2023 Clothing Storage Unit Standards for Child Safety
Undoubtedly, product safety will always be an important deciding factor for consumers, even in the furniture industry. Due to an ongoing series of child injuries and deaths caused by clothing storage unit tip-overs, the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) has approved new Federal clothing storage unit standards for all furniture that falls under this category.
The new standard
It was brought to the attention of the CPSC that clothing storage tip-overs occur so frequently that they are the cause of an average of 5,300 injuries annually. Over 70% of the victims are children with approximately 200 recorded child fatalities since the year 2000. Alex Hoehn-Saric, CPSC Chairman, was quoted saying, “The standard set today will ensure that dressers are safer and fewer children are at risk.”
The main issue with the lack of stability in these storage units comes from multiple open drawers along with the weight and force of a child climbing them. New stability testing will be put in place to approve product designs. During these tests, manufacturers need to be able to replicate situations where a child could apply force on open or closed clothing storage units. Once a clothing storage unit meets the requirements, products will need labels containing safety and identification information. Then, a hang tag with the performance and technical data will need to be attached.
The CPSC approved this standard on October 19, 2022, and now that it is published in the Federal Register, the rule is effective as of May 24, 2023.
What you can do
As you adapt your furniture to the new clothing storage unit standards, consider the weight and center of gravity of your products. Manufacturers must go beyond the minimum stability qualifications to avoid product recalls. One way this can be achieved is by providing anti-tip weights or wall attachments. Another feature that creates better stability is an interlock system for drawers. Interlocks keep more than one drawer from being opened if another is pulled out.