June 28, 2016

Every two weeks a child in the U.S. is killed in a tip-over related incident involving furniture or TVs.  Think about that.  Every two weeks.  And in that time hundreds more are injured, often seriously.  These are tragic numbers.  They include a 2-year-old boy from Pennsylvania, a 23-month old-boy from Washington, a 22-month-old boy from Minnesota, and three other children who lost their lives after an IKEA chest or dresser tipped over and on to them.

To protect young children in millions of American homes, CPSC and IKEA are announcing today a joint recall of 29 million of these IKEA chests and dressers.

If you have or think you have one of these products, act immediately.  It is simply too dangerous to have the recalled furniture in your home unanchored, especially if you have young children.  We have worked with IKEA to make this recall as simple as possible.  There are two options: (1) take the chest or dresser back to any IKEA store for up to a full refund or store credit, depending on the age of the product; or (2) call IKEA for a free anchoring kit and anchor it yourself.  If you are unable or unwilling to take your chest or dresser to a store, call IKEA and ask them to come remove the product to obtain your refund or store credit—they will do this for free as part of the agreement with CPSC.  In addition, if you would prefer to keep your chest or dresser and are unable or unwilling to anchor it yourself, you can call IKEA and arrange for a free in-home installation of the anchor.  Do it now and you may save the life of a child.  If you have an IKEA chest or dresser, please respond to the recall immediately.

IKEA has worked cooperatively with the CPSC on this comprehensive and necessary recall.  The company made an important commitment to us and the American public to sell in the U.S. only dressers that comply with the most up-to-date performance standards for furniture stability.  I fully expect all furniture companies to do the same.  Those failing to do so should pay close attention to the details of this recall, as they should expect to be hearing from us.  CPSC will seek recalls of other brands that pose an unreasonable tip-over risk to innocent children.

Today’s announcement is not the end of our work on this hazard, nor should it be for the furniture industry.  In fact, one of CPSC’s top engineers was in Sweden a few days ago to meet with the engineers at IKEA’s headquarters to discuss new and innovative ways to protect children from furniture tipping over.  IKEA has several promising ideas to prevent injuries.  I commend them for their willingness to work on creative solutions and believe in the ingenuity of the entire furniture industry.

Additionally, there are many families across the country that have turned tragedy into advocacy and made it their life’s mission to prevent another child being killed or injured from a tip-over incident.  Individuals such as Lisa Siefert of Shane’s Foundation, whose son Shane was killed by unstable furniture in his bedroom, are educating the public about the hazard of furniture tip-over and working tirelessly to improve furniture stability standards.  We share their sense of urgency.

Consumers, especially parents with young children, need stable furniture in their homes. I have seen first-hand that innovative furniture designs with enhanced stability are functional, attractive, and possible.  Now is the time to embrace new, more stable designs and make these tragic tip-over fatalities a thing of the past.  I am calling on the furniture industry to accelerate bringing safer designs to market.  I know we can have a thriving furniture industry and safer children at the same time.