Anti-Tip Brackets for Freestanding Ranges
by Nick Gromicko, Rob London and Kenton Shepard
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 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.
Our Home Inspectors at R Eyes Home Inspections will inform you of the presence of anti-tip brackets at your Home inspection.
- At the Home inspection it may be possible to see a wall-mounted bracket by looking over the rear of the range. Floor-mounted brackets are often hidden at the home inspection, although in some models have removable drawers, such as 30-inch electric ranges made by General Electric the drawers can be removed and a flashlight can be used to search for the bracket. Our Home Inspectors are aware that a visual confirmation does not guarantee that the bracket has been properly installed.
- Our Home Inspectors firmly grip the upper-rear section of the range at the home inspection and tip the unit forward. If equipped with an anti-tip bracket the unit will not tip more than several 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 at the home inspection. It is usually easier to detect a bracket by tipping the range than through a visual search at the home inspection. This test can be performed on all models at the home inspection and it can confirm the functionality of a bracket.
If no anti-tip bracket is detected at the home inspection our home inspectors will recommend that one be installed in the report.
Clients can contact the dealer after the home inspection or builder who installed their range and request that they install a bracket. For clients who wish to install a bracket themselves the part can be purchased at most hardware stores or ordered from the manufacturer. General Electric will send their customers an anti-tip bracket for free.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were 143 incidents caused by range tip-overs from 1980 to 2006. Of the 33 incidents that resulted in death, most of those victims were children. A small child may stand on an open range door in order to see what is cooking on the stove top and accidentally cause the entire unit to fall on top of him along with whatever hot items may have been cooking on the stove top. The elderly, too, may be injured while using the range for support while cleaning. InterNACHI home inspectors who do home inspections on ovens should never leave the oven door open while the oven is unattended.
In response to this danger the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) created standards in 1991 that require all ranges manufactured after that year to be capable of remaining stable while supporting 250 pounds of weight on their open doors. Manufacturers. With instructions too require that anti-tip brackets provided be installed. Despite these warnings retailer Sears estimated in 1999 that a mere 5% of the gas and electric units they sold were ever equipped with anti-tip brackets. As a result of Sears failure to comply with safety regulations they were sued and subsequently required to secure ranges in nearly 4 million homes this has been speculated to have cost Sears as much as $500 million.
In summary ranges are susceptible to tipping if they are not equipped with anti-tip brackets. Our Home Inspectors know how to confirm that these safety devices are present at the home inspection.