The Consumer Product Safety Commission has approved new federal standards for dressers, armoires and other furniture that can tip over injuring children.
It happens thousands of times per year and more than 200 children have been killed by tip overs in the last two decades.
“There are minimum stability requirements that manufacturers will have to exceed in order for their units to protect children, and to prevent that furniture from falling over,” said CPSC spokesperson Patty Davis. “This applies to clothing storage units that are twenty-seven inches and higher, and we’ll be working to educate manufacturers that so that they know how they can meet the standard, it will be required.”
According to the CPSC statement:
“The new standard would require clothing storage units (CSUs) to exceed minimum stability requirements and display important safety information and performance and technical data. 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, all of which are shown to occur during CSU tip overs and contribute to their instability.
The standard also includes test methods for CSUs with interlocks. Interlocks can improve CSU stability, by preventing all drawers from being opened at once. In addition to the stability requirements, the new standard requires that CSUs are marked and labeled with safety and identification information and display a hang tag providing performance and technical data about the product’s stability.”
Davis also says the new requirements will apply to clothing storage units.
“But we know that people have older furniture in their homes. It’s still so important to make sure that that older furniture is anchored to the wall. That is really the safest way to keep that from falling on your child,” Davis said.