Recently, furniture giant IKEA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) announced that IKEA is recalling roughly 27 million chests and dressers after two toddlers died in 2014 when IKEA Malm chests fell onto them.
According to the CPSC, 363 people died between 2000 and 2011 due to falling furniture, appliances, and electronics; of those 363 deaths, 82% were children under 8 years old. With the increase in huge flat-screen TVs, the injury to children due to the TVs falling onto them has risen dramatically. In 2011, 12,300 children were injured due to a TV tipping and falling onto them; of those 12,300 injuries, 64% were to children under age 5.
Whether you have a child in your home or not, it is important to know that any furniture, such as bookcases and dressers, appliances, and electronics, especially flat-screen TVs, need to be properly anchored to the wall to avoid injury and death.
Currently, TVs are not required to be sold with anchoring or restraint systems. Therefore, in order to anchor a TV to the wall, you will need to purchase an anchoring or restraint system on your own. There are many different kinds of restraint systems available, and many are very easy to install.
There are two voluntary standards for chest-type furniture that is over 30 inches tall. First, the unit must be stable enough on its own so that it does not tip over when all drawers or doors are open and fully extended and so that it does not tip over when one drawer is fully open and loaded with 50 pounds. Second, the unit must be sold with an anchoring or tip-resistant system.
Other Tips to Prevent a Tip-Over
Some other tips to prevent a tip-over include:
- Be sure to use sturdy furniture only;
- Be sure to place TVs on stands that are designed to hold TVs;
- If you can, mount your TV to the wall to prevent a tip-over;
- If you cannot mount your TV to the wall, be sure to anchor your TV to the wall behind it;
- Be sure pieces of tall furniture, like dressers and bookcases, are anchored to the walls behind them; and
- Remove items that would tempt children from high places.
IKEA Recall Details
The recall by IKEA of its chests and dressers is not a true recall, in that IKEA is not replacing the “defective” dressers. Rather, IKEA is offering a repair program. Owners of the recalled dressers and chests should go to IKEA to receive a free anchoring system.
IKEA has placed information regarding furniture tip-overs and anchoring its furniture here and here.
If You or a Loved One has been Injured in Florida
If you or a loved one has been injured by an IKEA dresser or chest that has fallen over, you need to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. The injuries resulting from a falling piece of furniture can be devastating. The Florida attorneys at Reed & Reed have the experience needed to fully represent you with your personal injury claims and to get you all the compensation to which you are entitled. From our office in Brandon, we help clients in Tampa, New Tampa, Plant City, East Hillsborough County and throughout the state of Florida. Contact Reed & Reed for a free consultation.