With a goal of curbing furniture tip-over incidents that have led to numerous fatalities and injuries, especially in children, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recently adopted a crucial legislation known as the STURDY Act. Here’s a concise breakdown of what it entails and what industry stakeholders should be prepared for:
Background and Purpose of the STURDY Act:
STURDY, an acronym for Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth, was formulated in response to alarming statistics indicating 234 fatalities due to clothing storage unit tip-overs from January 2000 to April 2022, with 199 of those being child fatalities. Furthermore, the CPSC reported an estimated annual average of 5,300 injuries due to these tip-overs that required hospital emergency department treatments from 2006 through 2021.
Mandatory Adoption of the ASTM F2057-23 Standard:
The CPSC has voted to convert the voluntary ASTM F2057-23 standard into a mandatory safety regulation. The requirements are codified at 16 CFR part 1261 and apply to clothing storage units manufactured after September 1, 2023.
ASTM F2057-23 Scope:
ASTM F2057-23 “Standard Safety Specification for Clothing Storage Units” is a safety specification intended to reduce injuries and deaths of children from hazards associated with tip-over of clothing storage units. It covers chests, drawer chests, chests of drawers, dressers, and bureaus only. ASTM F2057 defines a “clothing storage unit” as a “furniture item with drawers and/or hinged doors intended for the storage of clothing typical with bedroom furniture” and meets all of the following criteria:
- Height of at least 27 inches
- Mass of at least 30 pounds
- Enclosed storage volume of at least 3.2 cubic feet
ASTM F2057–23 Includes Three Pivotal Stability Tests Among Other Requirements:
Clothing storage units must meet all three stability tests and all applicable additional requirements:
- Simulated Clothing Load: Evaluates the unit’s stability with all its load-bearing components (like drawers and pullout shelves) open, when filled with simulated clothing loads.
- Simulated Horizontal Dynamic Force: A horizontal force of 10 pounds is applied at a height of up to 56 inches, held for at least 10 seconds.
- Reaction on Carpet with Child Weight Simulation: A weight of 60 pounds is placed on an open drawer or shelf, while the unit is slightly tilted forward, replicating its placement on a carpet.
- Interlock Test: For clothing storage units with interlocks, they must engage automatically during normal use, require no consumer assembly if the unit is pre-assembled, and either remain closed under a 30 pound force for 5 seconds during stability tests or close an initially open element when opened.
- Tip-over restraint (anti-tip) devices: Must be included and meet performance requirements of ASTM F3096 – Standard Performance Specification for Tip-over Restraint(s) Used with Clothing Storage Unit(s);
- Product Warnings: Warning labels must include certain statements and pictogram(s) dependent on intended use and design.
Certification: Section 14(a) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) requires manufacturers and importers of consumer products subject to a regulation, standard, or ban enforced by the CPSC to certify that those products meet the requirements of the standard by issuing a certificate of compliance (Children’s Product Certificate or CPC for children’s products, General Certificate of Compliance or GCC for general-use products). For clothing storage units, the citation to use in section 2 of the CPC or GCC is “16 CFR part 1261 – Clothing storage units”.
Effective Date: Come September 1, all clothing storage units manufactured thereafter must adhere to this new standard.
For questions about this new regulation and how it impacts placing your product on the marketplace, please contact Testing Partners.
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