When talking specifically about TVs, one of the infographics I saw estimated that only one-quarter of adults make the effort to properly secure their flat-panel TVs. There are several easy ways to do this. Not surprisingly, SANUS and TVSafety.org recommend the use of a wall-mount, and there's certainly no shortage of models from which to choose. SANUS doesn't recommend one particular style of mount as being safer than the others, but the company does stress the importance of purchasing a mount that has been tested to UL standards, the most current of which is called UL 2442. Beyond UL listing, Sanus Marketing Communications Manager Lauren Theobald recommends that shoppers "look at quality of lag bolts and secondary locking mechanisms, such as with our full-motion mounts, where we have a lever that you push to the left to double-lock the mount down. And always, the easier the installation of the mount, the easier it is to get it right."
The truth is, many people seem to shy away from the use of wall-mounts because they think the mounts are too hard to install, and there's a legitimate concern that putting a TV in an improperly installed mount is just as dangerous, if not more so, as setting it on a TV stand. The major TV-mount manufacturers - including SANUS, Chief, and OmniMount - often include installation videos on their websites for some or all of their mounts. Sites like Cruchfield and Home Depot offer step-by-step tutorials. YouTube is a great resource to see videos of TV-mount installations. Ultimately, if you don't trust your own installation skills, hire someone else to do it for you, be it a local custom installer, Best Buy's Geek Squad, or a trusted friend with some construction experience. If you're still in the TV shopping phase, factor the wall-mount installation cost into your budget. If the TV is already in place, maybe your child's safety is worth sacrificing a month's worth of pumpkin spice lattes (I know, they're really good) to pony up for a basic mount and installation service.
For those who live in apartments or are simply unable/unwilling to drill into walls, another option is a Furniture Mount System. Many new equipment stands include the option to add TV-mounting hardware that attaches to back of the stand. Or, if you already have a stand, you can buy an add-on bracket that will hold the TV securely in place without forcing you to go into the wall. Sanus offers an FMS kit, as does Init.
The least expensive solution is to use TV wall straps, similar to the furniture wall straps I discussed earlier. These straps won't hold the TV securely in one position the way a mount can, but they will at least prevent the TV from falling over and off the stand. KidCo's Anti-Tip TV Strap sells for about $10, QuakeHOLD!'s 4520 Safety Strap is about $25 on Amazon, and Sanus' ELM701 Anti-Tip Strap sells for about $15. If your TV is inside a cabinet or armoire, make sure to secure the TV to the cabinet and then secure the cabinet to the wall for an extra measure of safety.
So, my fellow videophile-parents, the moment of truth. Take a good look around that home of yours. Not just the theater room, but every room in the house. Have you taken a few simple steps to protect your children from the potential dangers of our hobby? If not, what are you waiting for?
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