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New US CPSC Standard on Clothing Unit Stability

SafeGuardSHome Furnishings and HousewareDecember 17, 2021

On July 14, 2021, the US CPSC released a briefing which describes a safety standard for clothing storage units. The proposed standard is more stringent than existing methodologies which address similar safety concerns. The US senate bill was introduced on November 18, 2021.

Between 2000 and 2019, 451 children were killed when a piece of furniture or a television fell onto them, according to a US government report. That’s one to two children dying from a tip-over incident every month. 

In response to concerns raised about the hazards posed by unstable storage furniture both the House and Senate of the US Congress have proposed bills – the Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (STURDY) Act – which would require the CPSC to create a mandatory federal rule ensuring furniture stability. The respective bills have been introduced by representative Janice Schalkowsky1 and Senator Bob Casey2 in US House and US Senate, respectively.

The STURDY Act would introduce strict furniture stability standards to prevent deadly tip-overs and protect children. Senator Blumenthal stated: “I am encouraged by the building momentum for this bill and will continue to work tirelessly to ensure it passes Congress so that no more families are forced to grieve the preventable death of their child.” If signed into law, the Act will require the CPSC to promulgate a rule to protect children from tip over related death or injury. 

Required rigorous testing measures will include:

  • Simulation of the weight of children up to 60 pounds
  • Objective, repeatable and measurable tests that simulate real-world use, including products:
    • On carpeted floors
    • With items inside the drawers
    • Multiple open drawers
    • Dynamic force
  • Testing of all storage units, including those 27 inches and above in height

Warning requirements are also included, based on the most up to date safety standards.  

There are significant differences between the CPSC briefing standard and ASTM F2057-19. The latter is the most current industry standard, which is intended to reduce injuries and deaths of children from hazards associated with tip-over of clothing storage units. Key differences are detailed within the table below

CPSC Standard

ASTM F2057-19

Testing will be performed on a 1.5 degree inclined test surface. The purpose of which is to simulate a tilt associated with clothing storage units placed on carpeted surfaces.

Does not consider tilting associated with use on carpeting.

Static loads to be placed within storage compartments will be determined via the functional volume of drawers and other storage compartments.

Does not consider the loading of storage compartments.

Dynamic forces will be applied to extended drawer fronts with pre-loaded drawers. The purpose of which is to simulate the dynamic forces associated with children climbing on units.

Does not consider dynamic forces, instead the standard requires that static loads are applied to extended drawer fronts. 

In place of standard pass/fail criteria, storage units will be assigned a stability rating of 0-5 with 5 being the most stable. A score of 1 is the minimum score permissible to sell within the US market. This stability rating will be reflected on a hangtag.

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The standard has a binary pass/fail output. 

Requires that F2057-19 warning labels be displayed on products.

Requires that F2057-19 warning labels be displayed on products

Does not mention tip restraints.

Requires F3096-14 compliant tip restraints.

Should this rule become final, all clothing storage units that are manufactured or imported into the United States, on or after a pending date, will be subject to its requirements. Products manufactured before the pending date need not comply. Some importers and manufacturers are preemptively testing products to the new standard in preparation for the changing regulatory landscape. As per the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA), its members tested over 1,000 dressers and found none that passed. 

Technical Specialist Allen Moldovan co-lead a tip-over workshop at the AHFA summit in North Carolina. The workshop demonstrated the CPSC’s proposed method and showcased a data entry workbook, co-developed by SGS, which minimizes the number of calculations and measurements needed to perform the methodology. SGS has the facilities and capabilities to evaluate products against this new standard and can guide manufacturers towards a compliant product.

References

1H.R.1314 - STURDY Act
2Text: S.3232 — 117th Congress (2021-2022)

SGS Furniture Services

SGS adds value from the drawing board to the shop floor. With a full range of services, including product design analysis, component and product testing, auditing, inspection and retail store checks, SGS helps businesses deliver well-designed, functional, durable and safe products to their customers. They have the furniture industry, regulatory and technical expertise required to check a product’s compliance against relevant standards and/or a manufacturer’s own specifications. Learn more about SGS’s Furniture Services. 

For inquiries, please contact:

Allen Moldovan 
Technical Specialist - Hardlines
t: +1 973 461 1505 

© SGS Group Management SA - 2021 - All rights reserved - SGS is a registered trademark of SGS Group Management SA. This is a publication of SGS, except for 3rd parties’ contents submitted or licensed for use by SGS. SGS neither endorses nor disapproves said 3rd parties contents. This publication is intended to provide technical information and shall not be considered an exhaustive treatment of any subject treated. It is strictly educational and does not replace any legal requirements or applicable regulations. It is not intended to constitute consulting or professional advice. The information contained herein is provided “as is” and SGS does not warrant that it will be error-free or will meet any particular criteria of performance or quality. Do not quote or refer any information herein without SGS’s prior written consent.

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