April 4, 2019 – HIGH POINT, NC – Buyers attending the April 6-11 High Point Market 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 voluntary stability standard for clothing storage furniture.
“Although the stability standard is ‘voluntary,’ the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has made it clear that neither manufacturers nor buyers should 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, although a proposal to lower the minimum height of covered units to 27 inches is currently under consideration.
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 they 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 open drawer. This second test is repeated for each drawer (and door, if any) in the unit.
On February 27, CPSC Deputy Executive Director DeWane Ray advised the industry that products failing to meet the voluntary stability standard would be deemed a “substantial product hazard” by CPSC.
“CPSC received numerous reports of child fatalities that occurred between 2000 and 2017 associated with clothing storage unit tip overs,” Ray stated. “We believe that many of these deaths could have been prevented if the clothing storage units complied with the current ASTM F2057-17 standard.”
CPSC’s operations staff will consider noncompliant products “as having a defect which could present a substantial product hazard” under the Consumer Product Safety Act, he added. “Should we encounter such products, we shall initiate an investigation and will seek the corrective action we believe is appropriate.”
Those corrective actions can include a recall. Further, failing to report non-compliant furniture can result in civil penalties up to $100,000 per violation.
AHFA has worked with furniture manufacturers, the CPSC and child safety experts for nearly two decades on safety measures, including the ASTM voluntary stability standard, 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 at http://www.ahfa.us/furniture-tip-over/.
Contact: Patricia Bowling, 336/881-1006