Consumer Reports tests dressers for tip-over dangers

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Naveen Dhaliwal reports on the dresser safety tests.

Consumer Reports is working to keep children safe in their homes with a new report that focuses on dressers that can easily tip over, hurting or even killing a child.

Consumer Reports bought 24 dresser models from furniture manufacturers, and they were evaluated based on a variety of different tests.

Models from South Shore and Ameriwood, among others, failed a 50-pound test. Both companies say their products meet voluntary safety standards.

So how can you tell if a dresser in your home is secure?

It's difficult to tell just by looking if it's going to tip or topple over easily, and safety experts recommend always strapping furniture to the wall to protect small children.

Thirteen dressers passed all the tests, while 11 failed at least one test. Dressers from Pottery Barn and Epoch and Sauder, among others, passed Consumer Reports' 60-pound test.

Many new dressers come with anchor kits, but you can also purchase aftermarket kits, especially for furniture you already have in your home.

Consumer Reports likes restraints with metal brackets and nylon straps or wire cable. It's important to always follow the manufacturer's installation instructions.

Anchor kits usually include screws, but they may not be appropriate for the type of wall you have. If you have wooden studs, they suggest screws at least two inches long to extend well into the studs. If you have metal studs, you will need to use fine threaded drywall screws.

Next, locate the studs in your wall. Then, measure the height of the furniture. Follow manufacturer's instructions regarding placement of the brackets on the wall.

Predrill a hole in wood studs, then screw the brackets to the wall.

Then predrill a hole into the solid wood frame of the dresser, not the thin wood backing, and attach the brackets.

Following manufacturer's instructions, secure the straps and adjust the dresser against the wall.

For more on how to anchor furniture and to read full tip-over ratings from Consumer Reports, CLICK HERE.

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