AHFA and UL Create New Stability Verification Program
April 11, 2018 – HIGH POINT, N.C. – The American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) has partnered with UL, a global safety science company, in creating a “Product Stability UL Verified” mark to help consumers identify products that meet the industry’s voluntary stability standard requirements.
The mark is part of a program that allows participating companies to have their in-house stability testing process reviewed and verified by UL, thereby earning the UL Verified mark. Four AHFA member companies – Ashley Furniture, Hooker Furniture, Samson Marketing and Sauder Woodworking – are leading the charge by piloting the AHFA/UL Verified program for furniture stability.
“Helping consumers identify products in the marketplace that comply with the voluntary ASTM furniture stability standard has been a longtime AHFA objective,” said Andy Counts, AHFA CEO. “AHFA member companies have actively participated in making changes to the voluntary standard to address stability and have led the industry in making significant product modifications to comply with the tougher standard. This program will help consumers find those superior products in stores and online.”
Participating companies will pay established annual fees to have their stability testing process and products “UL Verified.” This includes an assessment of company testing facilities and methods to verify products are stable up to 50 pounds. Further, to achieve the UL Verified mark, companies will need to demonstrate they have qualified individuals to conduct testing, proper record-keeping practices using UL data sheets and a corrective action process.
Once UL verifies a company’s testing process and verifies that the product passes stability testing, companies will be eligible to use the UL Verified mark with the claims “Stability Testing Process Verified” for their facility and “Product Stability Verified (50 lbs)” on the product.
(See samples below.)
“Injuries from furniture tip-over accidents are, unfortunately, a reality, and identifying products that meet furniture stability requirements is a priority for consumers,” said Michael O’Hara, Director, Global Furniture, at UL. “We are proud to partner with AHFA to create a program that helps the industry commit to safety in a more transparent fashion, while enabling consumers to make more informed and safer choices for their families.”
Data from participating companies, including a list of all products bearing the “Product Stability Verified (50 lbs)” claim, will be stored on the Verify UL website and accessible to consumers.
The ASTM voluntary furniture stability standard (F2057-17) requires clothing storage furniture to be engineered for stability. To comply with the standard, a piece of furniture must pass two stability tests, must carry a permanent warning label and must be shipped with tip restraints and instructions for installing them. (Tip restraints must be tested and in compliance with a separate ASTM standard, F3096-14.) The exact content of the warning label is specified in the standard. Compliance requires all three criteria be met.
To pass the first stability test, an empty piece must not tip when any doors are opened 90 degrees and all drawers are fully extended to the “stop” or, in absence of any “stop,” opened two-thirds of the way. To pass the second test, the empty piece must not tip when one drawer is open and a 50-pound weight is gradually applied to the front edge of the open drawer. The piece must pass this second test in the same manner for each drawer and door. The 50-pound weight is intended to simulate the weight of an average five-year-old (60-month) child.