Two children’s deaths and several injuries caused by furniture that tipped over have prompted Ikea to offer free repair kits for an estimated 27 million chests and dressers.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission warned consumers in an announcement on Wednesday not to use any unsecured Ikea children’s chests and dressers taller than 23.5 inches, and adult chests and dressers taller than 29.5 inches. The repair kits provided by the Swedish retailer would allow consumers to anchor the furniture to a wall.
Ikea is not offering refunds or replacements, although providing the repair kits technically counts as a recall under the safety commission’s guidelines. Customers can request one of two types of repair kits through Ikea’swebsite.
“At Ikea we are committed to helping raise the awareness of this serious home safety issue and to continue to provide consumers with the tools and knowledge they need to prevent these accidents,” said Patty Lobell, Ikea’s United States commercial manager, in a statement provided by a company spokeswoman.
Injuries and deaths from pieces of furniture that tip over are among the top concerns for the safety agency. This summer it started “Anchor It!” — a national public education campaign — to warn against the hazards of unanchored televisions and other large items.
Elliot F. Kaye, the commission’s chairman, said he was also challenging manufacturers to make safer products, pointing out that some consumers, like renters, may not be able to drill into their walls.
“It doesn’t take a lot to change the way that these pieces are constructed to make them much less likely to tip over,” Mr. Kaye said in an interview. “I think industry can do this.”
On average, every two weeks a child dies from unsecured televisions and furniture, according to data from the commission. Two-thirds of the 38,000 Americans who visit emergency rooms each year for injuries related to the tipping over of a piece of furniture are younger than 5 years old. More than 80 percent of the 430 deaths reported to the commission from 2000 to 2013 involved children under 10, the agency has said.
A 2-year-old boy from West Chester, Pa., died in February of last year after an Ikea chest fell over and trapped him against his bed, the agency said. Ikea and the safety commission also received a report that a 23-month-old from Snohomish, Wash., died last summer after becoming trapped underneath a chest.
Neither chest was anchored to the wall, the agency said. Both chests were in Ikea’s Malm line, it said.
The retailer and the agency have also received reports of 14 incidents related to Malm chests that caused four injuries.
The repair kits are available for seven million Malm chests and 20 million other Ikea chests and dressers.