According to IKEA, “every 30 minutes tipped furniture or a falling TV sends an injured child to the emergency room.” While tip-over incidents are a safety issue for the entire home furniture industry, over the years IKEA has issued massive recalls in response to safety concerns spurred largely by this problem. You’ll likely remember the recall of over 30 million Malm dressers in 2016, but millions of other products (including high chairs, crib mattresses, and bedroom lights) have been pulled over their ability to cause various injuries to children, as Fast Company reported.
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Earlier this week IKEA launched a “Safer Home” platform, which is comprised of a series of tools “to raise awareness about common home hazards and provide tips to help prevent them.” The main feature is a dedicated app and website that aims to educate parents on “children’s different development stages and offers room-by-room home safety tips tailored to children’s ages.” The online resources will be complemented by in-store workshops “with a specific focus on furniture tip-over.”
IKEA is also partnering with pediatricians to install display screens with safety messages in their offices, where parents and caregivers tend to be “in the mindset of thinking about the safety and well-being of their child.”
In addition to providing safety tips, the site also aims to shed more light on the company’s product development and testing process. “When we develop products for children, we first try to see things the way children do,” the site reads. “When testing our products, we consider both intended and unintended use, to identify and minimize potential safety risks. Each product goes through a long process of testing and is not launched until we are sure that it is safe. And even after our products are launched, we continue to evaluate and test them on a regular basis, and if needed we make improvements.”
In another effort to increase safety in the home, IKEA will be launching the GLESVÄR family of dressers this December in the US, UK, and Germany. The dressers are designed with safety features to decrease furniture tip-over. For example, they feature a function that only allows one drawer to be open at a time unless the unit is attached to the wall.
“At IKEA, we believe that the safest way to prevent tip-over incidents is to attach furniture to the wall, per our assembly instructions,” says Vladimir Brajkovic, Head of Range and Product Engineering. “With the interlock function, we hope to further encourage wall attachment and decrease the risk of furniture tip-over.”
If you’re interested in attending one of IKEA’s safety workshops, they’ll be held in stores nationwide beginning in November of this year and continuing in February and June 2020.