built-in-furniture should not need anti-tip brackets.
Where to find anti-tip brackets
If you’re wondering where you can buy these tiny miracle devices, you’re in luck. Anti-tip brackets are available at any hardware store and many department stores if they have a small hardware section. Another option you can take advantage of is ordering them from an online retailer, that is, if you’re not concerned about first testing the quality of your anti-tip bracket before buying.
Preventing tip and fall accidents at home
A little bit of prevention goes a long way to ensure your home is a safe place for yourself, your family and any guests you have visit.
Certain items in your home may never have crossed your mind as potential tip and fall hazards, but they can quickly become accident sites when little ones are tempted to climb on them. Little hands pull on edges, potentially shifting the center of gravity of even very heavy pieces, like bookcases, which can cause them to topple over.
Freestanding cabinets and bookcases are some of the most common culprits for tip and fall accidents. However, more innocuous items in your home can have the same effect. Ovens and stoves are heavy appliances but also have handles and doors that little ones can use to pull themselves up on. Likewise, a flat-screen TV might not seem easy to tip over, especially if it sits atop a mantle or in an entertainment center. You can’t underestimate the crafty nature of exploring kiddos, and it doesn’t take more than an unbalanced hand looking for a good place to hold on to cause a TV to topple.
Always have conversations with your children about not climbing on objects as well. Explain to them what can be climbed on (their bunk beds, playgrounds, etc.) and what cannot. Open conversations about safety can also help prevent accidents and possible future injuries.
Luckily, preventing these types of incidents is super easy and straightforward. Let your fingers do the walking online or head to your local hardware store, and after a 15-minute trip, you can head home for the quick task of installing your new anti-tip brackets. Double-check when you’re purchasing anti-tip brackets to ensure they have the necessary screws and/or drywall anchor included, and you’re good to go!