One might think that only high, narrow furniture can tip over – not a low, deep chest of drawers filled with heavy things. But, if several drawers are open, the centre of gravity shifts and the chest of drawers tips over. Unfortunately, both children and adults can be seriously injured, even fatally, if they end up under the weight of a falling chest of drawers.
Remember the laws of physics?
When developing our furniture, we do everything we can to make them as safe as possible. That includes the choice of materials and the construction of the furniture. But, we haven’t yet figured out how to outsmart the laws of nature, like the fact that a pulled out drawer works like a lever.
Perhaps you remember the principle of leverage from the physics lessons in school? If not, it can be described like this: even a small weight can shift the centre of gravity considerably if the weight is applied to a pulled out drawer (or an open door). It means that a small child that stands, sits or climbs on an open drawer can cause a large chest of drawers to tip over if it’s not secured – despite the child’s low weight.
Children and tipping chests of drawers
Children are curious and creative. That’s how they learn new things and discover the world around them. But, it also contributes to children 1-7 years old being more accident-prone. And the smallest ones, 1-4 years old, are most at risk of serious injuries. That’s why a chest of drawers – no matter model or size – can be a hazard if it isn’t secured to the wall.
There are examples from all over the world where children have pulled out one or several drawers and climbed on them like a ladder, hung on, heaved up on, or climbed into them. But, by securing your chest of drawers to the wall, you can prevent and minimize the risks for the little explorer.
Adults and tipping chests of drawers
Not only children who accidentally tip over chests of drawers and risk injuries. Adults sometimes open several drawers at the same time, especially when in a hurry. Sometimes we put too many or too heavy things in front of the drawers. In these cases, the centre of gravity shifts outside the base of the furniture and they tip over. An uneven floor, a carpet edge or a thick wall-to-wall carpet can also cause instability and tipping accidents.
What causes tip-overs?
Accidents can happen in many ways. All of them are easily prevented by securing the furniture to the wall.
Opening several drawers at the same time, in search of something.
Using the drawers as a ladder to reach an object.
Pulling or hanging in a drawer for fun.
Sitting in a drawer during play.
Opening all the drawers at the same time out of curiosity.
Leaning on a drawer for support or to rise up from the floor.
Secure your chest of drawers, simple and safe
When you buy a chest of drawers from IKEA you should always follow the assembly instructions and secure it with the accompanied fittings. They are easy to mount, and screws and plugs are included. Just fill the holes with putty when you want to move your chest of drawers, or are moving to another home.
The plugs and screws that come with your IKEA product can be used with most solid and hollow walls. For solid wood walls, use the screws without plugs. If needing additional screws and plugs, there are sets available in the IKEA range. If you are not sure what you need, seek professional advice.
Should you need a replacement restraint kit to secure the IKEA furniture in your home, you can call us on +6221 2985 3900 for more details.