CR calls for stronger standards, enforcement to protect young children from furniture tip-overs
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Consumer Reports today published a new story in its series about furniture tip-overs in the home and how these preventable incidents can lead to a serious injury or even death, especially among young children. In the story “Ikea Still Sells a Hemnes Dresser Linked to a Child’s Death,” CR interviews parents and safety experts about the serious risk posed by Ikea’s Hemnes 8-drawer dresser and probes why the company has not recalled the furniture, despite a viral video of a tip-over incident and a separate incident involving the death of 2-year-old Conner DeLong in Lakeland, Fla., in 2017.
William Wallace, senior policy analyst for Consumer Reports, said:
“The Hemnes 8-drawer dresser has been linked to tip-overs and a child’s death, and there’s no excuse for Ikea’s failure to recall it. Ikea should immediately stop selling the dresser, contact existing owners, and offer them a refund in exchange for getting the dresser out of their homes. If Ikea won’t take this action on its own, the government should intervene.
“Consumer Reports’ investigation also makes clear that the industry’s current voluntary safety standard is too weak to protect children up to and including age five, as intended. Ikea states that the 8-drawer Hemnes dresser passes the voluntary standard’s stability tests, and yet it is linked to tip-over incidents, including Conner DeLong’s death. We urge furniture makers and the Consumer Product Safety Commission to implement a far stronger stability test.
“Separate and apart from Ikea, there are dressers on the market that don’t stay upright when put through basic testing—it’s an open secret that the furniture industry regularly acknowledges. CPSC leaders know that unstable dressers can lead to deadly tip-over incidents, especially when young children are involved, and yet there was not a single recall in 2018. That’s a disgrace. If the Commission doesn’t challenge manufacturers and help get these products off the market, then it’s abdicating its responsibilities, with children’s lives on the line.”
In 2018 CR published the investigative story “Furniture Tip-Overs: A Hidden Hazard in Your Home,” which found that the industry’s voluntary standard for tip-overs is inadequate. CR has long advocated for a stronger, mandatory standard for furniture in order to help avoid tip-over injuries and deaths, and it has urged industry to improve its voluntary standard.
CR encourages consumers to secure dressers to walls to help prevent tip-overs—including through our advice in an article and video that helps consumers know how to anchor furniture—but recognizes that it is not always an option for rental tenants or those who are not handy with tools. CR says that the furniture industry has a responsibility to build safer, more stable dressers, and that safety should not rely on a person’s skill at anchoring a dresser to a wall.
Contact: David Butler, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-462-6262
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