The CPSC’s new rule will help reduce furniture tip-overs—a family tragedy that has resulted in hundreds of child deaths over the last two decades.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Consumer Reports today praised the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for its approval of a final rule that will establish a mandatory safety standard for clothing storage units (CSUs), such as dressers, in order to prevent deadly tip-overs. The Commission voted 3-1 in favor of the rule.
“This rule will raise the bar on safety for the furniture in our homes, and it will help give parents, caregivers and families the peace of mind they deserve. While this rule cannot bring back the hundreds of children who are gone, it can help prevent the suffering of countless families in the future,” said Gabe Knight, Policy Advocate for Consumer Reports.
Furniture tip-overs are a persistent hidden hazard that have taken a severe toll on families across the country. According to the CPSC, hundreds of children – most of them three years old and younger – have died from CSU tip-overs since 2000, and over 60,000 children have been treated for CSU tip-over injuries in U.S. emergency departments since 2006.
In their draft rule, CPSC staff determined that existing tip-over reduction efforts—including the promotion and use of anti-tip restraints, and safety messaging to the public— have not sufficiently reduced child tip-over deaths and injuries. Agency staff further determined that to adequately reduce the risk of tip-overs, CSUs should be manufactured to be inherently more stable.
Consumer Reports’ multiyear investigation into furniture stability consistently found that it is feasible for manufacturers to design more stable dressers and to do so at all price points. CR’s most recent test results, released in May 2021, reinforced the need for manufacturers to improve the stability of their furniture and for the government to urgently issue a strong, sensible safety standard to prevent tip-over incidents that can injure or kill children.
Under the CPSC’s new safety rule, all CSUs that fall within the determined scope will be required to meet minimum stability requirements, bear labels containing safety and identification information, and display a hang tag that provides performance and technical data about the relative stability of the CSU. The rule will go into effect 180 days after publication in the Federal Register.
CR supports both the CPSC’s final rule and a legislative solution to addressing furniture tip-overs. A bipartisan bill called the STURDY Act, which would likewise establish a strong safety standard for clothing storage furniture, has been endorsed by a broad range of stakeholders including parent advocates and furniture industry representatives. The STURDY Act passed the Senate in September and is pending in the House of Representatives.
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