Last week, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted to adopt the ASTM F2057-23 furniture stability standard as mandatory under the requirements of the Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (STURDY) Act which Congress passed in December. This is a major victory for families across the country and will help prevent furniture tip-overs.
In KID’s press statement, Nancy Cowles stated, “For too long, too many children have died from the preventable hazard of unstable furniture, especially dressers. This new mandatory standard, developed through collaboration of all stakeholders and led by the grit and determination of parents who have already lost children, made this happen and we are eager to see the new stable furniture for sale and in our homes.”
In the U.S., on average, six children are sent to the emergency department each day from a furniture tip-over incident, and on average, one child dies every two weeks from a furniture or TV tip-over. Previously, the only safety standard addressing the issue of tip-overs was a voluntary industry standard that was not robust enough to prevent tip-overs. KID has been working with advocates such as Parents Against Tip-overs (PAT) for over a decade to get CPSC and Congress to create a strong mandatory standard to prevent furniture tip-overs, and also through the ASTM process to strengthen the previous voluntary standard. Read PAT’s full statement here.
After collaboration among all stakeholders to strengthen that standard, ASTM International published its updated furniture safety standard in February, and includes objective, repeatable, reproducible, and measurable series of tests that simulate real-world use. The new standard:
- includes testing that simulates the weight of children up to 60 pounds,
- accounts for impacts on clothing storage unit stability that may result from multiple drawers open and placement on carpeted surfaces,
- accounts for impacts on dresser stability that may result from drawers with items in them,
- accounts for impacts on clothing storage unit stability that may result from dynamic force,
- requires testing of all clothing storage units including those 27 inches and above in height, and
- mandates warning and labeling requirements are precise, well placed, and informative.
Although the voluntary standard on which this rule is based was published in February 2023, this new mandatory rule will be effective 120 days after its publication in the Federal Register. This new rule will supersede a previous CPSC rule set to take effect on May 24, 2023. While this advancement is positive for the future safety of children, it applies to dressers and clothing storage furniture sold after the effective date. Unstable TVs and other furniture are not covered by this standard. Unstable furniture remains in many homes. KID strongly urges consumers to anchor their furniture to prevent tip-overs. Learn how to anchor furniture and TVs at the CPSC’s Anchorit.gov site. Any furniture tip-over incidents should be reported to the CPSC at SaferProducts.gov.