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Recliner Safety - Safety advice for recliners and reclining furniture

These following tips are from the American Furniture Manufacturer's Association (AMFA)

  • To prevent cuts and lacerations, do not put your hands or fingers under the mechanism to operate the chair. Only the occupant should operate the chair, and never attempt to open the chair by pulling on the footrest.
  • Sit down in the chair slowly. To avoid tip-over, do not throw your weight against the back of the chair. Move the chair into the reclining position slowly, making sure that no children or pets are in close proximity. Do not allow children to play on or around a recliner, particularly if it is in an open position.
  • Close the recliner completely before getting out of it.
  • Never sit on the footrest when it is open, or allow children to do so.
  • To eliminate the risk of tip-over, do not sit on the arms or footrest of the recliner.
  • Only one adult should sit in a recliner at a time.
  • Watch for pets who may choose to lie down underneath the chair.
  • When moving your recliner, be sure it is completely closed. Pick the chair up by the arms; never pick up the chair from underneath.
  • Be sure the chair is constructed so there is no more than 5 inches opening between the seat and the leg rest to eliminate the possibility of a child becoming trapped in the opening. Older chairs may not meet this voluntary standard that was adopted in the late 1980s.
  • When shopping for a new recliner, look for the gold UFAC tag ensuring that the manufacturer has agreed to meet construction criteria suggested by the Upholstered Furniture Action Council. The voluntary UFAC program has been credited with contributing to a nearly 80% reduction in the number of upholstered furniture fires started by smoldering cigarettes.
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