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Preventing furniture from falling

Keys for prevention

Check and practice the following four key points to immediately secure your home.

Securing a safe space

  • Place the least amount of furniture possible in bedrooms used by children and the elderly.
  • Keep hallways, doorways, stairs, etc. clear of clutter.
  • To prevent fire disaster in the event of an earthquake, do not place furniture near sources of heat or flame.
  • Do not place glassware and breakables on top of furniture.

Using furniture properly

  • Do not place tall furniture on carpets or tatami mats.
  • Store heavy items lower to the ground to keep them from falling.
  • Slightly lean furniture back rather than forward.

Securing with anti-toppling devices

  • Secure furniture to walls using L-brackets.
  • If you cannot fasten directly to a wall or floor, use two or more devices on the upper and lower areas. (bar, stopper, or mat type)
  • Attach the furniture upper and lower areas with clamps. (connecting clamps)
  • When you cannot secure them to a wall, minimize space between the ceiling and furniture. (height-adjustable storage units at tallest setting)

Examples of anti-toppling devices

Screws

1. L-brackets: Fasten crosspieces in wall to furniture. About 300 to 1,000 yen.

Illustration01

2. Belt or chain: Check in position of furniture to wall. About 1,000 to 2,000 yen.

Illustration02

3. Storage units: Fasten to the ceiling if you cannot fasten to a wall

Illustration03

Non-screw types

1. Bar: Place on both sides of furniture edges. About 5,000 to 7,000 yen.

Illustration04

2. Stopper: Place under each end of furniture. About 1,000 to 2,000 yen.

Illustration05

Preventing stored items from scattering

Place an appropriate stopper on furniture with hinged doors.
Put a shatter-resistant film on glass doors. (shatter-resistant devices for glass)
Install racks to prevent stored items from slipping. (racks to prevent slipping)

Examples of furniture and appliance preparation

Kitchen

It is important to prevent fires from toppled objects onto heat or open flames.

Illustration06

Living room and bedroom

Prevent injuries from toppled objects in living rooms and bedrooms, where people spend most of their time and are surrounded by large furniture and appliances.

Illustration07

Securing furniture and appliances

Although it is advisable to secure unstable appliances, it is also important to devise a layout to prevent injuries and keep escape routes clear in case security devises become detached and furniture topples over.

Do not place electric appliances in high places

To prevent injuries from toppled appliances in case security devices are detached due to strong shaking, do not place electric appliances on top of lockers, etc. where people might be injured if they fall.

Devising a layout for furniture and appliances

Do not place large appliances near doorways and evacuation routes. If you put furniture or appliances near windows, they may break the window and fall outside along with the broken glass. When you arrange appliances, take into consideration the possibility of them toppling, falling, and moving, and make sure to read the precautions in manuals that come with your furniture and appliances.

Examples of appliance positioning

Refrigerator positioning

When you position appliances, take into consideration the possibility of them toppling or moving.

Illustration08

Preventing common electrical appliances from falling

The followings are examples of how to secure appliances by category. Check your appliances' stability and implement the appropriate measures.

Flat-screen TV (LCD/Plasma)

If possible, bolt flat-screen TV body (or legs) directly to a TV cabinet following the instructions in its manual. Wherever possible, fasten a TV cabinet to a floor or wall. If you cannot bolt it, use straps or cord and eye screws to fasten to a wall or post, and prevent it from falling onto people.

Securing a flat-screen TV (LCD/Plasma)

Illustration09

Devising a layout
  • Do not place TV up too high.
  • Do not place on an unstable support.
  • TV must not stick out of cabinet.
  • Do not place TV near where people sleep or evacuation routes, in case it topples.
Recommended layout
  • Secure TV following its instruction manual.
  • If possible, bolt down TV and cabinet.
  • When using adhesive mat, double-check proper weight, shape and any irregularities at the bottom of cabinet.
  • When fastening with eye screws to a wall, confirm strength of the wall, thickness of cords, and strength of screw eyes, in order to keep TV secure.
  • Wherever possible, fasten TV cabinet to floor or wall.

Tube TV (Display)

Since tube TVs are heavier than flat-screen TVs, it is important to fasten them firmly to prevent toppling. Specifically take measures to prevent them from falling forward because a tube TV's center of gravity is closer to the front.

Securing a tube TV (Display)

Illustration10

Devising a layout
  • Do not place TV up too high.
  • Do not place it on an unstable support.
  • TV must not stick out of cabinet.
  • Do not place TV near where people sleep or evacuation routes, in case it topples.
Recommended layout
  • Secure TV following its instruction manual.
  • If possible, bolt TV and cabinet.
  • Use 4 or more straps to fasten TV and cabinet depending on the weight and shape.
  • When using an adhesive mat, double-check proper weight, shape and any irregularities at the bottom of cabinet. (Irregularities counter adhesion).
  • When fastening with eye screws to a wall, confirm strength of the wall, thickness of cords, strength of eye screws, and strength of the part where the TV is fastened, in order to hold up the TV.
  • Wherever possible, fasten TV cabinet to floor or wall.

Refrigerator

Newer refrigerators that have many doors and weigh about 100kg are very dangerous if they topple over during an earthquake.
Though they are useful for moving and changing layout, lock the wheels on the bottom of the refrigerator and take measures against overturning, as during a quake it may move easily and substantially. Fasten the top of a refrigerator to a rear wall using bands, etc.

Securing a refrigerator

Illustration11

Devising a layout
  • Do not place objects on top of refrigerator.
  • Devise a layout to prevent people from being injured or pinned by the refrigerator in case catches come undone and the refrigerator moves or topples.
  • Stay away from refrigerators when you feel a small quake, because the doors may suddenly open and close due to tremors and objects inside may fall out.
Recommended layout
  • Connect the top of refrigerator to rear wall using belt type devices.
  • When you lock up wheels, fasten the top, too.
  • Pull out legs of refrigerator and lock them up.

Microwave

It is important prevent your microwave from falling if you have it on a cabinet.
Secure microwave to the cabinet or wall, and make sure to fasten the cabinet to a wall, as well.

Securing a microwave

Illustration12

Devising a layout
  • Place microwave as low as possible.
  • Choose cabinet that is large enough to hold microwave.
  • Place on a flat and stable place.
  • Keep door closed.
  • Do not place objects on top.
Recommended layout
  • Secure with L-brackets, straps, and/or adhesive mats to cabinet.
  • Secure cabinet, too.
  • Use several L-brackets to connect and fasten microwave to wall.
  • If you use a model with a sliding plate, prevent it from flying open.

Securing methods in typical wood-structure homes

In order to fasten a TV or microwave cabinet to a wall with anti-toppling devices or to strap a refrigerator to a wall, the wall must be strong enough to support the added weight.

Checking for studs

You can find studs with devices like stud detectors, commercially available purpose-built pushpins, and sonic-sensing devices.

Examples of tapping sounds to find crosspieces

Illustration13

Reinforcing S1 and GL walls with crossbars

Moisture-proofed walls, such as S1 and GL types, have no crosspieces and cannot be screwed into directly. You can knock expansion anchors in a wall to fasten a board, but it is advisable to ask an expert because there are a variety of these types of walls.

Images of fastening crossbars to S1 and GL walls

Illustration14

Fastening with anti-toppling devices to a wall

In order to properly use securing devices, only attach to fully supported crosspieces.

Examples of attaching anti-toppling devices to walls

Illustration15

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