What is an Anti-Tip Bracket?
A common item called out in 95% of my inspections is the anti-tip bracket missing from a free standing range.
Anti-tip brackets are metal devices designed to prevent freestanding ranges from tipping. They are normally attached to a rear leg of the range or screwed into the wall or the floor behind the range, and are included in all installation kits. A unit that is not equipped with these devices may tip over if enough weight is applied to its open door, such as that from a large Thanksgiving turkey, or even a small child. A falling range can crush, scald, or burn anyone caught beneath.
Stove Tip-Over Injuries and Deaths
Reports about tipping stoves first began to surface in the early 1980s, after manufacturers switched from cast iron to lighter materials. In 1991, the nonprofit Underwriters Laboratories created nationally recognized voluntary standards for new ranges and required that they be fitted with anti-tip devices and include a warning in instruction manuals.
Stove tipping has resulted in hundreds of children being burned, scalded, and crushed. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), between 1980 – 2006 there was an estimated yearly average of 1700 stove related instability and tipovers of stoves, ovens and ranges. Of those incidents, 13 resulted in death. Many of the fatalities involved children under the age of 10
Stove tipping has become an unrecognized epidemic in our country, but mainly affects babies, children and the elderly.
How To Confirm The Presence of an Anti-Tip Bracket
This is included in my standard home inspection. To check for the presence of an anti-tip bracket, you can firmly grip the upper-rear section of the range and tip the unit. If equipped with an anti-tip bracket, the unit will not tip more than a few inches before coming to a halt. The range should be turned off, and all items should be removed from the stovetop before this action can be performed. It is usually easier to detect a bracket by tipping the range than through a visual search. This test can be performed on all models and it can confirm the functionality of a bracket.
What Do I Do If There Is No Anti-Tip Bracket Installed?
Homeowners can contact the dealer or builder who installed their range and request that they install a bracket. Or, for homeowners who wish to install a bracket themselves, the part can be purchased at most hardware stores or ordered from a manufacturer.
In summary, ranges are susceptible to tipping if they are not equipped with anti-tip brackets. And are especially hazardous to children and the elderly.