IKEA begins massive safety campaign after two toddler deaths

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 Photo: Bohdan Warchomij

Ikea has begun a safety campaign regarding 27 million of its chests and dressers after two toddlers were killed when pieces from their Malm furniture line tipped over.

Unless anchored to the wall, the dressers are at risk of tipping over.

In a statement, Ikea and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) advised all consumers to "stop using Ikea children's chests and dressers taller than 23 ½ inches (59.7 centimetres) and adult chests and dressers taller than 29 ½ inches (75 centimetres)", until they are secured to a wall.

IKEA's Malm drawers.
IKEA's Malm drawers. Photo: IKEA.com

Although considered a recall, the Swedish furniture giant isn't asking the products to be returned. They are instead offering a free wall mount kit for customers to secure draws and dressers to walls. 

In February 2014, Ikea was informed about a two-year-old boy from Pennsylvania who died after a Malm six-drawer chest tipped over.

In the same year, a 23-month-old child from Washington died after a three-drawer Malm chest tipped over, trapping the child underneath.

Before announcing the hazard, CPSC director Scott Wolfson told the Huffington Post the commission first investigated the claims, then worked with Ikea to ensure the repair kits would secure the furniture.

Wolfson said it is urgent the kits be ordered to secure the furniture.

"This cannot be on a to-do list," said Wolfson. "This has to be done now."

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US commercial manager Patty Lobell said in a statement Ikea is "deeply saddened" by the deaths.

Ikea received reports of 14 other incidents of Malm chests tipping over, "resulting in four injuries".

"About 7 million MALM chests and 20 million other IKEA chests and dressers are part of the repair program," the statement says.

Curren Collas was killed when a Malm dresser pinned him to his bed.
Curren Collas was killed when a Malm dresser pinned him to his bed. 

"Since 1989, IKEA is aware of three additional reports of deaths from tip-overs involving other models of IKEA chests and dressers."

In Australia, the Malm range is sold with the wall mount included.

A spokesperson today emphasised that it isn't technically a recall, telling Fairfax that it is a "safety awareness campaign in order to prevent tip-over accidents."

"Product safety is the highest priority for IKEA and IKEA chests and dressers are safe when attached to the wall, as directed in the assembly instructions. IKEA provides tip over restraints and instructions for wall anchoring with all chests and dressers," the statement read.

"For customers who have misplaced the tip over restraints included with their chest and dressers, IKEA offers additional free wall anchoring kits. "

To receive a free wall anchoring kit, visit an IKEA retail store or go to IKEA-USA.com/saferhomestogether.