The updated STURDY Act, which enjoys popular and extensive support, will help protect children from furniture tip-overs.
The US Senate passed S. 3232 with unanimous consent. This brings the Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (STURDY) Act, with a mandatory furniture stability standard, one step closer to becoming the law. The Act now proceeds to US House of Representatives where it has previously been passed.
Both the House and Senate versions of STURDY Act require the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to adopt a mandatory stability standard to help protect children from furniture tip-overs. Both require the industry to use a test weight of 60 pounds, and both require testing that simulates “real world use.”
The amended version of S. 3232 – STURDY Act – contains one key modification from the original version passed by the House in 2021. The amendment directs the CPSC to adopt ASTM International F2057 – the voluntary furniture stability standard – as the mandatory standard required by STURDY, as long as F2057 is updated to meet all of the performance requirements outlined in STURDY.
The amended version of this home safety bill is the result of the collaborative efforts of several stakeholders from Industry manufacturers and retailers, Parents Against Tip-Overs (PAT), the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA), Consumer safety groups such as Consumer Reports, the Consumer Federation of America, and Kids In Danger.
Since 2000, more than 470 children have died in tip-over tragedies, including a two-year-old boy who was killed in May this year when a dresser tipped over onto him. There are several critical provisions in the STURDY Act that would require Clothing Storage Units (CSU) to “pass objective, repeatable, and measurable tests that simulate real-world use, including accounting for the weight of small children, and any impact on CSU stability that may result from placement on carpeted surfaces, drawers with items in them, multiple open drawers, and dynamic force.” The STURDY Act would change the stability standard for manufacturers of CSU from voluntary to mandatory – requiring companies to ensure their products are tested for safety and stability before being sold.
Product instability that leads to a tip-over incident can be caused or affected by an unstable dresser design such as a small base and heavy top, use on a sloped or unstable surface, such as carpet, not using a restraint device or using a defective tip-over restraint device, heavy objects placed on top of a dresser such as a TV, or multiple dresser drawers opened simultaneously.
SGS adds value from concept to finished product. With a full range of services, including product design analysis, component and product testing, auditing, inspection and retail store checks, we help businesses deliver safe, well-designed, functional and durable products to their customers. We have the furniture industry, regulatory and technical expertise required to ensure compliance against relevant standards and/or a manufacturer’s own specifications. In the end, it’s only trusted because it’s tested. Learn more about SGS’s Furniture Services.
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Sanjeev Gandhi, Ph.D.
SGS Connectivity & Products
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