The Need To Safely Secure Furniture

The parents of an infant, who was killed after a bookcase collapsed on him, vowed to do everything they can in order to keep other families from experiencing the same tragedy.

A terrible tragedy

Tim Shaw and wife Kirstie, whose 3-year-old son Blake died after a free standing bookcase collapsed with no warning, urged other parents to make sure that their furniture is safely secured.

Accidents that involved toppling furniture have claimed lives of a minimum of 15 children under the age of nine nationwide ever since 2000.

Mr Shaw mentioned that he believes the bookcase which fell on his son became unstable because of the stumps under their farmhouse that shifted after heavy rain and made the floors uneven.

The case was bolted to the wall in their previous home, but they made use of double-sided tape in order to fasten the case at their new home.

He mentioned that he can’t imagine this being experienced by other families, as it was a simple thing especially since he triple-checked its stability.

The family wants this incident to help other families be kept from harm.

Accidents from furniture tip overs

The figures from the Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit indicated that furniture tip overs led to greater than 1000 emergency visits throughout Victoria during the period from January 2006 to June 2015.

Nearly 50 per cent of those hurt involved children of ages four and below.

Many of the cases involved bookcases, wardrobe, wall units and televisions.

The Australian Furniture Association wants to have compulsory manufacturer standards to minimize the danger of unsecured furniture and to increase the awareness in people regarding the ways to anchor these items.

Assistance for the family

The Shaw family, that also involves two older boys, is fighting to deal with their loss.

A fund was established to assist them through this difficult time.

Mr Shaw took time off from work to take care of his wife, who left her career because of illness.


Parents really have to be extra vigilant regarding children’s safety. A custom made furniture from Victoria or a cheap furniture in Perth is not something to worry about especially if parents follow safety guidelines to secure the furniture from children.