When people assemble a piece of Ikea furniture they often forget about, or forgo, attaching it to the wall; it is often overlooked as an ‘optional’ feature and something that doesn’t really need to be done.
If you’ve got children, pets, or have put it somewhere it’s likely to get leant on, then seemingly safe wardrobes, bookcases, or even shelving units can quickly turn into dangerous additions to your home.
It isn’t just a natural disaster that could tip your bookshelf over and cause hundreds of dollars of damage, your child using the chest of drawers to reach a high shelf or your excited dog jumping up against it are just as likely to cause damage if it isn’t secured in place.
Making children aware of the potential dangers and telling them not to do something works perfectly in theory, but rarely in reality. Just like baby guards for your staircase, installing certain safety features can help avoid accidents.
According to data from the CPSP; a body set up to keep track of, and try to tackle, accidents from products, every year thousands of children are taken to the emergency room in relation to accidents involving falling furniture.
So what can you do to keep your family and home safe?
- Make sure your furniture is secured in place using either brackets or by using built-in features often already present. Many large wall wardrobe will include a strap on the back. Once fully constructed these will allow you to drill it into the wall without fuss.
- Think about how you distribute and place items onto the shelf, as an unsecured shelf which is top-heavy could cause it to tilt at a dangerous angle or even cause a full-blown collapse. Making sure your furniture is secure means you won’t have to worry about what you put on it and will ensure it stays upright and safe.
Expensive devices like televisions are often placed on to furniture or shelves that simply won’s take its weight, so make sure you consider where you put easy-to-break items that you don’t want to get damaged.
Knowing the technical side of securing furniture to the wall doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact the general rule is that lighter small units can be attached using a simple nylon strap and plastic anchor while bulkier things like wardrobes will require more substantial attachments like toggle bolts.
Above all, ensure you use the right tools for the job at hand and don’t cut corners to make something seemingly safe. Installing a wall attachment badly might not protect you from wardrobe tipping and might in fact cause more damage, should the fitting be pulled out of the wall. Always check with a professional to make sure what you’re planning to install will do the job.