Can a TV Wall Mount Fail and Get Your Flat Screen Smashed to Bits?

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This article’s title was actually a question put forth by a member of a forum on electronics that I often hang out in. It’s also something that I’ve wondered about myself as I also use one for one of my LCD flat screens. Of course we know that a TV wall mount is bolted onto the wall and most should be designed to stay bolted forever but when I did some research bout it, I suddenly realized how serious the topic really is and it should be something TV owners need to think about carefully. It’s certainly not something that happens a lot. But when it happens, it will surely be a pain. The following are what I’ve learned in my online research on the matter:

  1. The worst case scenario would be when a TV wall mount breaks or get unhinged by the unit’s weight and falls on something living. This includes the danger of the unit falling on a pet or a human being. Sometime in 2009, something like this happened with tragic results. The TV came loose from the wall and fell on a 2-year old boy whose injuries proved to be fatal. Another case I’ve found involved a 120 lb. plasma unit falling on its owner’s head but fortunately, the victim wasn’t seriously hurt.
  2. It will surely be a stressful and possibly costly accident because there’s always a big question mark whether warranty or insurance will cover the damaged unit in such an incident. It’s mostly certain the TV manufacturer’s warranty will not cover wall mount failure because that’s obviously not their fault. Going after the wall mount’s manufacturer will probably your best bet but there will be the question on whether the wall mount was at fault or was it a problem with the installation. If the installation was done incorrectly, then manufacturer might be free of liability.
  3. The best way to go about installing a TV wall mount is to have it installed professionally, either by the retailer or the manufacturer. That way you can eliminate negligence on your part when it comes to installation and liability in case of mount failure will stay with manufacturer/retailer.
  4. Try not add to the mount’s load by hanging stuff on it but most of all, tell the kids not to play it hang out under it. Considering the immediate area under the TV as a no play area.
  5. Get the best kind of wall mount you can buy and see number 3.
  6. If you have to do the installation, follow the instructions to the letter! Do not compromise with the tools and materials that you use. When in doubt, consult a professional.
  7. You could do away with wall mounts and go for possible alternatives like TV lift cabinets that don’t require you to precariously hang anything on the wall.
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TV Repair Safety Tips

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Electrocution is a distinct danger you expose yourself to when working with electronics. It’s quite nice to save a few hundred bucks by learning to repair your TV but if it will land you in hospital because you didn’t the necessary precautions, then you would have defeated the purpose of your DIY TV repair project- which is to save some money while at the same time acquiring a new skill that you may or may not use to earn more money.

I’d say that common sense is still the best weapon against any accident involving electronics. Making sure that your test or work area is safe should be a priority and if you think you can’t make it an acceptably safe area to work in, then don’t work in it. Find and go to an area where you can confidently exercise the following precautions:

1. Wear appropriate TV repair clothing. A rubber-soled shoes and gloves are advisable.

2. According to the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guideline for “Safety in electrical testing: Servicing and repair of audio, TV and computer equipment”,

The most significant danger to people carrying out electrical testing work is that they might suffer an electric shock. Any simultaneous contact of a part of the body with a conductor that is live at a dangerous voltage, eg one that is connected to the mains supply, while another part of the body is connected to an earth, will result in an electric shock. There is also a risk of burn injuries resulting from arcing when conductors are accidentally
short-circuited.

Where possible, the work should be done while the equipment is not connected to any electrical source (i.e., equipment is dead).

3. If you’re on location or in a customer’s home performing your repair service, then you should make sure that you have ample space to work in and that the members of the household are well-briefed about the dangers. Create a temporary barrier around your work area to prevent kids and pets from getting into it. Allow plenty of space to work in so you’ll have enough safe space that you can use to break contact (in case of shock).

4. Never leave an equipment unattended and exposed when it’s in a dangerous condition (e.g. wires exposed)

5. If you’re in a workshop setting (not a home location), then the preceding precautions may also apply. Brief everyone about the dangers and allow for ample work area that is protected from unauthorized access.

6. When in doubt, don’t do it! You can refer to the HSE guidance on electrical testing safety for a more detailed info on the safety precautions you can take. Don’t be afraid to ask questions either! Get access to comprehensive information about plasma TV repair and a membership site on LCD TV repair.

Goodluck and stay safe!

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