September 11, 2015
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International has published a revised safety standard, Standard Safety Specification for Clothing Storage Units (ASTM F2057-14), designed to help prevent the accidental tip over of residential furniture – specifically, chests and dressers over 30 inches in height.
Although the majority of tip-over accidents occur when children attempt to climb on furniture, the revised standard applies to all storage units, in addition to youth bedrooms.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), from 2011 to 2013 there were an estimated 38,000 injuries a year linked to tipping televisions, furniture and appliances. Also, in a report released in September, the CPSC noted 430 deaths resulting from tip-over accidents from 2000 to 2013. The majority of victims (84%) were under age 10.
Previously revised in 2009 to add the requirement that all furniture covered by the standard be shipped with a tip-over warning label, tip restraints and directions for installing the tip restraints, the 2014 revision makes a modification to the testing protocol and is accompanied by a new performance standard for tip restraints (ASTM F3096-14).