The Hidden Danger of the Household Oven, and How to Keep Your Kids Safe
Without taking proper safety measures, a kitchen oven can easily tip over, making it a death trap for children.
It's an everyday danger lurking inside your home: the oven.
Each year, children are injured and even killed when ovens tip over, but the incidents can be prevented by making sure the oven has a simple anti-tip bracket installed.
At New Jersey’s Consumer Evaluation Center, home safety expert Bret Kaufmann showed Inside Edition how easily an unsecured oven can tip when curious children climb on it.
He pointed out that the oven door can become a step for kids looking to see what's going on. With a little added weight, the appliance can start to fall.
"So it doesn't take a whole lot of effort to cause this to happen," Kaufmann said.
Using a mannequin and an oven donated by Top Line Appliance Center, he showed Chief Investigative Correspondent Lisa Guerrero what a tip-over looks like and how it can crush a child.
But that's not the only danger.
As an oven tips, a pot of boiling water on the stove can come crashing down, causing further injuries.
"I only could imagine if that pot were boiling and that was a real child," Guerrero said. "That would be a devastating tragedy."
Guerrero and Kaufmann set off on a mission, conducting surprise inspections around a New Jersey neighborhood to see how many people had ovens that are potentially dangerous.
Dana is a stay-at-home mom with two children, ages 4 and 1.
A quick inspection showed that her oven was not outfitted with the anti-tip bracket.
"It's ... unsafe," Kaufmann said. "Kind of an injury waiting to happen."
"It's scary," Dana said. "There's a lot of things we do to protect these kids and this is one of them I never thought about."
And it was more of the same throughout the neighborhood. Many residents were shocked when Inside Edition pointed out the dangers.
"Never thought that could be a hazard," said Joyce, a homeowner down the block.
"I'm really surprised," added another neighbor, Glenn.
So what can you do to make your oven safer?
First, Kaufmann said, buy a safety device that prevents your oven door from opening. Then, install an anti-tip bracket, which is screwed into the wall or floor and keeps the oven from falling over.
New ovens come with anti-tip brackets, but if yours doesn't have one, you can pick one up at any home improvement store for less than $10.
You could save a life.
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