Over the last few years, furniture such as dressers and bookshelves have been recalled because they can tip over unless secured to a wall. This can result in a tragic accident, especially if children are in the home. These large, heavy pieces of furniture can crush or suffocate a child if they tip over. Unfortunately, it’s quite common for children to climb on dressers and bookshelves.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a person is injured every 20 minutes or so, and a child is killed every two weeks, from furniture or appliances falling onto them. Since 2000, tipping dressers have killed at least 212 people — mostly kids six and younger.
Homestar North America has recalled approximately 33,300 “Finch” style three-drawer dressers for tip-over concerns. The dressers, which are 28 inches tall, 27.5 inches wide and 16 inches deep, were sold alone and as part of matching bedroom sets. They came in multiple paint colors, and all paint colors are affected by the recall.
No injuries have been reported yet for this particular dresser. However, Consumer Reports confirmed that the dresser does not meet ASTM International’s standards for preventing tip-overs. However, those standards are voluntary.
The CPSC recently announced the recall, explaining that the dressers are unstable unless bolted to the wall. This poses a tip-over risk that could lead to injuries or death among small children.
Consumers should stop using the dressers right away and put them in a room that kids can’t access.
“Homestar North America” and a model number are printed on a label on the back of the recalled dressers. Here are the model numbers affected by the recall:
- EB10873BA (Maple/bank alder)
- EB108738Q (Black)
- EB108738TW (Torino walnut)
- EB108738W (White)
The dressers were sold online for about $90 from retailers including Amazon, Overstock, Walmart and Hayneedle between January 2016 through May of 2019.
The proposed fix is a mounting kit, which may not be enough
Homestar is offering a free tip-over-restraint kit and one-time free installation of that kit. You can reach Homestar at:
Homestar also points out that the dresser was originally sold with an anti-tip strap. However, the company admits that heavy objects should not be placed on the dresser even if the anti-tip strap is being used. Children should be instructed never to climb furniture.
Safety experts at Consumer Reports caution that the free tip-over-restraint kit and installation may not be enough to prevent injuries and deaths. They say the best remedy in recall situations is for the manufacturer to offer a full refund and to recommend that consumers immediately stop using the product and return it.
“This is exactly what happened in our situation. In 2015, Ikea offered anchor kits for millions of their dressers, yet that message didn’t reach countless households, including mine,” says the mother of a toddler who was killed by a tipped-over dresser. “Just months after their repair kit program was issued, my son Ted died when an Ikea Malm dresser fell over onto him. Finally, four months after his death, the company recalled the dressers and offered to pick them up.”
If you have one of these dressers, you should stop using it immediately and put it where your kids can’t get to it. If your child has been injured, contact an experienced product liability attorney.