ACCC warns parents of falling furniture risks

Date: Apr 06, 2017

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has told parents to beware falling furniture risks to children in the home.

According to the organisation, up to two children die and hundreds sustain serious injuries each year in the country because furnishings or TVs and other heavy electrics topple over.

The ACCC said freestanding furniture is often unstable and curious children may be tempted to climb onto objects that are not securely fastened to the wall or floor.

KidSafe, citing National Coronial Information System figures, states that at least 14 children aged below nine were killed between 2000 and 2015 due to falling furniture.

Preventing accidents in the home

Last year, retail giant IKEA issued several global warnings after three children were killed after its popular Marm brand chest of drawers fell on them.

At the time, Melbourne-based product safety consultant Gail Greatorex estimated that approximately 300 children in Australia suffer injuries from tipped-over furniture each year.

“The best remedy is for all susceptible furniture to be sold with a tethering kit and clear warnings and instructions, and for parents and carers to make sure they secure all such items to the wall. TVs are also a tip-over hazard,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald in 2016.

The ACCC has provided numerous tips for parents purchasing and assembling furniture. The organisation advises:

  • Putting locks on drawers to prevent children from using them as steps;
  • Attaching or fastening furniture to walls and floors;
  • Avoiding placing tempting objects on top of furniture;
  • Discouraging children from climbing on furniture;
  • Only buying products with anchoring devices;
  • Choosing furniture with sturdy, stable and broad bases; and
  • Asking for store recommendations based on the age of children.

Product liability claims

Parents whose kids suffer injuries due to furniture hazards may be able to claim compensation if they can prove the product they purchased was faulty. However, product liability cases are often complex, so it’s important to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss how to proceed.

Anyone who may be considering a claim should avoid throwing away the product they believe is faulty, as it could prove a crucial piece of evidence against the manufacturer or supplier.

If successful, claimants can secure compensation for past and future loss of income and medical expenses, as well as lump sum payments for non-economic losses and care needs.

Please get in touch with one of our team at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers to learn more.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.