This is a question we get asked a lot so I thought I would write a quick blog about it. The answer to whether you should secure flatpack furniture to the wall depends on several things.
Chests of drawers, wardrobes, and shelving are heavy objects and if they fall on young children the effects can be devastating. Scores of children are killed globally each year and thousands end up in A and E. People normally only secure the taller objects such as wardrobes and bookcases but chests of drawers have caused numerous child deaths by falling on children and suffocating them. What happens is that small children pull the top drawer open and this puts all the weight on the front edge, combine this with the weight of the child pulling down and the unit is forced to topple forward.
chests of drawers have caused numerous child deaths by falling on children and suffocating them.
If your thinking about securing or not it helps to think about the following:
Firstly, it depends what your building. The higher the furniture, the better and safer it is to secure it to the wall. Personally I would always secure every item of furniture to the wall. The higher the product is, the easier it is to fall over. Flatpack Wardrobes or shelves of this size are very heavy and can do some serious damage to not only people, but near by furniture and the furniture itself, if it falls. Expensive doors, (such as pax wardrobe doors) can get deeply scratched and surrounding walls and floors can also get scratched and damaged.
Secondly it depends on who will be using the furniture. Children often view wardrobes or shelving as a good place to climb. If you have children or have them visiting often then I would always suggest securing furniture to the wall, even bed side cabinets.
Thirdly, it depends on what surface you are placing the furniture on. If you are building on an uneven floor of a period property, or on a big fluffy carpet, securing is probably the best option. Uneven and wobbly furniture will fall much easier than furniture on a level floor.
If you have children or have them visiting often then I would always suggest securing furniture to the wall, even bed side cabinets.
Finally, it depends on what you are putting in the unit(s). If you have lots of heavy things in higher parts of the furniture then it makes sense to secure. On the other hand of course if you can be disciplined over the course of the furniture’s life time and make sure you fill heavy stuff at the bottom, then you can leave securing away.
The reason furniture falls forward is because it has too much weight pulling down on the front face. Many wardrobes have draws that pull out quite far, so if you have all the doors open and the draws inside the wardrobe it shifts a huge amount of weight to the front face moving the centre of balance perilously near the tipping point. Even a small bed side cabinet with all the draws open, can easily fall forward, especially if it’s full of heavy things such as books.
Ultimately the decision as to whether you secure flatpack furniture to the wall will boil down to common sense and your aversion to risk. If you have a new build with fairly low furniture, you don’t have children around, and you keep in mind that you should fill your furniture with heavy items at the bottom, you will probably be fine without securing. If on the other hand, you have children, uneven floors or want to store heavy things high up, then securing furniture is definitely recommended. After all it’s better to be safe than sorry.
We offer a furniture wall securing service if you are concerned so please get in touch.
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NB – If your worried about making holes in your walls, you shouldn’t. Holes can be easily repaired. If your renting a property and don’t want to annoy your landlord simply ask them if it’s OK. All they will be worried about is making sure you leave the property as you found it. all it takes is an email so you have it in writing. The most important thing to remember about making holes in walls is to make sure you don’t drill though into the electric cables that run vertically up from light switches. Other than that they are easy to make and easy to repair.