Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Home Appliance Tipovers

When I had my first child, one of the things I remember my blind friends telling me was to secure dressers and shelves to the wall using brackets. I would never have thought of the danger of furniture tipping over and harming little ones. And it's not just furniture that tip over. Kitchen ranges and TV sets can also pose dangers to our little ones.

The following quote is from Public Citizen:

According to documents from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the national retailer Sears, manufacturers and the government have known about this lurking danger for more than twenty years. Since the early 1980s, manufacturers of ranges began using lighter-gauge steel to reduce costs, even though they quickly learned that this resulted in a tendency for the lighter-weight appliances to tip over when weight was applied to the oven door.

"There have been over 100 reported cases of death and injury from scalding and burns due to hot foods and liquids spilling from the stove top, and from the weight crushing anyone in the path of the tipping ranges," said Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook. "Considering the lack of consistent reporting and the millions of homes with these ovens, we believe the numbers of those maimed or killed by ranges tipping over are much greater."

Now from Consumer Reports, we see the following about TVs:

Because of their weight, typical picture-tube (cathode-ray tube or CRT) TVs can produce a forceful impact when they fall. And since the center of gravity is so far forward, if a CRTV is tilted even slightly, the risk of it falling is even greater than with other TV types. While other, somewhat more stable, TV types have become popular, these models still exist in homes and are available in stores, in ever-larger sizes.

Flat-panel TVs, such as plasmas or LCDs, are not as front-heavy as CRTVs, and rear projectors are also more stable than CRTVs because their weight is at the bottom. But any TV type can weigh more than 100 pounds and be a risk to babies and children.

Visit the websites above for more information and safety tips. We all need to be aware of the dangers that appliance tipovers pose, and how to prevent accidents from happening.

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