Are your furniture and fittings firmly in place?

Prepare and prevent, don't repair and repent ~Author Unknown

The other day, my friend was telling me about how the top shelf in her kitchen fell on her maid as she was trying to get something down from there. She got a call while at the office with loud screams and a lot of crying in the background, and was so worried. Fortunately, her neighbours were able to rush the maid to the hospital to get treatment, and thankfully, there was no fatality. What even made her even more thankful was the fact that her 18-month old son who liked to cling to the maid’s legs was snoozing quietly in his cot. I cannot imagine how much more disastrous that would have been if the little boy was awake and following her around like he always did.

SO, let's ask ourselves:
how well-secured are our furniture and fittings in the house? As much as we want to conserve space and get fancier by putting overhead shelves and cabinets, we should be careful that this is done properly. After the incident with the maid, my dear friend realised that the shelves were supposed to have been fitted with brackets (see image below). When they moved into the house, the landlord had just finished ‘renovating’, and somehow ‘forgot’ to fix the brackets; unfortunately, this is not something that one immediately notices.

My suggestions?:
  • Look out for fitted furniture (shelves, cupboards etc) that are wobbly when you are trying to move into a new house;
  • Ensure that overhead shelves are firmly or properly fixed with solid/sturdy brackets. Please insist that this is done before you move in, or do it yourself (I’m not sure we have building inspectors to certify that buildings or houses meet certain required codes);
  • Try to avoid using overhead shelves for your nursery or in the room (corners) where your child spends the most times;
  • When you have these shelves firmly fitted, avoid overloading them, and arrange items properly so they don’t hang out and drop off.

These are samples of brackets to use:


I will talk about other furniture items that I think we need to be careful about in another post. Remember that there are no short cuts to safety, and in the absence of enforceable housing codes, it is our responsibility to keep our children safe. 

Now over to you. Have you had any experiences with falling furniture or have suggestions on safety tips? Please share with us in the comment section.


The Baby Analyst.
Not a doctor, just a financial analyst who loves kids

Comments

lynn Davies said…
Parents need to take note. Brilliant post JESSICA.!!
jeminat alasa said…
That's the baby analyst... Well said and noted.
fantastic article...better safe than sorry!

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