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Furniture tip-over danger still high despite recalls, warnings and industry standards

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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 six.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, tip-over accidents send roughly 30,000 people to emergency rooms every year but furniture stability standards are only voluntary and they only apply to dressers, chests of drawers, armories and similar furniture that measures 30 inches high or taller.

That standard might not be strict enough.

Consumer Reports investigated the stability of dressers and found newly-released government data showing dressers 30 inches high and shorter have been linked to deaths. Records released in June showed that at least five fatal tip-overs were linked to dressers that measured 30 inches or lower.

Exclusive new Consumer Reports testing reveals that just because a dresser is low and seems stable, it might still pose a deadly tip-over risk to small children in your home.

As part of its continuing analysis, CR conducted three 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 IKEA NORDLI, which shows 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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