Ikea has recalled about 27 million chests and dressers because they can tip over and crush children if they aren’t anchored to the wall. Two children died after Ikea’s Malm chests fell on them in 2014. Ikea says it knows of reports of three additional deaths since 1989 from tip-overs involving other models of Ikea chests and dressers. While Ikea’s new repair program is considered a recall, consumers aren’t supposed to return the furniture. Instead, they should order or pick up a new free wall anchoring kit for the affected chests and dressers. Consumers should move unanchored chests and dressers into storage or other areas where they cannot be accessed by children until the chests and dressers are properly anchored.
Furniture and TV tip-overs have been a top concern at CPSC for several years. A child dies every two weeks and one is injured every 24 minutes in the U.S. from furniture or TVs tipping over, according to CPSC data. CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye has called on the entire industry to make more stable furniture – and for Ikea to lead the way considering their “big market share.”
Ikea is known for its low-priced, low-frills furniture. In Sweden, where it is based, interestingly, the company meets Europe’s more stringent voluntary safety standard, which states furniture units need to be anchored to walls. CPSC did work with the U.S. standard-setting body in 2014 to update the furniture stability standard, but Kaye says it’s still “much fuzzier” than Europe’s.
In February 2014, a 2-year-old boy from West Chester, Pa., died after a Malm six-drawer chest tipped over and fatally pinned him against his bed. A nearly 2-year-old child from Snohomish, Wash., died in June of last year after he became trapped beneath a three-drawer Malm chest that tipped. Neither chest was secured to the wall. Ikea and CPSC also have 14 reports of tip-over incidents involving Malm chests that led to four injuries. Since 1989, Ikea is aware of three other reports of deaths from tip-overs involving other Ikea chests and dressers.
About 7 million Malm chests and 20 million other Ikea chests and dressers are part of this nationwide repair program. The Malm chests that are part of the repair program were sold starting in 2002. The price of the chests ranges from about $80 to $200. To receive a free wall-anchoring kit, consumers can visit an Ikea store, register at www.IKEA-USA.com/saferhomestogether, or call toll-free at 888-966-4532. Ikea’s Lobell said the retailer “is committed to helping raise the awareness of this serious home safety issue and to continue to provide consumers with the tools and knowledge they need to prevent these accidents.”
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