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Consumer Reports praises the reintroduction of the STURDY Act to help prevent deadly furniture tip-overs

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Consumer Reports today applauded the reintroduction of a bill in Congress to help protect children from deadly furniture tip-overs.

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois today reintroduced the Stop Tip-Overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth Act of 2021, known as the STURDY Act.  U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania will reintroduce the Senate version of the bill.

The STURDY Act would require the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to create a mandatory federal rule that would ensure furniture stability.  

Gabe Knight, Policy Advocate for Consumer Reports, said, “We need the STURDY ACT to help save lives and prevent furniture tip-over tragedies.  This bill has widespread support among parents, medical groups, and safety experts. Last year, a bipartisan coalition of policymakers came out in support of the STURDY Act.  Consumer Reports urges Congress to pass this bill right away so the CPSC can put a strong safety standard in place.  Quick action is critical to addressing this deadly hidden hazard.” 

Rep. Schakowsky noted that tipping furniture presents a serious risk of injury and death to children. Furniture or items on top of furniture such as TVs can fall onto a child, causing the child to be crushed, trapped, or struck by falling objects.  New data released by the CPSC showed that between 2000 and 2019, 451 children were killed when a piece of furniture or a television fell onto them. Annually, thousands more are injured. From 2017 through 2019, 11,300 children per year, on average, were treated in hospital emergency rooms for tip-over-related injuries.

Consumer Reports is a strong supporter of the STURDY ACT. Tip-over tragedies are preventable. CR tests of dressers have found that it is possible to make stable, affordable, dressers that don’t risk tipping over. But currently, there is only a voluntary stability standard for dressers, which is not strong enough to protect children from tip-overs.

The House passed the STURDY Act in 2019, but the Senate did not vote on the bill before the congressional session ended in 2020. With a new session of Congress underway, CR is calling on lawmakers to act quickly to pass the bill and send it to the President to sign into law, in order to help prevent more tragedies.

CR is now reaching out to consumers across the country to urge them to contact their Senate and House members and ask them to co-sponsor and pass the STURDY Act.

To learn more about the STURDY ACT,  read today’s news release from Rep. Schakowsky.  You can also read today’s Consumer Reports story and this CR Twitter thread.

Contact: David Butler, david.butler@consumer.org