Furniture suppliers will be required to provide safety warnings to consumers about the dangers of toppling furniture hazards, after the Assistant Treasurer, the Hon. Stephen Jones, made a new information standard for toppling furniture.

Since 2000, 28 people, including 17 children under five, have died in Australia from toppling furniture, and each year more than 900 Australians suffer injuries requiring medical assistance from toppling furniture. Children aged up to 4 years are most at risk, with older Australians also vulnerable.

Furniture, such as chests of drawers, wardrobes, bookshelves, TV units or other tall items, which are not properly secured, can topple over when young children attempt to climb on, or pull themselves up on, those items of furniture.

The toppling furniture information standard was made by the Assistant Treasurer on 3 May 2024, following a recommendation by the ACCC.

The standard requires suppliers to provide safety warnings and advice about how to reduce toppling furniture incidents to consumers before, during and after purchasing furniture.

“A mandatory information standard is a critical step towards reducing the injuries and deaths involving toppling furniture,” ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said.   

“We know that young children and the elderly are most at risk of toppling furniture injuries, and the most common cause of death is head and crush injuries and asphyxiation.”

“The new information standard will help increase awareness about toppling furniture risks, including by warning consumers to securely anchor furniture to prevent furniture tip overs,” Mr Keogh said.

The toppling furniture information standard will require suppliers to:

  • attach a permanent warning label to furniture;
  • include safety information and advice about anchoring furniture in manuals and assembly instructions; and
  • provide warnings about the hazards of toppling furniture in furniture stores and online.

The standard will apply to chests of drawers, wardrobes, bookcases, hall tables, display cabinets, buffets and sideboards with a height of 686mm or more, and entertainment units of any height.

Suppliers will have a 12-month transition period to implement the new information and labelling requirements.

Consumer advice

When you’re out -shopping, use these tips to help you pick safer furniture:

  • Examine the furniture to make sure it is stable.
  • Pull out any top drawers of a chest of drawers or open doors on other furniture items and apply a little pressure to see how stable the furniture is.
  • Make sure the drawers don’t fall out easily.
  • Look for built-in drawer stops that limit how far drawers can be extended or interlocks that prevent more than one drawer being opened at a time.
  • Look for furniture with sturdy backing material which increases stability.
  • Look for low-set furniture, or furniture with a sturdy, stable and broad base. It’s less likely to tip over.

The best way to prevent furniture from tipping over is to secure it to the wall or floor.  

What you’ll need depends on what your wall or floor is made of, and what kind of furniture you’re working with. There are different kinds of wall and floor anchors available.

If your furniture doesn’t come with anchoring hardware, you can ask about anchors and buy what you need from a furniture retailer, hardware store or a specialty store for baby goods.

As well as securing your furniture and TVs, here are some things you can do to use furniture safely:

  • Keep your heaviest items at the bottom of your drawers or shelves. Furniture that is top-heavy is easier to tip over.
  • Do not place heavy items such as TVs or items that are attractive to children on top of furniture.
  • Put locking devices on all drawers. They help prevent children from opening them and using them as steps.

Information for suppliers

The ACCC is preparing guidance for furniture suppliers about the new information standard and plans to engage with the furniture industry during the 12-month transition period to assist with complying with the new requirements.

Supplying a product that fails to comply with the information standard is a contravention of the Australian Consumer Law and may expose a business or individual to potential enforcement action by the ACCC.

The maximum financial penalties for businesses are the greatest of:

  • $50,000,000;
  • three times the value of the "reasonably attributable" benefit obtained from the conduct, if the court can determine this; or
  • if a court cannot determine the benefit, 30 per cent of adjusted turnover during the breach period.

The maximum financial penalty for individuals is $2,500,000.


In response to an issues paper published in 2021, the ACCC received broad support from interested parties for the introduction of measures to reduce the risk of death and injury associated with toppling furniture.

In response to a consultation paper published in 2022 that set out a range of proposed regulatory options to address the risks associated with toppling furniture, the ACCC received 31 submissions from stakeholders including manufacturers and retailers. The submissions received broadly supported regulatory action to improve consumer safety. All respondents supported the provision of consumer education about the risks of toppling furniture and advice to consumers to improve safety through anchoring.