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Two companies recalled dressers, chests of drawers, and cabinets this January because the products pose a serious tip-over risk that could result in death or injuries to children.
One company, CB2, recalled about 11,000 Junction Tall Chests and Junction Low Dressers because there have been 10 reported tip-over incidents linked to the items, five tied to its Tall Chest and five to its Low Dresser, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The other company, Noble House Home Furnishings, recalled 480 dressers, chests, and cabinets because they do not comply with the industry’s voluntary stability standard and may be unstable if not anchored to the wall, according to a CPSC announcement. No incidents have been reported related to these dressers.
No reported injuries have resulted from any of the CB2 tip-over incidents or the Noble House Home Furnishings products, but consumers should immediately stop using the recalled items and move them to a place that children can’t access. This is particularly urgent now while many Americans are home more than usual because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Consumers can then contact the companies for instructions on how to return the furniture and receive full store credit or a full refund (details below).
The recalls come after a string of other dressers were recalled this past year because they also posed a tip-over risk. But the hazard is an ongoing problem, according to the latest annual report released last week from the CPSC.
The agency’s research reveals that between 2000 and 2019, 451 children were killed when a piece of furniture or a television fell on them. And from 2017 through 2019, an average of 11,300 children per year were treated in hospital emergency rooms for tip-over-related injuries.
To address the problem, safety groups, including the advocacy division of Consumer Reports, are working in the coming months to advance legislation called the Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (STURDY) Act. The act—which passed in the House of Representatives in September 2019 but did not get through the U.S. Senate before the end of last session—would require the CPSC to create a new rule that includes more stringent stability requirements and is mandatory, as opposed to the voluntary stability standard.
Anchoring Is Not Enough
Meanwhile, to prevent tip-overs now, the CPSC encourages consumers to anchor their furniture to the wall with anti-tip restraints, which are also called furniture anchors or wall attachments.
Furniture manufacturer Ikea also promotes anchoring furniture, and the company just announced a new sales protocol that requires customers—both in U.S. stores and online—to acknowledge the risk that certain furniture could tip over when wall anchors are not in use. Potential buyers must register their name and email address at checkout to confirm that they are aware of the need for furniture anchors.
An Ikea spokesperson said “this effort strengthens the company’s goal to make anchoring furniture an integral part of a safer home.”
But others disagree with the company’s decision.
“This action by Ikea has nothing to do with safe dresser design,” says Daniel Mann, a partner at Philadelphia’s Feldman Shepherd law firm, which has represented several families whose children were killed when an Ikea dresser tipped over onto them. “Ikea is looking to gain an unfair litigation advantage if one of their unstable dressers tips over and causes harm to a child.”
What’s more, anchoring is not a fail-safe fix, safety advocates say. Many consumers don’t have the right tools or skills to properly locate studs in the wall to secure their furniture to it, and renters are often prohibited from making holes in the walls, which may prevent them from using anchors. And even when anchors are installed correctly, they can fail, as evidenced by the Oka family’s 2020 tip-over experience, caught on video.
“Promoting anchoring is important, but it’s wrong for Ikea to shift added responsibility onto customers for the safety of its products,” says Gabe Knight, policy analyst at CR. “Companies have an obligation to produce chests and dressers that resist tipping over onto a child, regardless of whether or not the furniture is attached to the wall.”
Products recalled: From CB2, the Junction Tall Chests with SKUs 454-559 and 503-925, and the Junction Low Dressers with SKUs 454-060 and 503-904. The Tall Chest measures 28 inches wide by 46 inches tall. The Low Dresser measures 56 inches wide by 26 inches tall. (CB2 will be able to match the SKU number to the purchase order numbers, which are on the back of the products.)
From Noble House Home Furnishings, there are four products:
• The Luna Acacia Wood Four Drawer Chest, also called the Glendora Brown Mahogany Wood Four Drawer Storage Dresser. The product is identified as HM #55429.00MAH. And the UPC numbers, which were printed on the outer carton, are 843675139572, 849114914472, 637162150023, 840006732310, 537162699089, 637162818602, 637162323526, and 637162678329.
• The Paulus Mid-Century Modern Cabinet with Two Shelves and One Drawer, also called the Gladys Mid-Century Modern Cabinet with Two Shelves and One Drawer. The product is identified as HM #66755.00, and is white with beech wood legs. The UPC numbers, which were printed on the outer carton, are 194798001841, 194776004307, 194884044770, and 194188052972.
• The Pavona Mid-Century Modern Cabinet with Two Shelves and Two Drawers. The product is identified as HM #66756.00, and is white with beech wood legs. The UPC numbers, which were printed on the outer carton, are 194798001848, 194776005314, 194884004787, and 194188053023.
• The Penrod Mid-Century Modern Cabinet with Two Shelves and Two Drawers, also called the Mavis Mid-Century Modern Cabinet with 2 Shelves and 2 Drawers. The product is identified as HM #66760.00WALNWHT and comes in walnut and white. The UPC numbers for this product, which were printed on the outer carton, are 194798001896, 194776004352, 194884004824, and 194188049736.
Sold at: CB2 stores nationwide and online from December 2012 through July 2019 for between $700 and $850.
For Noble House Home Furnishings, the products were sold online at Amazon, Wayfair, eBay, Hayneedle, Home Depot, Houzz, Target, Overstock, Walmart, Laurel & Pine, GDF Studio, and Noble House Furniture.
HM #55429.00MAH was sold from March 2015 through April 2020 for between $127 and $250.
HM #66755.00 was sold from January 2020 through July 2020 for between $50 and $88.
HM #66756.00 was sold from April 2020 through June 2020 for between $58 and $98.
HM #66760.00WALNWHT was sold from February 2020 through June 2020 for between $56 and $111.
The problem: All the products pose a serious tip-over risk that could lead to injury or death. The CB2 products are also linked with 10 reported tip-over incidents.
The fix: Stop using the products immediately if they are not anchored to the wall and move them to an area that children cannot access. Then call the companies for instructions on how to receive full store credit or a full refund.
How to contact the manufacturer: Contact CB2 by phone at 800-451-8217 or through the company website. Contact Noble House Home Furnishings by phone at 888-600-6376, by email at [email protected], or through the company website.
To report a dangerous product or product-related injury, go to SaferProducts.gov.