This week's question comes from another home inspector: "Where can I find the requirement for an anti-tip bracket on a range?"

Before I answer that question, I better explain what an anti-tip bracket is. In short, it's an aptly-named device that keeps a range from tipping over. It's about what you might imagine, and they come in a few different styles. Here's one of them:

Anti-tip bracket

Do we really need these?

Anti-tip brackets are safety devices that started showing up in the late 1980s and became required by appliance manufacturers in 1991. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 38 fatalities associated with ranges tipping over between 1980 and 2008. Over half of those involved children between the ages of one and five years old. The other large age group was elderly adults using the open range door for support.

Side note: anti-tip brackets may also help to protect young adults who boldly use their range as a piece of playground equipment ;-)

This is something that many home inspectors check for and recommend adding if not present. The CPSC has a nice little sheet explaining how to check for the presence and proper installation of an anti-tip bracket: https://www.cpsc.gov/PageFiles/118037/5007tips.pdf. I find a lot of missing brackets, even in new construction homes. The anti-tip bracket pictured below was attached to the drywall only, which won't do any good.

Anti-tip bracket

Whoever drove that screw into the drywall knew they didn't hit anything, and their GaS level was clearly at about zero. I'd prefer to see no attempt even made, and I certainly see that a lot. The picture below shows a new range with the anti-tip bracket still sitting in its original packaging.

Interior - anti-tip bracket not installed

So back to question: are these required?

As I mentioned earlier, anti-tip brackets are required by manufacturers, but does this mean that they're required by the building code? Indirectly, yes. If we turn to chapter 3 of the Minnesota Mechanical Code, we can find the following text under section 304.1:

304.1 General. Equipment and appliances shall be installed
as required by the terms of their approval, in accordance with
the conditions of the listing, the manufacturer’s installation
instructions and this code. Manufacturer’s installation
instructions shall be available on the job site at the time of
inspection.
 
So there you have it. While the code doesn't specifically say that anti-tip brackets are required, it says you need to follow the manufacturer's installation instructions. If a manufacturer requires something as part of their installation instructions, it becomes a code requirement by extension.

Older Post

Does your air conditioner use R-22 refrigerant? Here's why you should care

Newer Post

Minnesota home inspector training advice: join the ASHI Heartland chapter (it rocks)