An Easy Way to Secure Furniture for Safety

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When I was little, my family home had a den. Yes, that’s what we called man caves in the 70s. My dad had his desk, his big black vinyl armchair, and the TV in this room. My sisters and I spent a lot of time in this room; duh, the TV was there.

It had wall-to-wall shelving, another characteristic of the 70s. It was filled floor to ceiling with books.

Until the day that I tried to climb the shelves to get something higher up.

You know the story. My sisters and I were buried in an avalanche of books — and my mother got a few more white hairs.

I’ve always remembered that image, and thanked God that no one was killed, maimed, or injured. Yet, did that make me diligent to secure my own shelves to the wall?

No, it didn’t.

How easy is it to mean to do something and then not do it? How easy would it have been for one of my kids to attempt to climb our schoolroom shelves and knock it all down? And earthquakes? Yeah, those suckers would fall right over if the Big One hit.

Since this is a room we use a lot, this was an important thing to remedy.

Securing furniture for safety

Last month when we were staging for life, we also took some safety measures as concerns our tall furniture. It’s so easy. There really isn’t an excuse for not taking care of it today.

But, you knew that already.

OK, admittedly, it was a pain to empty all those schoolroom shelves, but I was putting old books in storage anyway, so it was a perfect time. And a little pain now can prevent a lot of pain later. Life lesson for me to remember.

Securing tall and or heavy furniture to the wall can prevent serious accident or injury.

These L hooks are available at any hardware store. The ones that FishPapa bought are about 2 inches in each direction.

Measure the height of your furniture and mark that on your wall. Secure the L hooks to the wall studs with screws at the marked level. (Screws hold better than nails. It must go into the stud.)

Shove your furniture (book case or dresser) up to the wall and then screw the top of the L hook into the furniture. Like this:

Easy peasy. Those suckers aren’t going anywhere easily. And I rest a little better knowing that should someone get the urge to climb, ahem, it might not be such a big deal.

Do you secure your furniture for safety?

Disclosure: I am not a home-safety expert nor do I profess to be. Please use your own common sense and best judgement to secure heavy furniture for safety. You are the one responsible to keep your children safe.

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  1. I really, really like this article. The best part is, you’re realistically keeping children safe without some $15 contraption ($15 each…. so x number of dressers and entertainment stands… $60 for us!) sold by a company playing off parents’ fears. I put a bunch in my Amazon cart until I saw the total, then procrastinated forever.

    Everybody has some L brackets laying around (ours from other furniture we put together), and if not, they’re maybe 40¢ each at Lowe’s. And much less complicated; these are nearly impossible to install incorrectly.

  2. my sons mother-in-law gave them the most beautiful and HEAVY baby furniture. They believe even if their baby crawls up it that it’s too heavy to fall over. i don’t like taking the chance to find out. do you know a resource that can help me find clarity before she starts crawling upwards? thx

    1. We have always erred on the side of caution. Or tried to, at least. I would direct them toward a site that may carry more “authority”, such as the American Association of Pediatrics and this post: Securing furniture doesn’t cost much or take much time, but it can be so important. Like wearing a seat belt.

      The child is not the only one that can cause furniture to topple. Earthquakes and other natural disasters can play a role in that.

      This post unfortunately gets a lot of traffic — particularly when there’s a tragic accident where a child is killed due to falling furniture or television. 🙁

    2. Open all the drawers and push down on the top one. If it moves it needs to be anchored to a stud.

  3. We had a minor incident with a dress recently. Since its a nice dresser I would prefer something that ist seen from the front. I know these straps are made, but I am absolutely amazed every store Ive walked in to do not carry them. To be fair babies r us were out of stock. It seems the only way to get them is to order them online. I believe these safety divices should be as easy to get as cabinet locks!

  4. YES I do. I think about this all the time, especially after having read about a blogger whose 2 year old son died when he climbed up onto a piece of furniture and the television fell on him. So tragic.

  5. Great post! Thank you! I have known that terrifying moment of having a 2 year old screaming from underneath a dresser, not knowing if he was okay while I tried to get it off of him. So thank you for helping others avoid that. We ALWAYS secure any furniture that could tip.

  6. There are lots of other styles too, in case you need to secure a piece of furniture without making holes in the top of it. They’re more difficult to install, but they work well.

  7. We use the same brackets to secure ours. We started out securing ours just against earthquakes, but now with two little ones, I’m glad to know that they aren’t going anywhere.

  8. Thanks for this. I’ve read about a couple of heart-wrenching accidents that have made me put this on my to-do list, but I wasn’t sure how to go about it. Bumping this up the priority list now. Thanks.