The Super Bowl is just around the corner and millions of Americans each year watch the Super Bowl on TV either at home or with friends at parties. Thousands of fans will buy new TVs ahead of the Big Game. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wants to remind consumers to play it safe during these activities and to remember a few key safety tips regarding TVs.
"The two-week period leading up to the Super Bowl is one of the most popular times for purchasing the newest, largest, and smartest flat screen TVs on the market, as retailers offer deals and football fans prepare to cheer on their team," said CPSC Commissioner Dana Baiocco. "We want to remind everyone to take a moment to make sure that your brand new – or not so new – TV is stable, properly mounted, or anchored to the wall to avoid any tip-over accidents."
CPSC's latest report on TV, furniture, and appliance tip-over accidents shows that thousands of consumers visit emergency departments annually seeking treatment for injuries related to TV and furniture tip-overs. No age group is left out. Children between the ages of six months and 5 ½ years, however, suffer the most tip-over related fatalities. They accounted for 9 out of every 10 deaths. Overall, from 2000 to 2018, 441 children under 18 died from tip-over incidents involving TVs or furniture.
"The prevalence of this scenario is alarming and the results can be devastating. Imagine being tackled by a Super Bowl linebacker after he gains speed and hits you as hard as he can. That's effectively what happens to a small child who gets hit with a falling TV, a piece of furniture that tips, or both," Baiocco said. "We also know that many older Americans grab onto TV sets to steady their balance but suffer contusions, lacerations, and broken bones when the TV falls," she added. Exposed cords and wires between outlets and the screen also create hazards for everyone.
Today's flat screen TVs are lighter and more balanced than the older, heavier models. But, even so, there are still precautions you should take before the big game and after. If you plan to buy a brand new TV, be sure to position it on a sturdy, low base when you get it home. Push the TV as far back on the stand and as close to the wall as possible. For optimal safety, anchor the screen and furniture to the wall with straps or brackets. If you mount your new flat screen on the wall, consider having it mounted or installed by a professional. Avoid homemade brackets and shelving that might not be appropriate for the new device.
Do not place TVs – whether new or not-so-new – on bedroom furniture, dressers, and particularly children's or nursery furniture. Never leave or store items, such as toys or remotes, above TVs or on top of furniture where children might be tempted to climb on the furniture or TV trying to reach them. In all scenarios, secure the TV cables and cords and keep them out of a child's reach.
If you go to someone else's home during the Super Bowl, especially if children will be playing in another part of the home or away from the adult game-watchers, check to make sure that there are no TV and/or furniture tipping hazards in that area that could be especially dangerous to unattended or wandering children. And, don't forget about small appliances, like microwaves, which might be positioned on a movable cart or high-top table.
For more information on these and other safety tips, including how to position and anchor TVs and furniture, visit www.anchorit.gov or www.cpsc.gov.