Television Tip Overs are Increasing at an Alarming Rate

With lowered prices and improved technology, it’s a great time to purchase a sleek flat screen television.  The problem that many people run into, however, is figuring out what to do with that old bulky set that is being replaced.  Often the old TV is left on the curb to be hauled away, or donated to a charity for a tax deduction.  There are many, on the other hand, who find a new place for the old television in a playroom or bedroom on top of a dresser or table.  Unfortunately, this decision can lead to serious or fatal accidents.

Falling TV sets injuries in the United States are rising at an alarming rate.  In 2011 alone, 12,300 children nationwide received Emergency care for TV related injuries compared with just 5,455 in 1990.  Scott Wolfson, spokesman for the government’s Consumer Product Safety Commission, attributes this increase to the rising popularity of flat screen over older, bulkier sets.  Moving old TVs to unstable furniture that was not designed to hold them can create a major safety risk..

CED Technologies has been retained in several television tip-over cases where product defect and product design were alleged.  When analyzing such cases, our engineers start by gathering all documentation relating to the loss and start to research.  The CED expert looks for applicable codes and standards for the television at the time of manufacture and purchase.  Other reference materials, such as owners’ manuals, installation guides, warranty cards, recall information and internet sites can also serve as a foundation for the expectation and intended use of the product.  This same information is reviewed for the furniture and/or components that the television was placed on.

Next, the engineer will inspect the site where the incident occurred- taking measurements, photographs and video- to document all factors related to the case.  Such factors include: stability of the surface where the unit was placed, modifications to the unit, and precautionary measures taken to ensure safety (such as tethering furniture to a wall or securing loose cords)..

After the site inspection, the engineer will often purchase exemplar televisions and furniture for further testing and analysis.  All of the findings and analysis will then be included in a report describing the opinions of the expert.

Older TVs aren’t the only tip-over hazards- flat televisions, although lower in weight have a wider screen size and small footprint making them also susceptible to such accidents .  Flat screen televisions may also have installation issues that lead to property damage and injury.

Featured Engineer: CLYDE C. RICHARD, Ph.D., P.E.  Mechanical Engineer

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