Can Ceiling Fans Fall?

Anything that hangs from your ceiling has the potential to fall. When it comes to ceiling fans, the thought of a large, spinning object potentially falling from your ceiling isn’t the most pleasant of thoughts. So you may start asking the question: can ceiling fans fall?

Ceiling fan spinning

Yes, a ceiling fan does have the potential to fall. Your fan may fall due to improper installation, age, lack of maintenance or other defects. It’s important for you to make sure these things are taken care of to prevent you ceiling fan from falling.

In the rest of this article, we will dig into the most common causes of a ceiling fan falling. We will also give you ways to help prevent your ceiling fan from falling before it happens.

Common Reasons Your Ceiling Fan Could Fall

Below are some common reasons your ceiling fan is likely to fall.

Not Connected To The Ceiling Properly

One of the most common reasons your ceiling fan will fall comes from the connection to the ceiling. If whoever installed it wasn’t paying attention, installed it incorrectly or didn’t mount it to something sufficient, it’s likely it could fall.

There are connection points in multiple locations, but the downrod is the part that most likely goes into the ceiling. The downrod can be loose in two areas: First is the part that goes into the top, and second is the part that goes into the motor housing. If either connection point is loose, the fan could fall.


While ceiling fans don’t really rust, age will eventually catch up. As your home ages, it is pertinent to check your ceiling fan once every six months. There are often clear signs when your ceiling fan gets too old. We will get into those later.

Improper Installation

If you are new to installing ceiling fans, especially where no fixture exists, it’s only natural to make a mistake. If you hire someone to install a ceiling fan, that’s an entirely different story. To address any safety concerns, always be sure your ceiling fan looks and feels secure in the ceiling. If you are uncertain, call in the professional.

Faulty Construction

Sometimes, ceiling fans come out of the factory with defects that make them unsafe for the standard home. Human error is still a likely issue that comes from construction. For example, King of Fans recalled 182,000 Hampton Bay ceiling fans due to the blades flying off during use.

Your Fan is Too Close to the Floor

A standard four (or more) blade residential ceiling fan should be around ten feet from the floor and about two feet from your walls. If your room does not support this, you will need to ensure that your fan spins slower and has thicker edges.

Signs You Need to Replace Your Ceiling Fan

Are you wondering if now is the time to replace your ceiling fan? Below are the most common signs that you need to do this.

Your Fan is Wobbling

A fan’s natural state does not normally include shaking. If you see your fan start to tremble, that could mean an issue with your blades’ spacing or your fan wasn’t mounted properly. If the is related to a defect in your fan, you may need to replace it. Read more in our guide about whether ceiling fans are supposed to wobble.

Unusual Noises

Dusty ceiling fan

Hearing noises is a sign that your fan’s motor is going out. If you can check electrical components, this will be your first stop. Otherwise, a weird noise could be a sign of an unbalanced fan.

It Moves Slowly Without Being Activated

If the fan looks like it is slowly moving, that may mean that its connectors are loose. Check the downrod to see if those connections seem loose. If the problem isn’t immediately apparent, it could be related to an unseen fault in the ceiling fan’s construction.

How To Prevent A Ceiling Fan From Falling

By having an awareness of many of the issues we have mentioned so far, you will be better prepared. Below are those problems put into solutions:

Adjust Your Fan’s Position

Ensure that your fan works for the room. If your ceiling fan is in a low clearance room, try and see if you can’t make any location adjustments to ensure no heads will make contact. Remember, keep your fan so that it has eight feet of clearance from the floor and two clearance feet from the walls.

Have a Fan Appropriate for Your Room

Along those lines, be sure that you buy the right fan for your room’s requirements. Department stores display ceiling fans alongside room dimension allowances to keep things simple. If you still have questions, don’t be afraid to ask a customer service specialist. Read our guide on what size ceiling fan you should buy.

Perform Regular Maintenance

Through regular maintenance every six months, you will be able to check on potential issues before they get worse. Ageing screws, wiring errors, lack of oil and other problems tend to crop up as your fan ages.

Make Sure Nothing is Loose

Screws, bolts, and your fan blade’s mounting brackets are all essential areas to double-check. Be sure that everything is tight before you decide to run your fan.

Ceiling fan installation

Hire Professionals to Install Your Fan

When you pay for a service, that service is obligated to meet minimum quality standards. Typically, that means that they are liable for any potential damages. With this knowledge, technicians usually don’t like to mess up.

Balance Your Fan

If you notice a wobbly fan, you need to balance it before the problem gets any worse. You can balance a ceiling fan by following these steps:

  1. Get a friend that can help you hold up the fan
  2. Turn off the ceiling fan and disconnect the power
  3. Make sure your friend has a separate ladder so they can hold up the fan
  4. Loosen the screws around the canopy
  5. Make sure all of the screws on the fan’s downrod, mounting bracket, and outlet box are all in place
  6. Make sure the fan blades are secure in their holders
  7. After making sure all of the screws and rods are where they need to be, give your fan a light push to be sure it doesn’t move

Many ceiling fans come with balancing kits with a plastic clip, weights, and an adhesive backing. Instructions included with those will assist you if the standard balancing procedure doesn’t work.


Ceiling fans don’t fall often. When they do, it isn’t a safe situation. It would be best if you had an awareness of the common causes of falling ceiling fans. Read our article about are ceiling fans safe to learn more about ceiling fan safety.

Through regular checkups and knowing where to look, you will be able to calm the phobia you have of falling fans. Just remember to stay diligent, and you will solve any problems before they occur.