During your next trip to Ikea, you may be required to take a new step before you’re allowed to make a purchase.
Home furnishing behemoth Ikea announced it will require shoppers in the U.S. to acknowledge that chest of drawers and other pieces of furniture should be anchored to a wall before customers are allowed to buy them.
Shoppers must also register their name and phone number before the sale can be completed, the company said.
Ikea said the change is an effort to reduce the risk of tip-over incidents.
“The safe use of IKEA products is our top priority, and this new sales requirement reinforces the need for wall attachment to help protect our customers and their homes from tip-over incidents,” Patricia Lobell, market area manager at IKEA Retail U.S., said in a news relase. “IKEA believes that the risk of tip-over incidents is reduced when chests of drawers and other select clothing storage units are properly attached to the wall.”
Ikea said it will post signage throughout stores reminding customers of the sales requirement. It also includes hardware to attach chest of drawers and other furniture to the wall.
Shoppers wanting to purchase a chest of drawers or other select clothing storage furniture units will have to use their phone to access the online acknowledgement and to register their email address, according to the company.
Ikea said it will only use the email address to share safety updates and remind customers about anchoring their furniture to a wall.
Those who buy online will also be required to check the acknowledgement box and provide their contact information before their purchase is complete, the company said.
Ikea made its announcement the same day the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission released its latest report on tip-over incidents, which states that 451 children ages 17 and under were killed in furniture and television tip-over incidents between 2000 and 2019.
From 2017 to 2019, an average 11,100 children annually were taken to emergency rooms to get treatment for tip-over injuries, according to the CPSC.
The agency also found that tip-over incidents are most common among young children.
A staggering 79% of all furniture and television tip-over incidents involved children under age 6, the agency said, and more than 75% of all fatal incidents for children involve a television.
“Tip-over injuries and deaths are among the most tragic we see,” CPSC acting chairman Robert Adler said in a news release. “Parents and caregivers don’t suspect that the bookcase or dresser in their child’s room can be hazardous — it’s a truly hidden hazard. And these tip-overs happen so fast; it’s literally in the blink of an eye, often with a parent close by.”
In Jan. 2020, Ikea agreed to pay $46 million to the family of 2-year-old Jozef Dudek who died in 2017 in Buena Park, California, after a three-drawer Malm dresser from Ikea tipped over on top of him, according to Consumer Reports.
The dresser had been recalled in 2016, the outlet reported.
In addition to the payment, Ikea agreed to expand its efforts to make sure anyone who had a recalled Malm dresser knew to remove it, according to Consumer Reports.
A July 2020 report by Business Insider stated that Ikea dressers have been linked to the deaths of 10 children, including 2-year-old Camden Ellis whose parents found him pinned underneath a Malm dresser in 2014 just before his 3rd birthday. Camden’s parents removed him from life support days later.
Since the 2016 recall, Ikea said 1.54 million chests of drawers “have been addressed through the recall,” Business Insider reported. Nearly 1.1 million Malm dressers were fitted with wall attachment kits and 448,082 were refunded, according to the outlet.
“As a leader in the industry, we share in the responsibility to educate consumers on the dangers of furniture tip-over, and we remain committed to creating safe homes for families,” Ikea told the outlet.