Killer furniture

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.


A dangerous experiment

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.

4 thoughts on “Killer furniture

  1. Most of us Americans have no interest in fixing our furniture to the walls so it doesn’t topple over, which is the primary issue with IKEA furniture. Unfortunately the victims of this furniture toppling are most often children, who pull dressers and the like over on themselves. Your daughter’s attempt to kill you with an exploding candle seems like something else altogether. No doubt she knows your experimental proclivities well, and If she is indeed homicidal she is probably counting on the scientist in you to finish the job. Resist, Francis, resist!

    • Haha Paula. I didn’t know that was how furniture killed Americans. Shards of flying glass would probably also work. 🙂

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