The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has approved new federal regulations that aim to reduce the number of child injuries and deaths due to furniture tip-overs.
The safety standards announced Wednesday require clothing storage units (CSUs) such as chests, bureaus, dressers, armoires and wardrobes to exceed minimum stability requirements and display safety information.
At least 234 people, including 199 children, have died from January 2000 through April 2022 after furniture fell on them.
“Each year, children are killed or injured in dresser tipover incidents,” CPSC Chairman Alex Hoehn-Saric said in a statement. “The standard set today will ensure that dressers are safer and fewer children are at risk.”
The CPSC estimates 84,100 injuries due to CSU tip-overs were treated in U.S. emergency departments from 2006 through 2021. Of these, 72% were injuries to children. From January 2000 through July 2022, 43 CSUs have been recalled due to tip-over hazards, involving more than 21 million units.
The stability requirements reflect real-world factors, like multiple open drawers, drawers containing clothing-representative loads, angling CSUs to replicate the effects of placement on carpet and forces a child exerts while climbing or pulling on a CSU.
The standard also includes test methods for CSUs with interlocks, which can improve stability by preventing all drawers from being opened at once.
In addition to the stability requirements, CSUs must be labeled with safety and identification information and display a hang tag providing performance and technical data about the product’s stability.
The new standard will take effect 180 days after it is published in the Federal Register.