Regulatory Compliance

Furniture Stability

Video Demonstration of New CSU Testing Requirements

For more than two decades the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) has supported efforts to improve furniture stability and has worked to educate its members as well as the broader residential furniture industry about the hazard of unstable clothing storage units.

According to data reported annually by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), approximately 100 children died from 2000 to 2021 when clothing storage furniture fell over on them. Another 170 died during the same period when furniture plus a TV on the furniture fell at the same time.

Although the number of incidents, particularly those involving TVs, has declined in recent years, the numbers point to too many furniture-related tragedies – at least a dozen each year – with most involving children under 5 years old.

AHFA’s advocacy on this issue is focused on leveling the playing field so all manufacturers are held to the same standard of safety, while also ensuring that compliant products remain accessible to all consumers.

New Mandatory Product Safety Standard

On April 19, 2023, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted to adopt ASTM International’s F2057-23 voluntary safety specification for clothing storage units as a new mandatory federal safety standard.

This new standard takes effect September 1, 2023, and impacts all covered products with a manufacture date on or after September 2.

The F2057 voluntary safety specification for clothing storage units was first adopted by ASTM International in 2000. AHFA participated in development of the standard and has served on the ASTM Furniture Safety Subcommittee ever since. The subcommittee, which includes manufacturers, parents, consumer advocates and regulators, constantly reviews new data, product trends and consumer trends.  The group has updated the voluntary furniture stability standard six times since 2000, with the most recent update specifically designed to align the standard’s performance tests with the requirements of the STURDY Act adopted by Congress and signed by President Biden December 29, 2022.


The Stop Tip-overs of Risky, Unstable Dressers on Youth Act, or STURDY, was first introduced in 2016 but continuously met with legislative roadblocks. It finally passed the House in 2019, but failed to advance in the Senate until 2022.

AHFA initially opposed STURDY because the early versions allowed CPSC to use a special “fast-track” rulemaking that gave other stakeholders – including AHFA, child safety advocates and parents – little opportunity for input.

Instead, AHFA supported CPSC when in 2017 it issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. This approach to a mandatory standard ensured AHFA would have the opportunity to review and comment on the proposed rule, and CPSC would be required to respond to those comments. Further, CPSC would be required to conduct a detailed cost/benefit analysis before adopting the safety standard.

CPSC didn’t unveil the details of its proposed rulemaking until July 2021. In fact, the agency kept the underlying fatality and injury data and technical research behind its rule under wraps for nearly four years, forcing AHFA to file a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain this important background data. The proposed final rule was 1,100 pages.  After extensive analysis, AHFA raised serious questions, especially pertaining to the novel performance test methods it proposed.

Specifically, AHFA questioned whether the rule could be effectively enforced due to the complexity of the performance testing, which was designed to produce a “stability rating” rather than a pass/fail determination. Members of the Alliance tested hundreds of products in all styles and price points and could find none that met the minimum stability rating required in the rule, despite being compliant with the current voluntary standard.

Further, the more units that were tested, the more variability engineers discovered in the test methods. Finally, as companies contemplated what might be required to redesign products to meet the minimum stability rating, they noted significant oversights in the CPSC’s cost/benefit analysis. In the end, AHFA concluded the CPSC rule would have the unintended consequence of making safer CSUs cost-prohibitive for families that need them most. 

Despite receiving hundreds of pages of concerns, technical questions and objections from a variety of stakeholders, including AHFA, the agency made only minor modifications to the final rule and approved it in October 2022. It was published November 25, giving it a May 25, 2023 effective date.

How STURDY, the NPR & F2057 Intersect

In April 2021, before the CPSC rule was released, AHFA began working to find another pathway forward for a strong mandatory stability standard. A team of furniture engineers from AHFA member companies met at a UL Solutions lab in Michigan to develop a series of performance tests to meet the criteria outlined in STURDY.

After refining the test methods to ensure they were objective, repeatable and reproducible, AHFA presented them to the full ASTM F15.42 Furniture Safety Subcommittee in November 2021, reviewed them with Parents Against Tip-overs in early December and presented them directly to CPSC in mid-December. At this point, AHFA forwarded a three-step proposal:

  • Revise ASTM F2057 to incorporate the new stability tests.
  • Amend the STURDY Act to require CPSC to adopt the revised voluntary standard, as long as it was found to meet the requirements in the legislation.
  • Meet with legislators to promote the STURDY Act.

By May 2022, STURDY was gaining momentum. The amended Act – backed by AHFA, Parents Against Tip-overs and other stakeholders – cleared the Senate Commerce Committee and, finally, after six years, advanced to the full Senate. It passed at the end of September, and the amended version headed back to the House for approval.

With the fate of STURDY still unknown, AHFA took legal action against the CPSC rule in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in early December. AHFA’s motion calling for a judicial review of the rule was followed by a petition to delay implementation of the rule’s effective date until the requested review could be completed.

Thanks to extraordinary collaboration among all stakeholders, STURDY passed Congress as part of the 2023 omnibus spending bill and was signed by President Biden on December 29.

But AHFA’s petition to delay the CPSC rule’s effective date was denied – leaving the industry with an onerous new rule set to take effect in May, a legislative mandate to potentially replace it no later than December, and the CPSC presiding over both.

As the calendar turned to January 2023, AHFA continued advising its members to work with product designers, engineers and factories to implement the necessary changes for compliance with the CPSC rule while at the same time appealing to the agency to complete its review of F2057, as required under STURDY.

Following a groundswell of support for F2057-23, CPSC staff released a briefing package in March 2023 advising the commissioners that F2057-23 meets STURDY’s requirements. Based on staff’s evaluation and supporting letters from AHFA, PAT, Kids in Danger, Consumer Reports, the retail Home Furnishings Association and an independent product safety consultant, the commission voted to adopt F2057-23.

AHFA’s advocacy on this issue has been focused on leveling the playing field so that all manufacturers are held to the same standard of safety, while also ensuring that compliant products remain accessible to all consumers. As the new federal standard is implemented, the Alliance will continue educating its members to facilitate compliance and will launch new efforts to further consumer understanding of furniture safety issues.

Additional furniture stability resources are provided below.




Product Instability or Tip-Over Injuries and Fatalities Associated with Televisions, Furniture and Appliances
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
2022 Report

Understanding CPSC Data on Clothes Storage Unit (CSU) Tip-Overs Involving Children
Adam Suchy, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
October 24, 2018

Product Instability or Tip-Over Injuries and Fatalities Associated with Televisions, Furniture and Appliances
October 2018

Advanced Notice of Rulemaking Regarding Clothing Storage Unit Tip Overs
November 21, 2017

In-Depth Analysis of Nonfatal Injuries from TVs Falling Off Furniture
March 2017



Help For Consumers:

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has launched an “Anchor It!” campaign to educate parents and child caregivers about simple steps they can take to help prevent possible television and furniture tip-over accidents.