The Scandinavian furniture chain has launched a free wall-anchoring programme and told consumers to stop using unsecured chests over a certain height.
The announcement follows a campaign by Jackie Collas, the mother of one of the children who died, to raise awareness of the risks of falling furniture. Her son Curren was crushed and pinned to a bed after a six-drawer MALM chest toppled onto him in February 2014.
Customer Relations Manager for Ikea UK and Ireland, 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.”
He pointed out that Ikea already caution buyers about the dangers associated with floor-standing units, and provide restraints and instructions with each purchase.
However Ikea have received 14 reports of tip-over incidents, four of which resulted in injuries, as well as three other deaths since 1989.
On the other hand, Ikea products are not the only ones that fall. Since 2000, about half a million furniture-tipping injuries have been identified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, along with 430 deaths. Children are most at risk due to their small size and tendency to tug and play with objects in their surroundings, and the CPSC recommend that unanchored dressers be moved into rooms where young children can’t get at them.