Three deaths from falling furniture prompt urgent call for action from Consumer Reports and its partners
Following a report last week by the Philadelphia Inquirer that the death of a 22-month-old boy in February was caused by a falling Malm IKEA dresser, Consumer Reports, along with several consumer and child safety groups, is urging the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to secure a formal recall of the IKEA dresser responsible for the tragedy. This is the third confirmed tip-over death from a Malm IKEA dresser.
In a joint letter issued today to CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye, Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, along with Kids In Danger, the Consumer Federation of America, and the National Center for Health Research, urged the federal safety agency to take strong, immediate action to better protect children from the tip-over hazard of certain Malm IKEA dressers.
Both IKEA and the CPSC were aware of the safety concerns with this particular furniture line prior to this latest incident. In July 2015, the commission and Sweden-based retailer announced two deaths from tipping IKEA dressers and launched a repair and education campaign for the products. But the warnings stopped short of a recall. […]
What You Can Do
Though today’s action focuses on IKEA, it’s important to understand that tip overs can happen with many types of furniture, as well as electronics. Indeed, unstable and unsecured televisions and large pieces of furniture kill a child every two weeks, on average, in tip-over incidents. To safeguard your home, especially if young children are present, follow these government recommendations:
• Install anchoring devices to prevent TVs, dressers, bookcases, and other furniture from tipping over. The cost is minimal.
• Never leave remote controls, toys, and other tempting items in high places that kids might try to reach by climbing.
• Store heavier items on lower shelves or in lower drawers.
• Place TVs on a sturdy, low base and push them as far back from the front edge as possible, particularly if anchoring is not possible. An older tube TV falling from an average size dresser generates thousands of pounds of force.
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