After IKEA dressers tipped over and killed two toddlers last year, including a 2-year-old boy from West Chester, IKEA and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on Wednesday announced a free repair program to make the dresser models with tipping risks safer.
The repair program offers free wall-anchoring kits for IKEA's MALM three- and four-drawer chests, as well as for two styles of MALM six-drawer chests and some of the furniture chain's other chest and dresser models. The chests and dressers are at risk of tipping when not anchored to the wall, according to a news release about the repair program from the CPSC.
Curren Collas, 2, of West Chester, died in February 2014 when a MALM six-drawer chest standing just more than 48 inches high tipped onto him, fatally pinning him against his bed. The CPSC and IKEA also said they received an additional report that four months after Curren's death, in June 2014, a 23-month-old boy in Snohomish, Wash. died after he was trapped beneath a three-drawer, 30-inch-high MALM chest that tipped.
The chests in both incidents were not secured to the walls behind them, the CPSC said.
Since 1989, according to the release, IKEA is also aware of three additional reports of chest or dresser tip-overs that resulted in deaths.
The free repair kids offered by IKEA will include replacement tip-over restraints, wall anchoring hardware, instructions and warning labels to be put on the furniture. They are available to all consumers who own IKEA children's chests and drawers taller than 23.5 inches and adult chests and drawers taller than 29.5 inches.
"CPSC and IKEA are urging customers to inspect their IKEA chests and dressers to ensure that they are securely anchored to the wall," the news release said. "Consumers should move unanchored chests and dressers into storage or other areas where they cannot be accessed by children until the chests and dressers are properly anchored to the wall."
The MALM chests targeted in the repair program were sold beginning in 2002 and are priced between $80 and $200. Customers should visit an IKEA store, log on to www.IKEA-USA.com/saferhomestogether or call 888-966-4532 to obtain anchoring kits.
Tip-overs of furniture and TVs kill a child every other week and injure a child every 24 minutes in the U.S., according to the CPSC, which recommends anchoring any and all heavy furniture or devices at risk of tipping. More information can be found at www.AnchorIt.gov.
On a Facebook page created in memorial of little Curren, a post thanked the CPSC for partnering with IKEA to offer the free kits to make dressers safer.
"A huge breath of relief for me this morning," the post read in part. "So many precious little lives are being saved."