How to select and install fall prevention products for furniture

In the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, more than half of the injuries were caused by furniture tipping over or moving and glass scattering as a result. In particular, offices with many large stacks of books and heavy copying machines are at risk of serious injury if measures are not taken. Check here for tips on how to prevent furniture from falling over and prepare for earthquakes.

Types of fall prevention goods

The easiest way to prevent office furniture from tipping over is to secure the furniture using special goods. However, there are various types of fall prevention goods, each with different features and usage methods. You should choose the one that best suits your company's environment. This article will introduce what kind of goods are available.

Stopper type, mat type (effect: small)

This type of item is placed under furniture to reduce friction with the floor, making it difficult to move even when shaking occurs. There are mat types that do not leave gaps between them and the floor, and stopper types that are effective for furniture with casters. Place them from one end of the furniture to the other. Since they are not effective on their own, it is recommended to use them in combination with other goods.

Pole type (effect: medium)

It is a method of installing a pole between the furniture and the ceiling and letting it stretch. Two attachments are made to the side panels on each side of the furniture. It's moderately strong, but it's easy to install and low cost. Also, since there is no need to drill holes in the wall, it is easy to use in offices that are often rented. However, it is useless if the ceiling is not durable. It is suitable for the following: the gap between the furniture and the ceiling is small, and the furniture has a depth.

Belt-type (effect: medium)

It is a method of installing a belt on the top of the furniture and connecting it to the wall. If you choose a type that uses adhesive or hooks, you can also secure furniture without using screws. Install two belts on the front side of the furniture and pull both belts in the same direction. As the angle of the belt increases, the strength decreases, so pin them at an angle of 30 degrees or less.

Consolidated (effect: medium)

It is a way to stabilize the center of gravity by connecting furniture together instead of fixing it to the wall or floor. There are types that are fixed with metal fittings or connected with bands. It is recommended to attach them to shelves or lockers placed back-to-back, or to furniture that is stacked one on top of the other.

L-shaped metal fittings (effect: large)

It is secured by connecting the furniture directly to the wall using L-shaped hardware and screws. This is the strongest method, especially if the wall-side hardware is installed facing down. However, it requires drilling holes in the wall, which may be difficult in some cases in rental properties. Also, it cannot be installed on a gypsum board (fireproof board), as it cannot be installed on any wall. Please install it on the hardest possible part of the wall that has a base material (corner board) in it.

In addition, there are films that can be applied to glass doors to prevent glass from shattering, and stoppers that prevent drawers from popping out. When using them together, the risk can be further reduced.

Measures to prevent furniture from falling over

In addition to using fall prevention goods, even a little ingenuity and forethought can help minimize damage in the event of a disaster. Check out the following fall prevention measures and start with what you can do.

Install low furniture

The taller the furniture, the more likely it is to topple over during an earthquake. Choose lockers and storage cabinets that are as short as possible. It is especially dangerous to use tall furniture by itself instead of partitions. If you place tall furniture, place it near a wall, not in the middle of the office.

Layout your furniture with the expectation that it will fall over

Simulate how furniture might topple over in the event of an emergency when laying out your office. You can reduce the damage by simply not placing tall furniture or furniture with glass doors near people. Heavy furniture such as safes can be dangerous if placed near windows because they may fly out. Also, consider the direction in which furniture will fall and ensure that its placement does not block aisles or exits. In particular, avoid placing furniture around doorways as much as possible.

Partitions should be 'U' shaped or 'H' shaped

If partitions are used, they will quickly fall over and block aisles if placed alone. If you place them in a 'U' or 'H' shape, they are less likely to topple over.

Put heavy items in the bottom drawer

The higher the center of gravity, the more likely the furniture is to fall over. In the case of storage cabinets and storerooms, try to store heavy items in the bottom drawer or tier as much as possible. It is also important to avoid placing unnecessary luggage such as cardboard boxes on top of the furniture.

Summary

During an earthquake, it is extremely dangerous as furniture falls over and heavy drawers and copiers fly out. To minimize damage as well as to protect the lives of your employees, make sure to secure furniture on a regular basis to prevent it from falling over.