Ikea glass cabinet 'explodes', injuring man and son

PHOTO: Stomp

A family was busy assembling a new cabinet at home when a glass panel shattered out of the blue.

A woman named Alex and her family decided to purchase the DETOLF glass-door cabinet at Ikea's Tampines outlet on Jan 2 after seeing that it was on sale. 

However, the assembly process turned out to be a distressing experience, she told Stomp. The glass panel of the cabinet had 'exploded' and shattered into pieces, leaving the steel frame intact. 

"We didn't even hit the glass and nothing banged on it earlier. Plus, we weren't even done setting up the cabinet. We just placed the first layer of glass at the bottom when the 'explosion' happened." 

Although Alex was unharmed, she said that her husband and her 10-year-son were injured as the glass pieces had landed on her husband's hands and her son's feet.

Alex added that she was initially excited to buy the cabinet. "But now, I'm feeling disappointed because this incident caused injuries and quite an inconvenience to my family."

According to Ikea's website, the cabinet features a steel frame and tempered glass panels and retails for $69.

Ikea apologises and offers refund

In response to the incident, Ikea said it has personally apologised to Alex for the unpleasant experience.

"We were glad to hear that she and her family experienced only minor scratches following the unexpected shattering of her DETOLF cabinet, and we have made a special arrangement in this case to provide a direct refund," said Corinna Schuler, Head of Corporate Communication at Ikea Southeast Asia.

She explained that tempered glass is used in most household products because it generally does not break into uneven shards but instead, shatters into small pieces.

"Tension caused by a strike, a knock or a scratch stays in the glass and a very small impact can make it shatter unexpectedly. This happens rarely but is a well-known industry issue.

"At Ikea, safety has always been a top priority, and all our products are tested rigorously to comply with the highest international standards and local legislation," Schuler said, adding that the incident will be reported to their product developers. 

Other glass cabinets shattering 

PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News

Last June, a woman told Shin Min Daily News that her husband sustained cuts after a glass panel shattered in his hands while he was trying to assemble a glass cabinet from Ikea.

It was of the same model — the DETOLF glass cabinet. 

In another similar incident, a woman named Veron told Stomp her glass cabinet that she bought two years ago suddenly cracked and sent glass bits flying in all directions. 

Her FABRIKOR glass cabinet, like the DETOLF glass cabinet, had tempered glass panels. 

Be sure to take extra precautions when handling glass products, as the material, in general, requires extra care by the consumer. 

annatan@asiaone.com