Business

Feds implementing mandatory standards to prevent furniture tip-overs

By August, furniture makers will be required to test furniture for stability and meet certain safety requirements to prevent tip-overs.

Child's dresser with stuffed animal and lamp on top
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The U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission finalized new rules making voluntary standards now mandatory to reduce the risk of furniture tip-overs. The new rules come after Congress passed the STURDY Act. 

STURDY stands for Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth.

The STURDY Act was added to last year's $1.7 trillion spending bill.

The CPSC’s new standards now require the following tests:

- Stability when the unit is placed on carpeting

- Stability with loaded drawers and with multiple drawers open

- Simulate the weight of children up to 60 pounds interacting with the unit

The standards will take effect in 120 days.

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"With the implementation of the new mandatory standard, I expect industry to shift their efforts to quickly complying with these new safety requirements," CPSC Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric said. "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."

The CPSC estimated that tip-overs caused 17,700 injuries requiring a visit to the emergency room in 2021.

Kimberly Amato, vice chair of Parents Against Tip-Overs, partnered with the government to launch the Anchor It campaign, encouraging the public to anchor heavy items to the wall to prevent them from tipping over.

Amato told Scripps News in February that it is her expectation that as the STURDY Act is implemented, the number of tip-over injuries will continue to decline. She said even with new standards, however, parents will need to continue practicing vigilance.

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The bill required the CPSC to revise the safety standards for freestanding clothing storage units such as dressers, bureaus, or chests of drawers. These standards must include specified testing related to tip-overs, according to a bill summary.

"We have been advocating that we need a mandatory safety and stability standard and one that addresses the real reason tip-overs are happening," Amato said. "Kids open more than one drawer, there are things in the drawer, they're climbing, they're reaching, they are stepping on drawers, so we want a test that measures that."