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(ARA) – If your household is one of the last holdouts to get a flat-screen TV, or you have a smaller, older flat screen, you may be thinking the holiday season is a good time to buy a new one. Retailers will offer holiday sales, and getting a flat screen means you’ll be ready to watch all those holiday games, movies and specials in style.

Yes, a new flat screen could be just what your family needs to make the holiday season especially bright this year. But when the TV is finally plugged in, don’t overlook one important caveat that comes with owning a heavy piece of equipment that is wider than your toddler is tall – safety. Like any other piece of heavy furniture, a flat screen can easily tip over and hurt someone if it’s not properly secured.

According to a study by the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, nearly 17,000 children were rushed to emergency rooms in 2007 after heavy or unstable furniture fell on them, with nearly half of these injuries attributed to falling televisions. And with the increasing popularity of flat screens, these numbers are likely to increase in the future.

Fortunately, it’s not difficult to preserve the holiday cheer brought by your new flat-screen TV – and keep your family safe from the danger presented by an improperly secured TV. The experts at Sanus, makers of furniture and mounts for TVs and other electronic accessories, offer some safety advice:

* Don’t be fooled by the thin build of a flat screen – it’s still very heavy. These TVs can pack 100 pounds or more into a compact design, so they need to be well secured with mounts specifically designed to hold them safely.

* A wall mount can make any flat screen look slimmer, and is a good way to keep expensive technology out of reach of little hands. When done properly with a high-quality device, wall mounting is much safer than placing a flat screen atop a piece of furniture. Look for a product like Sanus’ VisionMount series, which incorporates a wall plate that secures into the studs behind the wall, and attaches to the TV with mounting brackets.

* Wall mounting may not always be practical, however. Rental units may have strict rules about what you can put on the wall, or you may simply not have an appropriate wall space for your flat screen. If you must place a TV on furniture, keep in mind both the TV and the furniture piece tend to be top heavy. You should secure the top edge of the TV to the back of the furniture, and the furniture itself should be secured to the wall, following the manufacturer’s guidelines. Sanus’ anti-tip strap made specifically for flat-screen TVs can help hold the television in place securely, and accommodates TVs up to 60 inches.

Still, the safest, most practical mode of displaying a flat-screen TV and all its components (DVR, video game, cable or satellite receiver, etc.) is to mount the TV on the wall and place the components beneath it on a piece of furniture specifically designed for that purpose. Sanus offers a full line of home theater furniture designed to hold all your home electronics.

To learn more about options for safely mounting your TV, visit

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Author: Andy Quayle

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