Consumer Reports: Furniture tip-over dangers

Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Chairman Elliot Kaye, left, watches a demonstration of how an Ikea dresser can tip and fall on a child during a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. Ikea is recalling 29 million chests and dressers after six children were killed when the furniture toppled over and fell on them. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The numbers are frightening. Every 17 minutes someone is injured by furniture, a TV or an appliance tipping on them, and about every 10 days a child dies from a tip-over incident. Parents might be surprised to learn that furniture, including dressers, are not required to be tested before they are sold. As exclusive new Consumer Reports testing reveals, there are big differences when it comes to dresser stability.

Consumer Reports bought 24 models from different furniture manufacturers, then evaluated them based on three different tests. Thirteen dressers passed all the tests, while 11 failed at least one test. Dressers from Pottery Barn, Epoch and Sauder, among others, passed CR’s 60-pound test, while models from South Shore and Ameriwood failed a 50-pound test. Both South Shore and Ameriwood say their products meet voluntary safety standards.

So how can you tell if a dresser in your home is secure? You can’t tell if a dresser is going to tip-over just by looking at it. Which is why Consumer Reports is pushing for mandatory safety standards, and says all furniture should be properly anchored to a wall.

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