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Falling Furniture — Get a Hold On It Before They Do

Defective Design

CPSC Issues National Campaign To Curb Accidents from Falling Furniture

One child dies every two weeks from falling furniture in the home, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The public became very much aware of that startling statistic following the death of a two-year-old by an Ikea dresser – the third such death since 2014.

The recall of more than 27 million of the dressers manufactured under the brand name Malm in response to the triple tragedies. Finally. In 2015, the Swedish big-box store opted to launch a warning campaign against the dressers, which are prone to topple because of the way they are put together. Ikea is known for its affordable do-it-yourself furniture.

Disaster prevention. Parent and child to fix the furniture

Safety advocates called the campaign a short-sighted attempt to fix the problem even though Ikea provided for free over 300,000 kits to secure dressers to walls.

“An education campaign was not the answer to this product safety hazard,” Rachel Weintraub, of the Consumer Federation of America,” told CBS News in a story about the recall. “I don’t think this was quick enough. This product needed to come off the market. I wish it had been sooner, I wish that no children had been killed and no children had been injured.”

Six deaths are linked to Malm dressers. A list of the recalled pieces can be found by clicking here.

“Many times, it’s just not the parents’ fault,” said Elliot Kaye, chairman of the CPSC, which has initiated a national movement to halt similar accidents called “Anchor It!”

“This is one of the top hidden hazards in the home, and CPSC’s new safety campaign is aimed at reducing the number of deaths and injuries from tipping furniture and TVs,” the agency’s Web site states.

The movement’s slogan is “Get on top of it before they do” and features videos and other resources for parents. Among its tips:

  • Attach top-heavy furniture to the wall using brackets that can be purchased at most hardware stores. Many pieces of furniture come with the brackets so they can be installed right away.
  • Remove knick-knacks, remote controls, toys and other objects of interest from furniture so children aren’t tempted to retrieve them.
  • Flat-screen televisions should be mounted to the wall to eliminate the danger all together. If that is not possible, buy a piece of furniture designed for a TV and secure it in place.
  • “Children like to climb on furniture,” according to the CPSC. “For them, the home is a playground. As you childproof, you may not be aware that unsecured TVs, furniture and appliances are hidden hazards lurking in every room.”

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