Regulatory Compliance

Furniture Stability

ASTM International, a global leader in the development of international voluntary consensus standards, adopted the first furniture stability standard in 2000. It was updated in 2004, 2009, 2014, 2017 and again in 2019.

 ASTM F2057-19, Standard Safety Specification for Clothing Storage Units, is intended to reduce injury and death from accidents involving clothing storage units. Specifically, it covers drawer chests, cabinets, armoires, dressers and bureaus 27 inches high or taller. The F2057-19 standard and the companion F3096-14 standard for tip restraints are available for purchase from ASTM.

 Furniture manufactured in compliance with this stability standard must meet three (3) specific criteria: 

 1) It passes TWO stability tests. The first test requires that the clothing storage unit not tip when all doors (if any) are opened 90 degrees and all drawers are opened to the “stop,” or, if there is no “stop,” they must be opened two-thirds of the way. The second test requires that the piece not tip when each drawer is opened individually to the “stop,” and a 50-pound weight is applied to the front of the drawer. For doors, the weight is applied to outer edge of the door.

ASTMTip-OverWarningLabel2019

2) The piece must have a permanent warning label. The label must be attached where it can be seen when the piece is in use. (Most manufacturers choose the inside of a top drawer.) Bedroom furniture that is designed to hold a television – typically called a “media chest” – requires a separate warning label. (See RESOURCES below for downloadable labels.) For exclusive AHFA guidance on media chest warning labels, please click on Label Guidance for Media Chests in the Member Toolbox to the right.

 3) Tip-over restraints must be included with each item of furniture. These must meet the requirements of the tip restraint standard (F3096-14). Instructions for installing the restraints also must be included.

The ASTM Subcommittee on Furniture Safety (F15.42) has jurisdiction over this and three other active safety standards for furniture. These include the standard for furniture tip restraints, a standard for horizontal glass used in desks and tables, and a standard for cedar chests.

AHFA urges all manufacturers to comply with the ASTM F2057-19 voluntary stability standard for clothing storage furniture.

In February 2019, the CPSC advised the industry that clothing storage units failing to comply with ASTM F2057 would be regarded by CPSC “as having a defect which could present a substantial product hazard.” Under Section 15(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act, manufacturers, importers and retailers who fail to report such noncompliant products can face both civil and criminal penalties.

To help retailers easily identify showrooms carrying bedroom furniture that complies with ASTM F2057-19, AHFA created a “WE COMPLY” tent card in March of 2017 for display in market showrooms.

Click HERE to order updated “WE COMPLY” tent cards to display in your showroom during High Point and/or Las Vegas furniture markets.

To further assist residential furniture manufacturers in their stability standard compliance efforts and to help consumers easily identify compliant products, AHFA worked with UL to introduce the Stability Verified program in 2019. 

Online and in stores, the UL Stability Verified Mark means a piece of furniture meets stability requirements within the current voluntary standard.

The UL Stability Verified program provides a scientific, third-party confirmation that a company has the equipment, personnel and procedures in place to accurately conduct stability testing. In addition, UL reviews the company’s product test data and establishes that its furniture is eligible to carry the Product Stability Verified mark.  UL repeats stability testing on sample units at the factory to confirm ongoing compliance.

Consumers can search the UL Verify website by manufacturer name or by the manufacturer’s identification number to confirm that a product meets the stability requirements of the safety standard.  For more information on Stability Verified, contact Michael O’Hara.

PROPOSED MANDATORY STANDARD

For several years, efforts have been underway to develop a mandatory stability standard for clothing storage furniture. AHFA supports this work to ensure that all manufacturers are held to the same rigorous safety requirements for furniture stability. AHFA staff is actively engaged with ASTM, legislators, regulators and all interested stakeholders to ensure a standard that provides meaningful safety measures for the greatest number of consumers. Current efforts include:

STURDY. The Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth Act passed the U.S. House in June 2021. It would require the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to promulgate a mandatory furniture stability standard to help prevent injuries and deaths resulting from furniture tip-overs. It requires stability tests that simulate the weight of children up to 60 pounds, along with tests simulating the impact on furniture stability when a unit is placed on carpet, when drawers are full, when multiple drawers are open or when the unit is subjected to the dynamic force of a child climbing or playing on the unit.

Possible OutcomeSTURDY has been stalled in the Senate, but a slightly modified version was reintroduced in November 2021 (SB 3232), and proponents hope it will make its way to a vote in 2022. If passed, it allows the CPSC one year to develop a mandatory standard that includes the stability tests outlined in the bill. CPSC would then set an effective date, typically 180 days to a year – placing implementation of STURDY’s requirements a year-and-a-half to two years following its passage, as a best-case scenario.

CPSC Rulemaking. Meanwhile, the CPSC released a draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Clothing Storage Units in mid-July 2021. This 1,180-page document outlines a dramatically different approach to creating a mandatory stability standard for furniture. It would institute a stability rating system based on a complex set of calculations that determine a unit’s minimum “tip-over threshold.” Upon releasing the NPR, CPSC staff reported that only one clothing storage unit it tested met the minimum threshold established in the rule. AHFA and its member companies have tested over 1,000 units using the NPR’s proposed test methods and found none that could meet the minimum tip-over threshold without modifications. AHFA responded to the NPR in a letter to the commissioners in October 2021 and released a position statement on the NPR in January 2022. (Both are included under the Resource Links column on the right-hand side of this page.)

Possible OutcomeOnce the NPR is published in the Federal Register, a 75-day comment period begins. Following this pubic comment period, CPSC staff must provide interested parties with an opportunity to make oral presentations of data, views or arguments. A final rule could be subject to another 2 or 3 years of debate and could face a judicial challenge that would further delay implementation. (Since 1981, CPSC has adopted only 10 rules – or roughly one rule every 3.5 years.)

Additional furniture stability resources are provided below.

 


 

Printers for F2057 Warning Labels:


B. Walter & Company
Contact: Paul Goyette
pgoyette@bwalter.com

Ward/Kraft, Inc.
Contact: Ray Russell
rrussell@wardkraft.com

Wright Global Graphics Solutions
Contact: Kim Cobb
kimc@wrightglobalgraphics.com

 

Tip Restraints:


B. Walter & Company
Contact: Paul Goyette
pgoyette@bwalter.com

Hangman Products
Contact: Sheila Gallien
sheila@hangmanproducts.com

 

Research:

Product Instability or Tip-Over Injuries and Fatalities Associated with Televisions, Furniture and Appliances
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
2020 Report

Understanding CPSC Data on Clothes Storage Unit (CSU) Tip-Overs Involving Children
Adam Suchy, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
October 24, 2018

Product Instability or Tip-Over Injuries and Fatalities Associated with Televisions, Furniture and Appliances
October 2018

Advanced Notice of Rulemaking Regarding Clothing Storage Unit Tip Overs
November 21, 2017

In-Depth Analysis of Nonfatal Injuries from TVs Falling Off Furniture
March 2017

 


 

Help For Consumers:

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has launched an “Anchor It!” campaign to educate parents and child caregivers about simple steps they can take to help prevent possible television and furniture tip-over accidents.