CPSC to hold informational session on mandatory tip-over standard

Meeting expected to help case goods industry better understand proposed testing methodologies, requirements

ROCKVILLE, Md. — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has planned a meeting for Jan. 30 to discuss proposed testing methods of its new mandatory stability standard for clothing storage units.

The meeting aims to help demonstrate and communicate aspects of the standard with the furniture industry, which has been given a May 24 compliance date for units manufactured on or after that date. As part of its educational process, the CPSC is expected to show a video featuring proposed testing methods.

The goal of the standard is to reduce the number of tip-over incidents involving clothing storage units that have been known to injure and kill children and even adults. Children are the most prone to these accidents as they tend to play on pieces such as chests, dressers and nightstands and often use open drawers to climb on these and other similar units.

The CPSC standard, published in late October, offers guidelines — including testing methodologies — that the industry should follow in order to prevent these units from tipping over. In addition to adding weight to the unit, manufacturers can incorporate an interlock system similar to those used for file cabinets that allow only one drawer to be opened at a time.

Within the industry, the amount of confusion over these proposed methodologies is such that engineers are said to be having trouble interpreting the rule. In addition, the American Home Furnishings Alliance has said that because of the variability in proposed testing methods, “it knows of no test lab that would agree to perform third-party verification of a manufacturer’s test results.”

Industry officials are hoping that the meeting will offer some clarity regarding the testing methodologies. Many also are hoping that CPSC officials will address how the new federal standard will  incorporate aspects of the STURDY (Stop Tip-Overs of Risky Dressers on Youth) Act passed by Congress and signed into law by the president in late 2022.

The CPSC said it also is taking questions to consider during the event, which it is accepting up until Jan. 16. These questions can be sent to Kristen Talcott at ktalcott@cpsc.gov.

The Jan. 30 meeting will take place from 2-3 p.m. at the CPSC’s National Product Testing and Evaluation Center located at 5 Research Place in Rockville, Maryland. To attend in person, individuals must sign up at the following link. Participants can also participate remotely by calling in to the event. For instructions on how to call in, contact Talcott at her email shown above.

ASTM International has also scheduled a meeting of its Subcommittee on Furniture Safety that will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 31 at the same facility to discuss updates to the ASTM F2057 that meet the requirements of STURDY.

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at tom@homenewsnow.com and at 336-508-4616.

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