Swedish furniture giant IKEA has issued an urgent warning for owners of 27 million dressers and chests after two children were crushed to death by MALM dressers in separate incidents. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, any owners of IKEA’s “children’s chests and dressers taller than 23 ½ inches and adult chests and dressers taller than 29 ½ inches” should immediately stop using the items unless they are securely attached to the wall to prevent them from tipping over.
In a press release Patty Lobell, IKEA’s U.S. commercial manager said the company is “deeply saddened” by the deaths and hopes “our efforts prevent further tragedies.” The first tragedy occurred in February 2014 when a “2-year-old boy from West Chester, Pa. died after a MALM 6-drawer chest (48 3/8 inches high) tipped over and fatally pinned him against his bed.” The second occurred in June 2014 when “a 23-month old child from Snohomish, Wash. died after he became trapped beneath a 3-drawer (30 ¾ inches high) MALM chest that tipped over,” according to the CPSC.
Why the initiative is taking place now, over a year later, remains unclear, though the CPSC has praised IKEA for taking a significant step forward in establishing a repair initiative. In an interview with USA Today, CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye noted IKEA needs “to do more and to make more stable furniture and they need to help lead industry.”
Included within the initiative are some 7 million MALM dressers, which have been on sale since 2002, along with 20 million other dressers and chests sold by IKEA within the US. IKEA is offering all owners a free wall anchoring kit to secure their dressers and chests to the wall and prevent the risk of toppling furniture.
To receive a free wall anchoring kit, visit an IKEA retail store, go to www.IKEA-USA.com/saferhomestogether, or call (888) 966-4532.