NORTHBROOK, Ill., Feb. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The first few months of each new year is prime time to have friends and family over to watch competitive sports games or Hollywood starlets walk the red carpet. Whether your guests are huddled around the TV rooting for their favorite team or leading lady to win, the main attraction of these events is your TV. Statistics show that due to flat-screen TVs making it easy to put sets where they haven't been before, on average, today's home has more TVs than people, according to Nielsen Media Research. That's why this sports and awards season, UL is helping families understand how to avoid potential injuries due to TV tip overs by keeping their TVs and entertainment centers danger-free zones.
According to UL, as TVs grow in size – a 152-inch 3D TV was unveiled at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show – chances of them causing potential safety hazards due to tip overs grow as well. Research shows a 41 percent increase in TV tip-over related injuries to children over the past two decades – in 2007 alone, nearly 17,000 children were rushed to emergency rooms after heavy or unstable furniture fell over on them. According to the researchers, the increase correlated with the popularity of ever-bigger flat-panel televisions, along with the entertainment centers and narrow, less-stable stands to hold them.(i)
UL also points out as consumers try to install the TVs themselves to save on hiring a professional, they may overlook some important installation steps.
"While bigger TVs may mean an enhanced viewing experience for family and friends, they may also be harder to mount or contain in an entertainment center, making them more likely to fall," says John Drengenberg, director of consumer safety at UL. "Following UL's home entertaining safety recommendations can help hosts create safe celebrations for their guests, and most importantly, safer environments for their families."
To help prevent unnecessary accidents due to TV tip overs, UL recommends taking the following safety precautions:
- Verify that furniture is stable on its own. For added security, anchor to the floor or attach all entertainment units, TV stands, bookcases, shelving and bureaus to the wall using appropriate hardware, such as brackets, screws or toggles.
- Place the TV on sturdy furniture appropriate for its size or on a low-rise base.
- Push the TV as far back as possible from the front of its stand.
- Place electrical cords out of a child's reach and teach them not to play with the cords.
- Remove items that might tempt kids to climb, like toys and remote controls, from the top of the TV and furniture.
"We know how hard it is for parents to be aware of all the potential safety hazards in today's home, especially when entertaining a boisterous crowd of guests," says Drengenberg. "But, by committing just one minute to safety, parents can be confident they've implemented a solid offensive strategy against unnecessary accidents."
For more information on TV tip overs and home entertaining safety tips, go to SafetyAtHome.com.
UL is a premier global safety science company with more than 100 years of proven history. Employing more than 6,800 professionals in over 96 countries, UL is evolving the future of safety with five distinct business units – Product Safety, Environment, Life & Health, Verification and University – to meet the expanding needs of customers and the global public. Additional information about UL can be found at UL.com or Safetyathome.com.
(i) The Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio; 2007