The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in conjunction with IKEA, is warning that certain models of chests and dressers produced by the home furnishing manufacturer pose a serious tip-over hazard unless anchored to the wall.
According to a recent notice posted by the CPSC, the commission and IKEA have received 14 reports of tip-over incidents involving MALM chests resulting in four injuries and two deaths. IKEA is aware of three additional reports of fatal accidents involving tip-overs involving other models of its dressers and chests since 1989, the release said.
Although the IKEA chests and dressers are the subject of a nationwide recall, consumers are not supposed to return the furniture. Instead, consumers are to pick up a wall anchoring kit by visiting an IKEA retail store or ordering the kit online here. IKEA is offering free wall anchoring kits for their dresser models with three, four, or six drawers, which involves about 7 million MALM chests and about 20 million other pieces of IKEA furniture across the U.S.
In the meantime, consumers should discontinue using all IKEA children’s chests taller than 23.5 inches and adult chests taller than 29.5 inches until they are securely fastened to the wall. Until they are anchored to the wall, chests and dressers should be moved into storage to prevent access by children.
Many children like to climb. According to the CPSC, every 24 minutes a child is hurt as the result of furniture falling over. In addition, every two weeks a child dies from furniture or televisions toppling onto them.
Elliott Kaye, chairman of the CPSC, said two children had died in the last year and a half from tip overs involving the IKEA furniture. The CPSC and IKEA said that a two-year-old boy in Pennsylvania sustained fatal injuries in February 2014 after a MALM six-drawer chest tipped over and pinned him against his bed. In June 2014, a 23-month-old child in Washington State died after a three drawer MALM chest turned over on him. Neither chest was attached to the wall.
In a recent interview with USA Today report, Kaye urged the entire industry to produce more stable furniture and for IKEA to lead the way since the company has a large market share. For families that rent and cannot anchor their IKEA chest to walls, Kaye said the best solution is to get rid of the furniture.
The CPSC and IKEA urges consumers to inspect their IKEA chests to make sure that they are secured to the wall and to anchor furniture and televisions to prevent these serious accidents. The MALM chests were offered for sale, starting in 2002 and varied in price from $80 to $200.
According to the commission, falling television sets have killed more than 200 children since the year 2000 and 18,000 people a year are treated for injuries from TVs. The switch to flat screen TVs may be making the problem worse as consumers move the older TV sets out of dens and family rooms and place them on bedroom dressers and shelves, where children can reach them.
Manufacturers are responsible for making products that are safe when used as intended and to warn adequately of known hazards including tip-over hazards. Manufacturers may be liable for any injuries caused by products manufactured with substandard designs.
If your child or family member has been injured by an IKEA chest that has tipped over in Alabama, contact an Alabama injury attorney who investigates product liability cases. We would like to review the specifics of the accident at no charge. The product liability attorneys of Belt, Bruner & Barnett have assisted a number of families and individuals who have been harmed by unsafe products. Call us today at (205) 933-1500 for a free and consultation.