New furniture tip-over dangers: Smaller but not safer

Every 17 minutes, an unsecured piece of furniture, appliance, or television tips over and injures—or kills—someone in the U.S. Most of the victims are children under 6 years old. In an ongoing Consumer Reports investigation of the stability of dressers, newly released government data show dressers 30 inches tall and under have been linked to deaths. Exclusive new Consumer Reports testing reveals, just because a dresser is smaller doesn’t make it less of a tip-over risk to children in your home.

CR found that just because a piece of furniture is low and seems stable, such as a dresser only three drawers high, it might still pose a deadly tip-over risk to small
children in your home. Records released in June showed that at least 5 fatal tip-overs were linked to dressers that measured 30 inches or lower. As part of its continued analysis, CR conducted 3 tip-over tests on 17 dresser models marketed as measuring 30 inches tall and under - to see if they are prone to tipping over.

Only five of the dressers passed all of CR’s tests, including the 150-dollar IKEA NORDLI -- showing that a stable, affordable dresser at this height is possible.

Companies have the ability to do something about this epidemic. Our findings highlight the need for strong safety standards for all dressers, not just taller ones. Which is why Consumer Reports is pushing for mandatory safety standards for dressers of all sizes and says all furniture should be properly anchored to a wall.

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