WASHINGTON – Starting Sept. 1, furniture manufacturers and retailers must comply with new furniture safety requirements. Clothing storage furniture, such as dressers, must meet stability standards to avoid injury and deaths from furniture tip-overs and include kits to anchor the furniture.
The new mandatory requirements are a result of the bipartisan Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (STURDY) Act, which Congress passed in December 2022. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will enforce the STURDY Act, and CPSC adopted the ASTM F2057-23 standard as a mandatory requirement that will now go into effect on September 1.
The STURDY Act came after many years of advocacy from parent-advocates and consumer groups for safer laws. At least 234 people have been killed by furniture tip-overs from 2000 to April 2022. At least three children died from furniture tip-overs this year.
Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and Kids In Danger (KID) warn consumers, however, that the mandatory requirements only impact clothing storage furniture made after September 1, 2023. Retailers can still sell clothing storage units made before September 1, even though this furniture may not meet the lifesaving safety guidelines the CPSC adopted. Further, the rule only addresses clothing storage units, such as dressers, but does not impact other unstable furniture or televisions.
Child safety advocates shared the following comments regarding the new furniture stability rules.
“Manufacturers and retailers must do the right thing now and only sell clothing storage units that meet these critical safety standards. Business profits are not more important than children’s lives. Children should not endure the fatal consequences of further delay,” said Courtney Griffin, Director of Consumer Product Safety at CFA.
“The dangers of unstable furniture have been apparent for years,” added Nancy Cowles, Executive Director of KID. “Unstable furniture sold during this transition stage will lurk in homes for decades, likely leading to deaths and injuries. All furniture sold now should meet the tough new standard.”
“Thanks to the collaborative efforts that led to the STURDY Act becoming law, starting today, manufacturers will finally be required to make dressers and other clothing storage furniture that must pass strong safety and stability testsand come with a furniture anchor,” said Kimberly Amato, Vice Chair of Parents Against Tip-Overs (PAT). “We strongly encourage parents to anchor all furniture with drawers, doors, and shelves to the wall as a secondary safety measure and for added protection from tip-over.”
CFA and KID also urge consumers and caregivers to mitigate the risk of furniture tip-overs with the following tips:
- When purchasing new clothing storage furniture, ask if the product complies with the new safety requirements (ASTM F2057-23) under the STURDY Act.
- Anchor It! CFA and KID encourage caregivers to anchor all furniture to the wall, including furniture that is already in homes. The new standard requires new clothing storage furniture to include anchoring kits, and consumers should use the kits to prevent tragedy.
- For more information about the importance of, and how to use anchoring kits, visit www.anchorit.gov.
- Report any furniture tip-over incidents to the CPSC at SaferProducts.gov.