When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have IKEA

Beware, beware, the wardrobe of doom.

Beware, beware, the wardrobe of doom; its drawers that slide, its weight that crushes.

Yes, it’s official: we’ve become too paranoid if the full power of USG is cracking down to prevent unsupervised toddlers from pulling topheavy dressers down on their own heads.

But there’s a real epidemic of accidents here. Two in the USA since the dressers were introduced here in 2002; three more for a total of five worldwide since 1989. We don’t know the worldwide number of these dressers but the US number is 27 million.

27,000,000,000 to 2.

That’s very roughly 7.4 thousandths of a thousandth of a percent.

Of course, there were nonfatal accidents too: the safety nazis know of a total of 14 tipover accidents, with 10 uninjured toddlers and 4 injured ones — it’s not certain if this includes the 2 US fatalities or not. That’s about 5 to 6 hundred-thousandths of a percent.

Obviously, we need to ban flimsy dressers, since we can’t prevent lazy people from putting everything in the top drawer, so they don’t have to compress their midrange bulk by bending over the lower drawers.

But as a “commonsense dresser safety measure,” we’ll encourage people to bolt them to the wall. We’ll have a comment on that after some more of this jaw-dropping insanity.

IKEA customers are being warned not to use larger wardrobes and drawers unless secured to a wall after the deaths of at least two young children.

The victims, aged two and 23 months, were killed when dressers purchased from the store tipped over on them, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found yesterday.

The dressers just attacked! We are so unwilling to find fault in ourselves that we blame the objects all around us. Stupid world, enforcing Evolution in Action. It’s not fair!

And now the company, based in Sweden, is offering wall fixing kits for 27 million of its items.

Free wall-anchoring kits for its MALM three and four-drawer chests, two styles of six-drawer MALM chests, and for other chests of drawers and dressers, will be made available to concerned customers.

We don’t know these particular units, but one word we’ve never applied to IKEA furniture is “robust.” Another: “durable.” Anchoring the dresser to the wall through its 1.5mm paperboard sheet back is unlikely to prevent your Perfect Little Treasure from upending it on him- or herself.

It was found that the chests and dressers can pose a tipover hazard if not securely anchored to the wall.

Curren Collas, a two-year-old boy from West Chester, Pennsylvania, died in February 2014 when a six-drawer MALM chest fell on him and pinned him to a bed.

This is tragic, but where was the adult watching this kid? You can’t bolt down and kid-proof the universe. Until kids have enough brains to keep themselves alive (seems to happen about Age 40, in the case of boys) somebody needs to have eyes on.

Later that year a 23-month-old child from Snohomish, Washington, was killed in June when a three-drawer MALM chest tipped over and trapped him.

“Trapped” and “Pinned” don’t sound like instant death. They sound pretty horrible — asphyxiation while no adult was any wiser. And how does a dresser fall over with enough oomph to trap an active boy without someone coming to check out the sound.

Think about it. You ever here your kid get “too quiet,” then a WHARANG!, then more “too quiet”?  Did you go check the kid, or get a tighter grip on the MalloMars and the cable remote?

The company and the consumer panel had heard from 14 reports of tipover accidents involving MALM chests, resulting in four injuries.

The MALM products began being sold in 2002, and the chests and drawers are available from £49 to £100.

Following the hearing, IKEA spokeswoman Mona Liss said the company will “continue to collaborate with the CPSC to find solutions for more stable furniture.”

Like the good old fashioned, make the dresser heavier than the stuff folks put in it? Don’t see that as a direction IKEA could or would go in. How about the old standby: put your heavy stuff in the bottom drawer? It’s not rocket surgery, people.

IKEA also knows of three other reports of deaths since 1989 from tipovers involving other models of IKEA chests and dressers, a statement from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

On a Facebook page dedicated to her son, Curren’s mother wrote: “A huge breath of relief for me this morning […] knowing that this information is getting out there.

“Thank you so much, CPSC! So many precious little lives are being saved.”

If you need a government agency to save your toddler, Christ help us when he grows up to full adult dependency.

“Today is a positive step, and I commend Ikea for taking that step. But they need to do more and to make more stable furniture and they need to help lead industry,” said CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye.

