Apparently, close on thirty Americans are killed by furniture each year. I have no idea whether this figure is true, but it’s an entertaining idea, except for the twenty-something dead Americans, obviously. As far as I can tell, the figure has been quoted to put ‘things’ in perspective, in particular the number of Americans killed by ISIS (or ISIL, or IS – don’t you just hate it when the bad guys can’t even agree what they’re supposed to be called), the number of Americans killed by other Americans with guns, the number of Americans killed by their own children with their own guns, and so on. Furniture seems to be less dangerous than children, but more dangerous than ISIS (or ISIL, etc). An American friend of mine blames IKEA, for importing lethal European furniture into an otherwise safe country. It does make some kind of sense. He doesn’t have children, so he’s unlikely to be killed by them, pushing furniture (European or otherwise) up his own personal danger list.
Britain is famed for its dangerous bathrooms, but it’s also awash with IKEA products, like sticks. I have been unable to find the figures for Brits killed by furniture (or sticks), though almost none are killed by their own children with their own guns. Our gun laws mean that only criminals are allowed to carry guns, so unless you’re a crook, your child is unlikely to use your own gun to do you in.
On the other hand, I do have personal experience of the dangers associated with IKEA products. Not furniture (or sticks), but a candle in a glass jar. The candle didn’t set fire to anything (the usual way in which candles kill people), but as it burnt down, the glass jar exploded, sending slabs of broken glass flying across the table (and scorching the kitchen table). I could have thrown away the other IKEA candle that I own, but I am a scientist at heart, so I’m repeating the experiment. The actual candle went out, and wouldn’t relight, so I’ve replaced it (after all, it was the glass that exploded, not the candle). I’m not expecting to be killed by my candle (or the jar), nor is it strictly speaking furniture. However, I do have a daughter, and it was she who gave me both the IKEA candles, so perhaps it’s just her way of getting around gun control.