What is an anti-tip bracket and why is it important?

Posted on Posted in Home Inspection, Inspector Thoughts, Real Estate

An anti-tip bracket is one of the many items a home inspector looks for during a home inspection.  It is an important safety device for the kitchen range. However, this bracket is not found on roughly 90% of all home inspections where a range is present.

An anti-tip bracket is a small metal bracket that is attached to the rear of a range to prevent it from tipping over. Anti-tip brackets became a requirement to be sold with new ranges in 1991 due to injuries resulting from ranges tipping over and causing significant injury and death.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 33 people died between 1980 and 2006 due to ranges tipping over. The vast majority of these deaths were small children.

brackets are check by a home inspector
Anti-tip brackets prevent the range from falling onto a child

If a small child wants to get to something on the counter, or perhaps to get on the counter to get to the cookies mom hid in the upper cabinets, a child may pull open the oven door and try to use it as a step. As a range is largely hollow, it is not very heavy, and the weight of a newly crawling infant or toddler can cause the range to tip over and come crashing down on the child.

Not just children are in danger

While children are the main concern, children are not the only possible cause of a range tipping over and causing injury. Getting heavy food items in and out of the oven, such as that special holiday meal, can also cause a range to tip over and injure the person cooking.

brackets are checked for on a home inspection
Anti-tip brackets are important for people cooking as well.

For this reason, a home inspector will check for an anti-tip bracket on a range whenever possible. Often the brackets are not visible and the only way to test is to pull on the range to see if it will tip. A range must be turned off with no food or pots and pans in or on the range to do this. For this reason, it is best to schedule an inspection when the occupants of the home (if any) are not cooking at the time.

Occasionally, the bracket is fully visible.

A visible anti-tip bracket correctly installed.
A visible anti-tip bracket correctly installed.

Where did the anti-tip bracket go?

Despite their important role, most of the time, people forget or do not know to install the anti-tip bracket. Because the bracket is a small metal piece, it often gets overlooked when unpacking a much larger range. The bracket is often taped to the instruction manual, but most people do not read the manual. The brackets often either get tossed into a drawer, or thrown out with the box the range came in.

Anti-tip brackets are just one of the many reasons to get a home inspection. To schedule an inspection, call 818-298-3405.