Please tell us how a furniture vendor that plays in the affordable carry-it-home-and-DIY market can make “more stable furniture”? What’s Elliot know about stability, production, or even the laws of physics? (We’ll wager the beer money he’s a lawyer/lobbyist/leech, not anyone who have ever produced a product or made a payroll in his parasitic life… hey what do you know, bingo, lawyer/lobbyist/leech, he’s never held a job in the productive economy).

About seven million MALM chests and 20 million other IKEA chests and dressers are involved in the program which will see additional components issued to customers to secure the products.

via IKEA safety alert for 27 million chests and dressers that pose tip-over hazard after two children die – Mirror Online.

20 thoughts on “When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have IKEA

  1. Tim, '80s Mech Guy

    Last of that shit I brought home came with the wall anchor kit. Most of that stuff is front heavy due to the aforementioned paper back. The drawers are necessarily heavy particleboard and when you pull them all out to make it easier to climb…hotdogs are not recommended for kids under twelve or some such, choking hazard don’t ya know…

    Thwarting Darwin is Unnatural Selection and will achieve appropriate results.

  2. KenW

    “You ever here your kid get “too quiet,” then a WHARANG!, then more “too quiet”? ”

    No kids here, and our cats are always “too quiet” (can’t plot the inevitable doom of The Authorities without being all stealth). Still go to investigate every WHARANG! that the cats cause. I think they’re just testing our response. Sooner or later the QRF is going to get hit.

    That being said, I have a deep seated, abiding hatred for IKEA. Inevitably, I’m short one of those little locking dealies or something’s just a bit too big for the hole it’s supposed to go into, or there’s a hole that isn’t drilled… or the stupid lamp uses bulbs that you can only buy through IKEA.

    How to make more stable furniture? More mass on the bottom of the furniture, move the center of gravity down. Not sure how that prevents 100% the thing from tipping over if a kid goes climbing on it. Maybe make it like a giant weeble-wobble. That’ll work.

  3. Scipio Americanus

    I feel qualified to comment, as someone whose home is primarily furnished via IKEA (you know what they say, never buy furniture you care about until your kids are 5+). In fact we just bought the above-pictured MALM dresser a few weeks ago, though mine is black. I also grew up around my parents’ heirloom furniture: volkswagen-weight walnut chests, treetrunk-leg dining-room tables, and filing cabinets capable of deflecting 75 mm APC-T.

    On the whole, I’ve got to say IKEA is getting better with time. The first stuff we bought from them 4 years ago was flimsy, but MALM is actually fairly beefy, at least as cam-lock construction and particle-board goes. It’s also fairly deep, so to pull it over it’d have to be badly top-loaded or the kid would have to do some not-insignificant pulling.

    Sent my wife this story and her response was “if it falls over and kills anything, it probably deserved it…”

  4. Bryan Willman

    I will say this for the “be safe” side – I spent 5 weeks helping kid and her husband chase the twin 3 year olds (I was recovering from knee surgery so of limited help) – it’s not actually possible to keep eyes on both of them 100% of the time, even when you outnumber them. They teleport into places they shouldn’t be, or injure themselves falling on the floor due to running while you are using a strong voice to get them to stop running.
    But yes, EVERY Loud Noise is investigated with dispatch. Not-so-loud noises too.

    And there was the case in the news sometime in the last two years of the “male” who was so busy watching TV and drinking that when a loud noise occured because TWO children had pulled a dresser onto themselves he couldn’t be bothered to go check. They died. He went to prison.

    Oh, and of late around here (pacific NW) there are three kinds of furniture. IKEA (and worse.) Stuff made no better but costing 25x as much. And very first rate custom made that costs 100x to 1000x as much and has a one year wait time.

  5. Red

    As mentioned, it’s getting better with time. Although when I lived in Europe, we went almost exclusively with IKEA, and it’s much more of a full, traditional furniture store, the products were a lot sturdier feeling, and less sawed out of plywood.

  6. ernie

    Gravity, not just a good idea, It’s the LAW!
    I remember in the past there was great gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair over soda machines falling and crushing academic underachievers that tried rocking them to obtain free product.

  7. Tim Canty

    Tort lawyers gotta tort and thereby increase manufacturer’s insurance costs and thereby send the whole process overseas.

  8. Phil B

    “If you need a government agency to save your toddler, Christ help us when he grows up to full adult dependency.”

