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New Consumer Reports dresser stability testing shows some progress, but underscores ongoing danger to children

CR calls on Congress to pass the STURDY Act to get strong, sensible rules in place

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Consumer Reports today released new test results for furniture stability, as part of its ongoing work to help parents and caregivers keep their children safe at home from the risks of tip-over incidents. CR published the findings on the same day as the grand opening of Charlie’s House, a safety demonstration home created in honor of Charlie Horn, who was killed in 2007 at the age of 2 ½ after a dresser fell on him. Charlie would have turned 16 today. 

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, seven children are rushed to the E.R. every day, on average, when a chest, bureau, or dresser falls on them; hundreds of children have died since 2000, and at least three children have died since just February 2021. To reduce this terrible toll and help prevent future tragedies, CR is urging Congress to pass the STURDY Act (S. 441 / H.R. 1314) to direct the Consumer Product Safety Commission to finalize a strong, sensible safety standard in a timely manner. Currently, there are no mandatory rules to ensure that all dressers meet a minimum level of stability.

Gabe Knight, safety policy analyst for Consumer Reports, said, “Current industry standards don’t do enough to help parents keep their children safe. Consumer Reports’ new dresser testing makes it clearer than ever that passage of the STURDY Act is critical to minimize the serious, even lethal, risks to children.”

CR’s new test results of 13 dressers marketed as 30 inches tall or shorter include signs of progress compared to prior testing, with six dressers passing all tests. But the findings also show some short dressers continuing to pose a tip-over hazard. Seven dressers tipped with up to 60 pounds of weights hung on the largest drawer, including one that failed at 50 pounds. 

CR’s latest findings come as furniture industry support for the STURDY Act grows. In March, Ikea applauded lawmakers for reintroducing the bill. More recently, Williams Sonoma – which owns Pottery Barn and West Elm – and the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, a trade group whose members include Delta Children and Kolcraft, told CR they support the bill.

The newest CR dresser testing is made possible by a generous gift from the Dudek family, whose two-year old son, Jozef Dudek, was fatally injured in a dresser tip-over incident in 2017. 

Since 2018, CR has tested 55 dressers in an ongoing investigation of dresser stability. The results, including the newest findings, have shown consistently that it is feasible for manufacturers to design more stable dressers and to do so at all price points. To learn more about CR’s investigation into furniture tip-overs, visit CR.org.