According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), IKEA North America is providing free repair kits to consumers who bought certain chests and drawers. The affected furniture is prone to tipping over if not anchored to a wall, and has already resulted in the deaths of two children.
Specifically, wall-anchoring kits are being offered to customers who bought MALM three- and four-drawer chests, two types of MALM six-drawer chests, and various other chests and dressers. The CPSC states that the nationwide repair program includes roughly 7 million MALM chests and 20 million other IKEA chests and dressers.
The CPSC and IKEA received a report in February 2014 about a two-year-old Pennsylvania boy who died when a MALM chest tipped over and pinned him against his bed. Another report was received in June of that year about a 23-month-old Washington child who was fatally trapped beneath a toppled MALM chest. In both cases, the IKEA furniture was not securely mounted to the wall. Fourteen other reports of incidents involving tipped-over MALM chests were received by the CSPC and IKEA, four of which resulted in injury. According to the CSPC notification, “IKEA is aware of three additional reports of deaths from tip-overs involving other models of IKEA chests and dressers.”
The CPSC and IKEA are urging owners of the affected IKEA chests and dressers to ensure the stability of their furniture and to secure these pieces to the wall, if they have not already done so, with the free wall-anchoring kits.
According to the CSPC, furniture and TV tip-overs result in one child death every two weeks in the United States, and are responsible for one child injury every 24 minutes.
Furniture manufacturers have responsibility for the safety of their furniture. As noted above, furniture tip-overs are a common problem, and we hope that IKEA continues to get the word out about this safety hazard and to ensure that its furniture comes with proper warnings and anchoring hardware.