    That’s not a bug, that’s a feature and quite intentionally done to turn out sheeple who will depend on the State for everything…

  9. Scooby

    Gee, when my boys got old enough to move around on their own, I went to Home Depot and bought wall anchors for their bedroom furniture (big solid wood, but still could tip if a 30+ lb boy hangs off of a half-pulled-out drawer.

    I guess I’m an idiot for spending $10 of my own money buying wall anchors instead of having the government force the manufacturer of the furniture provide them to me 50+ years after initially selling the dresser, desk and hutch to my late father-in-law’s late parents.

  10. Torres

    Furniture can be dangerous, especially with inattentive parental units that don’t keep an eye on their kids. Though still capable of causing injury, one of the positive things about flat-screen and LCD television sets are that the old cathode ray tube televisions aren’t sold anymore. A lot of toddlers were hurt or killed by pulling those monsters onto themselves.

    I have an old 36″ Sony high def CRT set that takes two strong men to lift onto a damn stand. It still works but it’s too damn heavy to move and would hurt an adult just as easy…

    1. Hognose Post author

      I had one of those, the last of the humongous Trinitrons. Not only great picture, but great sound. However, it weighed 250 lbs. My repairman said it finally reached the point where he could not fix it any more… it needed a motherboard, worth more not only than the value of such a TV but the value of a much larger flat-screen replacement.

      He also said, “Buy Samsung… Sony didn’t hold the line on quality.”

      1. Torres

        So true. I had the Sony CRT Television repaired at least once and it was a real ordeal. Since then, Samsung has been my choice and have had no issues. The prices have also fallen to the point where it’s easier to just replace them rather than repair an out of warranty television.

        I think the extended warrantys are for suckers on what have become a commodity item…

  11. Mr. AR10

    “Think about it. You ever here your kid get “too quiet,” then a WHARANG!, then more “too quiet”?”

    My favorite back when the young-un was more younger;

    “too quiet,”

    me; “What’s going on up there?”

    Young-un: “noooooo thing”

    me: /heading upstairs

  12. John Distai

    I have a scanner that I listen to on occasion. One of the most disturbing scanner calls I’ve ever heard involved a 3 child and a furniture tip over. The paramedic was calling dispatch to explain the incident and to ask for advice on how to handle the situation. He made a comment about extensive head trauma and visible gray matter. He asked what he could do in this situation…he was desperate for help. He then made a comment to the effect of “I know what the outcome will be. I just need some help in the meantime…”

    You could tell by the paramedic’s voice that he was incredibly shaken up by the situation. Hearing this call was akin to watching one of those deeply moving movies at the theater. The kind where you leave in stunned silence after the credits, and don’t speak a word the rest of the night.

    I’m surprised that IKEA didn’t make this bracket standard equipment, like every other furniture manufacturer has probably done for decades.

  13. Fury

    I’ll admit it, I’m a hick rube, as I did not even know what the hell IKEA was until two years ago.

  14. Steve

    I freely admit to being innumerate (and am too lazy to check the spelling), but don’t you have about three extra zeros laying around in this post?

  15. Docduracoat

    I love weapons man and read it every day.
    As a medical doctor and model rocket enthusiast, I have been in brain surgery and studied rocket science.
    I have never been involved in rocket surgery.

    1. "Greg"

      Rocket surgery is VERY closely related to Brain Science… if you are any good at Rocket Science or Brain Surgery, Rocket Surgery or Brain Science are easily within mental grasping…

  16. Eric

    My first supervisor on active duty was an energetic gal who was famous in our unit because she came blazing into our second floor office looking for some document one day. She went to the four-drawer gray government safe and yanked open the third drawer full of files, and when she didn’t find the document, yanked open the second drawer full of files, and it wasn’t there, and then she started pulling out the first (top) drawer full of files… and that’s when the physics of leverage and center of gravity took over. She managed to get out of the way but when it hit the floor it seriously startled everyone in the room below.

    This little example was added to our in-processing safety briefings, thus perpetuating her infamy. :)

  17. Aesop

    In a more rational age, IKEA would be awarded a small stipend and a commendation for helping to weed out the useless eaters from the shallow end of the gene pool, before they become a greater burden on society.

    No word on prosecuting the parents of the toddling little deceased victims for negligence, nor for breeding without sufficient intelligence for the undertaking, I note.

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