Are Anti-Tip Brackets Required on Ranges?

By Rueben Saltzman ofStructure Tech Home InspectionsThis question comes from another home inspector: Where can I find the requirement for

By Rueben Saltzman ofStructure Tech Home Inspections

This 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, its an aptly-named device that keeps a range from tipping over. Its about what you might imagine, and they come in a few different styles. Heres one of them:

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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 theConsumer 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: 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 wont do any good.

Anti-tip bracket

Whoever drove that screw into the drywall knew they didnt hit anything, and their GaSlevel was clearly at about zero. Id 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 theyre required by the building code? Indirectly, yes. If we turn tochapter 3 of the Minnesota Mechanical Code, we can find the following text under section 304.1:

304.1 General. Equipment and appliances shall be installedas required by the terms of their approval, in accordance with
the conditions of the listing, the manufacturers installationinstructions and this code. Manufacturers installationinstructions shall be available on the job site at the time ofinspection.
So there you have it. While the code doesnt specifically say that anti-tip brackets are required, it says you need to follow the manufacturers installation instructions. If a manufacturer requires something as part of their installation instructions, it becomes a code requirement by extension.