The U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission today took further action to protect consumers from tip-over-related deaths and injuries associated with dressers, armoires, wardrobes, and other clothing storage units. Implementing recently passed legislation, the Commission voted to adopt the ASTM F2057-23 voluntary standard as a CPSC mandatory safety standard to protect young children from injury and death from furniture tip-over incidents.
STURDY, which stands for Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth, was signed into law in December 2022. CPSC examined and assessed the ASTM F2057-23 voluntary standard’s effectiveness as required by the law and determined that the standard meets STURDY’s requirements. CPSC had previously approved a mandatory safety standard to address the risk of clothing storage unit tip-overs, which was to take effect May 24, 2023, but will now be replaced by the new mandatory standard.
As required by STURDY, the voluntary standard had to meet the following performance requirements to become a mandatory standard for protecting children up to 72 months old:
tests for stability when the unit is placed on carpeting,
tests for stability with loaded drawers and with multiple drawers open, and
tests that simulate the weight of children up to 60 pounds interacting with the unit.
In a statement reacting to today’s vote, CPSC Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric said in part;
“As Congress directed, we moved quickly to analyze the ASTM standard, make a determination, and issue a final rule that will require manufacturers to make safer clothing storage units starting 120 days after publication in the Federal Register. With the implementation of the new mandatory standard, I expect industry to shift their efforts to quickly complying with these new safety requirements. The CPSC will be actively monitoring the marketplace and enforcing this important safety standard. The step we’ve taken today could not have been done without years of work by advocates and Commission staff. CPSC’s new rule backed by STURDY will significantly reduce tip-over-related deaths and injuries and provides peace of mind to families across the country.”
CPSC staff is aware of 234 fatalities resulting from clothing storage unit tip overs from January 2000 through April 2022, including 199 child fatalities. CPSC estimates that there were 84,100 tip-over-related injuries (an estimated annual average of 5,300 injuries) with clothing storage units that were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments from 2006 through 2021.
CPSC recommends that consumers anchor furniture, including dressers, securely to the wall. CPSC provides more information on anchoring furniture and televisions at Anchor It.
The Commission vote was 3 to 1.