TIPS ON FURNISHING YOUR HOME WITH SAFETY IN MIND
HIGH POINT, N.C.
– Statistics show that consumers are as likely to be injured at home as
anywhere else. Perhaps it’s because we spend so much of our time at
home. And since we do, it’s important to be sure our homes are as safe
“Not only are
today’s consumers looking for ways to express their own personal style
in decorating their homes, they also are keenly aware of the importance
of safety in choosing furnishings for their families,” said Jackie
Hirschhaut, vice president of the American Furniture Manufacturers
Association. “American consumers want their homes to be safe, secure and
comfortable, in addition to being stylish.”
consumers in choosing safe products for their homes, the American
Home Furnishings Alliance offers the following tips on
furnishing your home with safety in mind:
guidelines. Furniture surfaces should be smooth and free of
splinters or rough edges. Nails, screws and other joiners should be
tight and unexposed. Be wary of antiques or older pieces of furniture
that may contain lead paint that could flake off.
Bunk beds are not recommended for children under six years of age.
The top bunk should have guardrails on each side, with no more than 15
inches open at each end. Rails should be secure and sturdy, and they
should extend at least 5 inches above the top surface of the mattress.
The mattress should be the proper size, as stated by the manufacturer.
Always use a sturdy ladder to access the top bunk, and only one person
should be on the top bunk at a time. Horseplay should not be allowed
on or between the bunks. When purchasing a new bunk bed, look for a
safety label that’s easily accessible and clearly stated.
When buying new upholstered furniture, look for the gold UFAC tag
ensuring that the manufacturer of the furniture has agreed to meet the
construction criteria outlined by the Upholstered Furniture Action
Council. The voluntary UFAC program, developed 23 years ago, has been
credited with contributing to the nearly 80% reduction in the number
of upholstered furniture fires started by smoldering cigarettes. The
gold tag ensures you’re buying a safer piece of furniture.
Crib slats or spindles should be spaced no more than 2 3/8 inches
apart, and none should be loose or missing. Check to make sure all
screws, brackets and other hardware on the crib are properly installed
and intact. The mattress should fit snugly, with no more than
two-fingers width between the edge of the mattress and the crib. Be
cautious of hand-me-downs since they may not meet current guidelines
and chests of drawers. Drawers should slide in and out easily.
When purchasing children’s furniture, check for automatic drawer stops
that prevent the drawer from falling out on unsuspecting children.
Open only one drawer at a time. And never allow children to stand in
open drawers because of the danger of the piece tipping over. To avoid
creating a temptation for children, refrain from putting enticing
objects on tops of bureaus.
Be careful not to overload the shelves. In some cases, it may be a
good idea to secure the top portion of the unit to the wall to prevent
it from tipping over, especially if children are present in the home.
In some pieces, especially in youth groups, a shelf unit attaches to a
desk or chest. Always be sure those units are attached properly and
Entertainment centers and TV stands. It’s important to use the
correct size furniture to house your television. Because of their
weight, especially the popular larger models, TVs can fall forward if
they are not properly supported. Furniture manufacturers offer a
wealth of entertainment centers designed to accommodate today’s
electronics, so there’s sure to be a piece to suit your needs.
toy chests. Be sure lids are protected with safety latches that
prevent the top from falling freely or slamming shut on fingers or a
child’s head. Lids also should not lock automatically. If you have an
older chest without safety latches, it is recommended that you contact
the manufacturer for a replacement latch or remove the lid.
chairs. Voluntary industry guidelines have made today’s reclining
chairs safer, but children should never be allowed to play or climb on
the chairs, particularly when the chair is in a reclined position.
furnishings wisely and using them properly – with safety in mind – will
ensure that you and your family are safe, happy and comfortable at home.
# # #
Home Furnishings Alliance is headquartered in High Point, N.C.
– the furniture capital of the world – and represents more than 200
leading U.S. furniture manufacturers and 250 suppliers to the industry.