CPSC votes to adopt ASTM dresser standard as mandatory rule to prevent tip-over deaths
Major victory for families across the country to prevent tip-overs.
For immediate release
April 19, 2023
Nancy Cowles, KID; firstname.lastname@example.org; (312) 218-5593
Courtney Griffin, CFA; email@example.com; (202) 567-7240
(Washington, DC) – Kids In Danger (KID) and Consumer Federation of America (CFA) applaud the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)’s vote today 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.
“For too long, too many children have died from the preventable hazard of unstable furniture, especially dressers,” stated Nancy Cowles, Executive Director of Kids In Danger. “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.”
“No family should have to experience the injury or death of a child because of furniture tip-overs. This long overdue mandatory standard addresses preventable, real world risks. It will save lives and protect children from furniture tip-overs,” said Courtney Griffin, Director of Consumer Product Safety at Consumer Federation of America.
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 and CFA have 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.
“Parents Against Tip-overs (PAT) is thrilled with the CPSC’s approval of the much improved stability standard ASTM F2057-23 as the mandatory rule, per the direction of The STURDY Act,” stated Brett Horn, Chairman of PAT. “A strong mandatory standard has been the individual and shared goal of all PAT parents for 20 years. Our kids’ deaths are the ‘data’ justifying the need for change, our parents’ testimonies were the catalyst for the CPSC’s rule, our push for compromise was instrumental in the life saving improvements to the voluntary standard, and our passion for a solution was the driving force behind the passage of the STURDY Act. Our hope is the result will be the protection of children from the horrible accidents which took our children’s lives.” 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 today’s 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 and CFA strongly urge 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.
Kids In Danger (KID) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting children by fighting for product safety. Our mission is to save lives by enhancing transparency and accountability through safer product development, better education, and stronger advocacy for children.
Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nearly 250 non-profit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education.