It’s official: New federal furniture stability standard takes effect Sept. 2

New mandatory rule for clothing storage units aims to significantly reduce number of tip-over incidents known to harm children

Editor’s note: Home News Now is rerunning this story due to a corrected effective date of when the new federal furniture stability standard takes effect. The American Home Furnishings Alliance announced the one-day change in date this week.

HIGH POINT — Having received no adverse comments related to a new federal stability standard for clothing storage units, the new mandatory standard will take effect Sept. 2, the American Home Furnishings Alliance announced.

The final rule was published in the Federal Register May 4 and established a June 5 deadline for comments. If there were no significant adverse comments by that deadline, the rule would go into effect on Sept. 2.

The AHFA said that Stephen Lee, small-business ombudsman for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, confirmed the rule’s effective date in an email Friday morning to Bill Perdue, the AHFA’s vice president of regulatory affairs.

As previously reported, the new federal standard is based on ASTM International’s updated voluntary standard F2057-23, which was published in early February. It applies to clothing storage units that have been involved in tip-over incidents known to injure and kill children.

Taking effect Sept. 2, for all units that are made on or after that date, it aims to significantly reduce the number of tip-over incidents through a series of updated stability, testing and labeling requirements.

Officials will review and demonstrate those requirements exclusively for AHFA member companies during the AHFA’s Aug. 9-10 Regulatory Summit.

In April, the CPSC voted 3-1 to accept the new stability standard as it was determined to meet the requirements of the STURDY (Stop Tip-Overs of Risky Dressers on Youth) Act, which was signed into law by President Biden in late December.

The STURDY legislation was the result of many months of successful collaboration and negotiation between the AHFA and industry members, parents and child safety advocates and lawmakers. It was amended in 2022 to require the CPSC to adopt the revised voluntary standard as the new mandatory rule as long as it met the performance requirements of STURDY.

The industry has supported STURDY as it ultimately created a standard in ASTM F2057-23 with repeatable stability test results.

While observers note that it is not easy to meet, they believe it is better for the industry and stakeholders than a stability standard created by the CPSC that would have required a stability rating that observers say was derived from a complex set of performance tests and calculations that produced inconsistent results.

Some also believe that the 1-2 rating system also would have been confusing and potentially concerning to consumers as many companies were not expected to score much higher than a 1 without adding significant weight to the case piece that would have made it extremely difficult to move furniture into people’s homes.

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 and at 336-508-4616.

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