Toolkit for Toppling Furniture Information Standard Released


From the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission:

The ACCC has been working to implement strategies to prevent injuries and deaths caused by toppling furniture.

Following a recommendation made by the ACCC, on 3 May 2024 the Assistant Treasurer made the Consumer Goods (Toppling Furniture) Information Standard 2024 (the Information Standard). To give suppliers time to comply, this Information Standard will come into effect after a 12-month transitional period. When the transition period ends on 4 May 2025, suppliers must meet the requirements of the
Information Standard.

The ACCC is sharing important safety messages to help reduce the risk of toppling furniture.

Toppling furniture and televisions risks
Toppling furniture and televisions cause injuries and deaths in Australia. Since 2000, at least 28 people, including 17 children under five, have died in Australia from toppling furniture, and each year more than 900 Australians suffer injuries requiring medical assistance from toppling furniture. Children aged up to 4 years are most at risk, with older Australians also vulnerable.

The majority of deaths involved storage furniture such as chests of drawers and bookshelves, televisions and the furniture on which televisions are placed. Design factors of such furniture can give rise to safety risks, and many people may not be aware of the safety risks or ways to help address these.

Advice for consumers
We encourage consumers to think about safety when you’re buying and using furniture and TVs, especially if you have young children in your home or who might visit.

Tips to reduce toppling furniture incidents in your home:

  • The best way to prevent furniture from tipping over is to secure it to the wall or floor. If your furniture doesn’t come with anchoring hardware you can buy this from a furniture retailer, hardware store or a specialty store for baby goods. You can also do this if you’re securing furniture you’ve had for a while, or bought second-hand.
  • If you’re renting a home, contact your landlord or agent about installing anchor devices to the wall. In some states there are laws that make it easier for tenants to secure furniture to the wall for safety reasons.
  • Place furniture on a flat, even surface where possible. Furniture is more unstable when placed on an uneven or soft surface, such as carpet or a rug. If you plan to place your furniture on carpet against a wall, check to make sure the carpet isn’t bulging.
  • Keep your heaviest items at the bottom of your drawers or shelves. Furniture that is top-heavy is easier to tip over.
  • Do not place heavy items such as TVs or items that are attractive to children on top of furniture.
  • Put locking devices on all drawers. They can help prevent children from opening them and using them as steps.

Next steps
You can find more information on the standard and safety tips on the Product Safety Australia website.

Kind regards,
Product Safety Australia
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission