February 18, 2019 – HIGH POINT, NC – Buyers attending the pre-market event here March 4-5 are urged to look for a “WE COMPLY” tent card in any showroom offering bedroom furniture. The card identifies manufacturers whose products comply with the industry’s voluntary furniture stability standard.
“Although the stability standard is ‘voluntary,’ buyers should not consider it optional,” states Bill Perdue, vice president of regulatory affairs for the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA). AHFA developed the “WE COMPLY” campaign to help broaden industry awareness of the stability standard and to emphasize the importance of eliminating non-compliant products from the marketplace.
ASTM International adopted the furniture stability standard, F2057, in 2000. It applies to all residential clothing storage furniture over 30 inches in height.
Companies that display the “WE COMPLY” card have engineered their products to pass two stability performance tests outlined in the voluntary standard. Covered products also must carry a warning label to help alert consumers to tip-over hazards and must be shipped with tip restraints and instructions for installing the restraints.
To pass the stability performance tests, an empty unit cannot tip when all doors (if any) are open and all drawers are open to the “stop,” or open two-thirds of the way if there is no “stop.” Covered units also cannot tip when one drawer is open to the “stop” (or two-thirds of the way if there is no “stop”) and a 50-pound weight is applied to the center front of the drawer. This second test is repeated for each drawer (and door, if any) in the unit.
Pre-market showrooms displaying the WE COMPLY card include: American Drew, Avalon Furniture, Emerald Home, Hammary, Hooker Furniture, Kincaid, Klaussner, Legacy Classic, Legacy Classic Kids, Pulaski, Riverside, Samuel Lawrence, Universal and Vaughan-Bassett.
Products that do not meet the voluntary stability standard can be deemed a “substantial product hazard” by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which typically results in a recall. Working in conjunction with the CPSC, 10 companies recalled non-compliant clothing storage furniture in 2017. These recalls involved more than 1.8 million units.
In 2018, CPSC abandoned its efforts to identify and recall products that fail to comply with the stability standard. Instead, the agency shifted its attention to developing a mandatory standard and began exploring ways to cover a wider range of products and to incorporate heavier test weights. Members of the ASTM International Consumer Products Committee currently are voting on a proposal to lower the height of covered units to 27 inches.
AHFA has worked with furniture manufacturers, the CPSC and child safety experts for nearly two decades on safety measures designed to increase the stability of residential furniture and to reduce the number of furniture tip-over accidents. More information on the voluntary ASTM furniture stability standard and how to comply is available here.