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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Ikea warns millions of customers to secure drawers and dressers to walls after deaths of two toddlers

Mum Jaquelyn Collas with son Curren, who died after a piece of IKEA furniture fell on him
Malm drawer in Ikea

Ikea has warned customers they must use a wall-anchoring kit with its drawers and dressers after two US toddlers were killed last year.

The furniture giant has announced a free wall-anchoring kit programme with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which said consumers should immediately stop using Ikea chests and drawers over a certain height unless they are securely fixed to the wall.

In a statement on its website, the CPSC said Ikea received reports of two children who died after chests from the Malm range of furniture tipped over and fell on them.

It said: "Consumers should immediately stop using all Ikea children's chests and dressers taller than 23.5 inches and adult chests and dressers taller than 29.5 inches, unless they are securely anchored to the wall.

"The free wall-anchoring kit should be used to secure Malm and other Ikea chests and dressers to the wall."

The CPSC and Ikea received a report that in February last year a two-year-old boy died after a Malm six-drawer chest tipped over and fatally pinned him against his bed, the statement said.

They also received a report that in June last year a 23-month-old child died after he became trapped beneath a three-drawer Malm chest that tipped over.

Neither chest had been secured to the wall.

Ikea and the CPSC had also received 14 reports of tip-over incidents involving Malm chests, resulting in four injuries.

Since 1989, Ikea was aware of three additional reports of deaths from tip-overs involving other models of its chests and dressers, the CPSC said.

Both the CPSC and Ikea said consumers should move unanchored chests and dressers into storage or other areas where they cannot be accessed by children.

The Malm range of chests have been sold since 2002, with the smallest two-drawer chest selling in the UK for £39.

Ikea UK and Ireland customer relations manager Gerard Bos said: "Product safety and quality are top priorities for Ikea.

"Furniture tip-over is a serious safety risk in the home, however Ikea chests of drawers and dressers are safe to use when assembled according to the assembly instruction and attached to the wall using the restraints provided in the packaging of these products.

"Ikea is committed to raising awareness of the hazard of furniture tip-over and in many Ikea markets, including the UK, we are running a safety awareness campaign called "Safer Homes Together - Secure It!" in order to raise awareness of this issue.

"As part of the ongoing campaign, Ikea US, in cooperation with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, yesterday announced a free wall-anchoring kit programme."

He said Ikea already provided restraints and instructions with all floor-standing units, and warnings about their importance were included in the assembly instructions.

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