Bel Furniture Recalls Barrington 5-Drawer Chests After a Tip-Over Injury

The products don't meet the industry’s voluntary stability standard

Dresser
Barrington 5-Drawer Chests from Bel Furniture have been recalled because of a tip-over risk.
Source: CPSC

Bel Furniture recalled about 90 Barrington 5-Drawer Chests this week because they pose a tip-over and entrapment risk and have been linked to a tip-over incident that resulted in an injury to a child. That’s according to an announcement from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the government agency that oversees thousands of home goods.

According to the CPSC, the dressers, available exclusively at Bel Furniture, don’t comply with the voluntary stability standard set by the industry, which states that a dresser should stay upright when a 50-pound weight is hung on a single open drawer while the others are closed.

The recalled dressers are brown, have silver drawer knobs, and were sold from October 2014 through July 2016 for about $250 each.

The CPSC recommends that consumers immediately stop using the dressers and put them in a place that children can’t access until the dresser can be returned to Bel Furniture for a full refund (with free pickup). The company is also offering the free installment of an anti-tip restraint (or wall anchor). But safety experts at Consumer Reports say this solution isn’t adequate because it doesn’t ensure that the restraint will be used if the dresser is moved to another location.

For additional recall details, see below.

More on Product Safety

This dresser recall follows several similar furniture recalls over the past two years after stability testing done by Consumer Reports and the CPSC. CR’s evaluations found that many dressers on the market didn’t pass our basic stability tests, and CPSC testing found that many products didn’t comply with the industry’s voluntary stability standard, which is meant to prevent dangerous tip-over incidents. CR hasn’t tested Bel Furniture dressers, including the model recalled this week.

Every 60 minutes, on average, a child is sent to an emergency room following a furniture tip-over incident, and there were at least 218 reported child fatalities involving a chest, bureau, or dresser between 2000 and 2019, according to the CPSC.

To address the danger, federal legislation called the Stop Tip-Overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (STURDY) Act was recently passed in the House with bipartisan support and is awaiting a vote in the Senate. The bill, which is backed by CR and other consumer safety advocates, would require the CPSC to create a new mandatory rule that includes more stringent stability requirements for dressers, as opposed to the voluntary stability standard that exists.

“The current voluntary standard is too weak to protect children from the very real risk of injury and death that can result from tip-overs,” says Gabe Knight, a policy analyst at CR. “The existing standard does not account for much of what happens in the real world—such as when multiple drawers are opened at once or when a child pulls on a drawer or attempts to climb on a dresser—which is why the Senate needs to pass the STURDY Act right away.”

Several furniture sellers already support the law—including Amazon, Room & Board, and Williams-Sonoma, which owns Pottery Barn and West Elm.

Bel Furniture could not immediately be reached for comment.

Recall Details

Products recalled: About 90 Barrington 5-Drawer Chests sold in brown with silver drawer knobs. The product measures 49 inches high, 35 inches wide, and 19 inches deep. The dresser came with a sticker on the back identifying it as the Barrington 5-Drawer Chest from the Mollai Collection.

Sold at: Bel Furniture stores throughout Texas and online at belfurniture.com from October 2014 through July 2016 for about $250.

The problem: The dressers don’t comply with the industry’s voluntary stability standard and pose a serious tip-over danger. Bel Furniture has received one report of a chest tipping over and injuring a child.

The fix: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled dresser and keep children away from it. Then contact Bel Furniture for a full refund. They can return the drawer slides to the company and dispose of the dresser themselves or the company will pick it up for free. Or consumers can receive the free installation of tip-over restraints. Bel Furniture is contacting all known customers who purchased the recalled product.

How to contact the manufacturer: Call Bel Furniture at 832-358-8899, send email to the company at recall@belfurniture.com, or go to its website.

To report a dangerous product or product-related injury, go to SaferProducts.gov.


Rachel Rabkin Peachman

I'm a science journalist turned investigative reporter on CR's Special Projects team. My job is to shed light on issues affecting people's health, safety, and well-being. I've dug deep into problems such as dangerous doctors, deadly children's products, and contamination in our food supply. Got a tip? Follow me on Twitter (@RachelPeachman).