Protecting Children From Furniture Tipovers

As parents, we put our all into making our homes safe for our children. We keep chemicals and medicines out of reach, place locks and covers on cabinets, toilet lids, and electrical outlets. We are careful about everything, and every one, that comes into our home. Yet despite our best efforts, some dangers remain.

Recent tragedies and the resulting recalls of products manufactured for children have made us look hard at everything our children touch. In an effort to protect my own child, I have been scouring recall lists and other safety information. Along the way, I made a shocking discovery. One of the top hidden dangers for children is something we all have in our homes: furniture. In fact, furniture tipovers are #3 on the list of hidden dangers for children according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, right behind magnets and recalled toys.

While numbers vary according to the reporting agency, each year thousands of people are injured from falling furniture. Many of these injuries are sustained by children; some of them fatal. For a truly heartbreaking story, visit the Lambert family’s website. The Lamberts lost their beautiful daughter when a wardrobe fell on her in her bedroom. In her memory the family has launched a website and a campaign to educate the public about the dangers of furniture tipovers.

As the mother of an active 2-year-old, I know how fast things can go wrong. The doorbell rings, the pot boils over, the buzzer on the dryer beckons, and the child who was playing quietly when I left the room might be climbing the bookshelf when I return. Most tipover accidents occur, in fact, when a child is alone. But we know it is impossible to watch a child every second of the day, and children need places in the home where they are completely safe, even alone, for a few moments. Home is their haven, the place to explore and experience their first taste of independence.

They have lobbied congress to put warnings on furniture that could easily tip over on a child. But warnings notwithstanding, only parents can make sure our children are safe from harm. While there is no way to eliminate every danger a child faces, below are a few tips to help make your home and furnishings as safe as possible.

TVs: TVs are interesting, awkward, and heavy, perfect candidates for little climbers. Make sure you place them low to the ground on a stable piece of furniture. And never put remote controls, favorite DVDs, or anything else that might tempt a child on top of the TV.

Placement of Toys: This “temptation factor” applies to the whole home. Never put toys, pictures, or any coveted items in a position that will encourage a child to climb on a bookshelf, a dresser, or any unstable surface.

Heavy Objects: Never place heavy objects like books or speakers on top shelves. Put them low on the shelves, or secured in cabinets.

Discourage Children from Climbing on Furniture: It is easier for a child to understand “never” than to discern which piece of furniture might be dangerous.

Purchasing New Furniture: When possible, choose furniture that is set on a wide, sturdy base, rather than legs. Test it to see if it will tip over by pushing on edges.

Pack Dressers from Bottom Up: This way it will be bottom-heavy instead of top-heavy.

Secure Furniture with an Anti-Tip Device: Some items, like dressers, wardrobes, bookshelves and hutches, cannot be secure on their own. For such furniture, purchase an anti-tip device. Examples of anti-tip devices include safety straps, “L” brackets or the Hangman Anti-Tip Kit.

Sheila Gallien is a noted screenplay consultant who also writes articles on picture hanging and home and workplace organizing systems in her spare time.

5 Easy Steps to Assembling Children’s Furniture

Step 1: Sort Out Your Materials

Most of your materials should be included with your flat pack furniture. The furniture should come with an instruction manual that will contain a list of all of the materials. These materials may be coded for later use. Identify all of the included pieces and sort them by putting the same pieces together and determining the special code that is associated with them.

In addition, if you need any extra tools, be certain you have them gathered before you get started. Included tools are often smaller than normal, more difficult to work with, and are meant to be throw-away tools. You may wan to invest in a set of tools to help you complete the assembly faster. You can choose from hand tools or power tools. A good power tool set will have various size bits for a screwdriver, drill bits, sockets, and allen wrenches. If you don’t already have a complete power tool set, you may prefer to hire a professional over buying new tools.

Step 2: Read Through the Directions

Before you begin the assembly process, read through the directions one time to make certain you understand them. Some of the instructions will become clearer as you get to that step in the process, but having a good idea of what is coming with the instructions will help you in the process.

This is also a good time to pull out each piece and lay them out so you can find everything. Pieces are usually marked with a letter or number so make sure you can see the markings. Sort like items together. Hardware like screws, nuts, bolts, and nails should all be kept together. If you lose a few hardware pieces, you may not be able to complete the project.

Step 3: Follow the Directions

Resist the temptation to jump right into the project or to skip steps. The directions were written in the order provided for a reason. Follow that order to make sure you do not accidentally miss a step along the way.

Step 4: Don’t Do Anything Permanent Right Away

When it comes to tightening bolts or other hardware, it is generally best to loosely put them in place until you are certain you have assembled the furniture correctly. This way, it will be easier to undo if you find that you have made a mistake. Once you are certain everything is in place, you can tighten the bolts and other hardware in place.

Step 5: Check it Over

Before you let your children use the furniture, be certain to check it over for safety and security. After all, you don’t want your child to get harmed by the furniture because you did something incorrectly. Make sure nothing is sticking out that could harm your child and check the furniture for stability to be certain it will be able to properly support your child.

By following these five simple steps, you will find the process of assembling your child’s furniture to be less frustrating – and, you will be a hero with your child when the furniture is complete!

Antique Furniture In San Francisco – Finding The Best Antiques For You

Looking for the right antique for you in certain cities in the world can almost be like searching for a needle in a haystack. Some cities have very few antique stores and thus you have to really scour the streets for them. That is even before you begin to look at the types of antiques you would like to invest in. If you live in San Francisco you are one lucky collector! There is a wide range of stores selling antique furniture in San Francisco and many opportunities to be explored!

