Reminder of the dangers of toppling furniture and large appliances
- Child injuries and deaths are caused by falling furniture or appliances
- Parents and carers urged to secure items that can easily tip over
- Tenants have the right to fix items to walls, except for certain circumstances
Western Australians are being reminded about the dangers of toppling furniture and large appliances following a recent tragedy that claimed the life of a one year old girl in Byford.
Consumer Protection urges parents and carers to secure these items to the wall if they have young children, or people with a disability, in their home or on their business premises.
The risk occurs when children attempt to climb furniture such as a chest of drawers, wardrobes, bookcases and tables; or try to reach electronic appliances such as large TVs.
If the home is a rental, laws are now in place allowing tenants to fix furniture and appliances to walls with the permission of the landlord or their agent. Permission cannot be refused except in very limited circumstances, such as the home is heritage-listed or the walls contain asbestos.
After receiving a request from the tenant, landlords have 14 days to respond. If no response is received the tenant is entitled to go ahead regardless, however, they must repair the wall at the end of the tenancy.
When securing items, check that the fixings are appropriate for the item’s size and weight and seek professional help to affix furniture to avoid any injury, damage, or electrical wires/water pipes in the wall cavity.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Gary Newcombe said anchoring these items will make a big difference to enhancing safety in the home.
“It only involves only a small amount of money and effort, but the result of fixing furniture and heavy appliances to the wall will have an enormous effect in preventing child injuries and deaths,” Mr Newcombe said.
“Tenants need to be confident in demanding their rights and let Consumer Protection know if their request is being denied so we can check if the property owner’s refusal is justified.
“On average, toppling furniture and appliances kill one child a year in Australia and many others suffer injuries, many involving brain damage and broken bones.
“So it’s really important to install wall anchors which are often provided with many of these items or can be purchased at most local hardware stores. We also encourage suppliers to provide fixings, along with safety warnings, if their products can be easily tipped over.”
Media Contact: Alan Hynd, (08) 6552 9248 / 0429 078 791 / firstname.lastname@example.org