People who own Cavalier-brand cedar chests should immediately remove the latch or lock on the chest because with them, the chest locks automatically when closed and presents a serious danger to children. Three children have already suffocated to death after becoming locked inside the chests in incidents from 2014 to 2019, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported.
The notice was issued because the CPSC is “extremely concerned” that many thousands of these cedar chests remain in homes across the country and continue to pose a danger to children. The chests were sold by Cavalier Corporation (formerly Tennessee Furniture Company) since the early 1900s. While the company is no longer in business, so the product is not technically under recall, the chests continue to be sold and resold across the country at antique stores, secondhand stores, and by consumers online.
The CPSC is urging consumers to check their homes, basements, attics, and garages for these cedar chests, and to immediately remove the lock from the lid. This will protect children from becoming trapped inside and suffocating. The chests can be identified by the Cavalier company logo and name imprinted inside the lid. However, not all chests have the logo and name imprinted on them, and not all Cavalier chests look like the one pictured. There are several different designs that have the same latch or lock feature.
To be safe, if you have a cedar chest, check to see if the latch or lock engages automatically when the lid is shut. If so, remove it immediately.