A quick flick through the Yellow Pages or an Internet search will tell you exactly how many stores selling antique furniture in San Francisco there actually are. Not only that, they will also give you a location and a quick description of any specialist interest or eras that they tend to hold within their inventory. You should be prepared to travel as a result. A journey will often yield positive results, as there are some real gems of antique furniture in San Francisco just waiting to be discovered.

You can actually narrow down your interest areas by looking at some of the stores selling antique furniture in San Francisco on the Internet. A large number of stores are now listing their inventories online in an attempt to attract more business. They may have images and descriptions of items on their website that will allow you to decide the type of piece that you are looking for. You may even spot the specific item that you desire. The next stage is then visiting the store to have a look at it in person.

Antique furniture in San Francisco is generally of a high quality but seeing the piece up close will help you to determine whether or not is indeed high quality and whether it is for you. You can check in all of the corners of the item in question for scratches, weakness and marks of any kind. A tiny mark would potentially devalue the piece by thousands of dollars so it is imperative that you are completely satisfied with the standard of the item that you are about to buy.

Enhance the Beauty of Your Outdoor Living Space With Resin Wicker Patio Furniture

A patio that has been beautifully decorated adds to the value and charm of your home. Now that people are rediscovering the joys of spending time at home, nothing is quite as nice as being able to enjoy your own private corner of the world to entertain family and friends. However, if you are on a budget, shopping for outdoor furniture can lead to serious sticker shock. Resin wicker patio furniture allows you to buy beautiful patio furniture at affordable prices.

It’s important to note that wicker is a reference to a furniture style using woven strands. It is not a specific type of material. Wicker furniture can be created from many different types of synthetic and natural material like bamboo, rattan or even paper. Natural wicker, while beautiful, is also very fragile and can be damaged easily if not maintained properly. Resin wicker, on the other hand, is a synthetic product and is extremely durable.

Outdoor furniture made from resin is easy to clean and very lightweight. In addition, it is completely weatherproof and will continue to look beautiful no matter what Mother Nature throws at it. Resin wicker furniture can be found in both traditional and modern styles and colors so it will fit beautifully in any d├ęcor. Whether you need sectional seating, or an outdoor dining set, resin wicker furniture can meet your needs.

Resin is not like wicker made from natural fibers. Wicker made from resin will not warp, crack or dry out. Resin is UV resistant and won’t fade over time with exposure to the sun. This patio furniture is easy to maintain and will look good for years with simple cleaning using a damp cloth. Even families with kids and pets agree that resin furniture is a durable product that stands up well under heavy use.

The best thing about resin wicker is that it costs so little, about a fraction of what it would cost for furniture made of natural fiber wicker. For the folks on a budget, resin wicker offers an excellent value for classic patio furniture pieces. When searching for furniture that will fit both your style and your wallet, check out prices at local hardware and home improvement stores. You may also be able to find wicker patio furniture at some superstores during the summer.

When shopping for the wicker furniture that will outfit your patio there are a few items you need to think about as you compare pieces:

Just because furniture is listed as “all-weather” doesn’t mean it is resin. Make sure the wicker is actually resin and not bamboo or another natural fiber. These natural materials will not withstand the elements as well as resin wicker.

How to Purchase Antique Furniture, Part 1 – Hints For Determining Age and Quality

Buying an antique piece of furniture call raise a lot of complex questions when you are put into a situation where you need to have expert knowledge which we do not all possess. Is the description correct? How much will it cost to restore? Is the price fair? If at auction, to what price shall I bid? The list goes on and will continue to do so because there is just so much to know and most of the answers to the questions just can’t be researched. They are usually on the spot decisions based on intuition and whether the item appeals to you. Some of the areas with major irregularities and subject to disagreement are the correct descriptions of timber, age and the state of preservation or restoration at the time of sale.

It is sometimes very difficult to identify the timber used in a finished piece of furniture because the effects of stains and dark coloured polishes disguise the wood. Timber cut at different angles to the core will produce greatly varying grains and textures, but on the other hand there are items manufactured of straight grained quarter-sawn timber that are unmistakable and can be easily identified by most. It must be understood that it is not always a simple matter to identify a species of timber. A good example is the differences between certain cuts of cedar, both Australian and imported, as well as blackwood and teak which – when sawn in the same manner – can all form a visual likeness bearing strong similarities to each other but are of vastly different scents and weights.

Determining a reasonably accurate age for an item will never he agreed upon by all, unless of course, it was dated by the cabinet-maker, and at times, even this will lead to conjecture. I can remember an incident a few years ago concerning a typical late Victorian-style chest of drawers (post-1865) that had been signed and dated 1848 which I could not accept as being correct, but, that was only my opinion. To date a piece stylistically is a dangerous practise because it has been our experience to see pieces that are seemingly early Victorian (1837 – 1850) bearing hardware manufactured in the 1880s and supported by a cut and quality of timber consistent with the later date. Examining the types of nails and screws used in a piece of furniture is also a guide to determining age, assuming they are original, as are the examination of locks and handles.

By this time you are probably asking yourself, how call I tell? The answer is often by a gut feeling that automatically weighs up all of the above and divides by two. The development of a sixth sense giving you knowledge above all others. Only joking, but I wish it were true, as things would certainly be easier. It is by studying timber, styles of furniture, hardware and methods of cabinet-making technology, summing up all the available information and drawing a well considered conclusion based on all your observations.