HIGH POINT, NC – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported this month that it has completed testing on 187 clothing storage units it purchased online earlier this year. It says 9 percent of the units failed to meet requirements of the ASTM International voluntary furniture stability standard, ASTM F2057.
CPSC engineer Michael Taylor, who is the agency’s project manager for furniture stability, delivered results of the testing at the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) 2019 Regulatory Summit on October 2.
Four companies have voluntarily recalled products so far after being notified they failed the CPSC’s stability tests. These tests included remaining upright when all drawers in the empty unit were opened two-thirds of the way or to the “stop.” The second requirement was to remain upright when one drawer was opened two-thirds of the way or to the “stop” and a 50-pound weight was applied to the center front of the open drawer. This second test was repeated for each drawer (and door, if any) in the unit.
Units purchased by CPSC for testing all were manufactured prior to the June 2019 update of F2057, which expanded the scope of covered products from clothing storage furniture “over 30 inches” to clothing storage furniture “27 inches and higher.” Nevertheless, one of the four recently recalled products was 29¾ inches high.
More than a dozen additional recalls could be yet to come based on the reported 9 percent product failure rate.
Taylor said the agency selected the 187 units for testing based on the product being identified as a “best seller” on e-commerce websites.
Two of the recalled units were accent chests imported by Crestview Collection, which does not market any of its products as “bedroom furniture.” However, Kirkland’s, the home décor retail chain that issued the recall, displays the chests on its website under the category “Bedroom Furniture.”
In 2016, CPSC purchased 61 clothing storage units and found slightly more than half (31 out of 61) failed stability testing. Taylor acknowledged the dramatic improvement in this year’s test results compared to the 2016 results.
CPSC Commissioner Peter Feldman, who also addressed attendees at the October Regulatory Summit, described the 9 percent failure rate as “just too high.”
The American Home Furnishings Alliance represents more than 230 leading furniture manufacturers and distributors, plus over 150 suppliers to the furniture industry worldwide. AHFA and 30 of its member companies are among the 135 voting members of ASTM International’s Furniture Safety Subcommittee, which oversees the voluntary stability standard.