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From Home Furnishing Business

CPSC Votes 3-1 to Adopt ASTM International’s Stability Standard

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted 3-1 today to adopt ASTM International’s F2057-23 voluntary stability standard as the new mandatory safety standard for clothing storage units required under the STURDY Act. 

Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. introduced 3 motions and 8 amendments in an effort to defeat or delay the action and cast the lone vote in opposition to the final rule after all 11 proposals were voted down by his fellow commissioners.

STURDY is the “Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth” Act, legislation enacted in December as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2023.

“Today’s CPSC action is welcome news for industry, safety advocates, consumers, parents and children,” said Andy Counts, CEO of the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA). “And we join with all of these stakeholders in thanking the CPSC for acknowledging and validating the hard work and extraordinary collaboration that made today’s action possible.”

The agency’s action included a stay of the existing CPSC Final Rule that was adopted in November 2022 and slated to take effect May 24, 2023. The stay voids that rule and its May 24 effective date.

Publication of the new direct final rule based on F2057-23 will open a 30-day comment period. If there are no “significant adverse comments” requiring CPSC response, the final rule will be published at the end of the comment period and take effect 120 days later.

This “best case scenario” points to an October 2023 effective date. However, this timeline could be somewhat extended by any delay in the Federal Register’s publishing schedule.

The new stability requirements will apply to all units within the scope of the rule with a manufacture date on or after the rule’s effective date.

Under F2057-23, the scope of the new federal safety standard for CSUs encompasses free-standing clothing storage units, including but not limited to chests, chests of drawers, armoires, bureaus, door chests and dressers that:

  • are 27 inches or greater in height; AND
  • are 30 pounds or greater in weight; AND
  • contain 3.2 cubic feet or greater of enclosed storage volume.

Units must meet ALL three of the above criteria to fall within the scope of the rule. These criteria were developed to cover children up to 72 months of age, which account for approximately 80 percent of all deaths related to CSU tip-overs.

Compliant units must pass three performance tests. The set-up, equipment required and precise procedure for each test is detailed in F2057-23, which can be purchased here.

  1. Simulated Clothing Load. All extendible elements and spaces behind doors are loaded with 8.5 pounds per cubic foot. All doors and loaded drawers opened. The loaded unit must remain upright for 30 seconds. (There is a separate test for units with drawer interlocks that prevent 50 percent or more of the extendible elements from opening.)
  2. Simulated Horizontal Dynamic Force. With all doors open and all elements extended, a 10-pound horizontal force is applied to the highest handhold, not to exceed 56 inches. The unit must not tip while the force is applied to the top edge of a drawer or to the center of the pull area of the extendible element and held for 10 seconds.
  3. Simulated Carpet Test with Child Weight. A test block of .43 inches is placed under the rear legs or base of the unit to simulate the impact of units placed on carpet. All doors opened and all elements extended. A test weight of 60 pounds is applied gradually over the top of the door or extendible element most likely to cause tip-over and remains in place for 30 seconds without causing the unit to tip over.

AHFA, along with Parents Against Tip-overs, consumer advocates, child safety experts and other industry groups worked closely together to win Congressional approval of STURDY and to advance ASTM F2057-23 as the mandatory standard required by STURDY.

“Parents Against Tip-overs (PAT) is thrilled with the CPSC’s approval of the much-improved ASTM F2057-23 as the mandatory new stability standard,” said Brett Horn of PAT. “A strong mandatory standard has been the individual and shared goal of all PAT parents for 20 years.”

Members of AHFA’s Furniture Safety Task Group were instrumental in developing the new performance tests that would meet the requirements in STURDY.

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