Children's Products

Important Furniture Safety Legislation Re-Introduced in The Senate

Sturdy Act Would Prevent Tip-Overs, Save Lives

Washington, D.C. — The Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (STURDY) Act was reintroduced in the U.S. Senate today with amended language that encourages design innovation by furniture manufacturers. The bill, which has previously passed in the House of Representatives with bipartisan support, would direct the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to create and finalize a mandatory stability standard to help prevent tip-over incidents involving dressers and other clothing storage furniture. The language changes, which are supported by parents, consumer advocates and retailers, including IKEA, Crate & Barrel, Room & Board, and Williams Sonoma enable furniture manufacturers to petition the CPSC with new designs for clothing storage furniture that would resist tipping over onto children. According to the CPSC, a child is sent to the emergency department every 60 minutes following a furniture tip-over incident, and one to two children die every month.

The STURDY Act was first introduced in 2016 in the House of Representatives. The bill’s Senate co-sponsors include Senator Casey (D-PA), Senator Blumenthal (D-CT), Senator Klobuchar (D-MN), and Senator Cotton (R-AR).

The STURDY Act includes critical provisions that would require clothing storage units to be more stable, including a minimum test weight that accurately reflects the weight of children who have been killed by tipping dressers, objective, repeatable, and measurable tests that simulate real world use and account for any impact on clothing storage unit stability that may result from placement on carpeted surfaces, drawers with items in them, multiple open drawers, or dynamic force,  greater clarity on which furniture is a “clothing storage unit” and must meet the standards; and warning requirements.

“Consumers expect that furniture in their home is stable and will not harm them or their children. Unfortunately, too many unstable dressers have posed serious risks to children. We strongly support the STURDY Act because it requires a strong mandatory rule to ensure the stability of our furniture,” stated Rachel Weintraub, Legislative Director and General Counsel of Consumer Federation of America. “The STURDY Act will prevent tragedies and save lives and we urge its quick passage in the Senate.”

“KID strongly supports passage of the STURDY Act which is vital to keep children safe,” said Nancy Cowles, Executive Director of Kids In Danger (KID). “The current voluntary standard has done little to reduce tip-over injuries and deaths. KID applauds Sen. Casey for re-introducing the STURDY Act which will mandate stringent testing on dressers before they hit the market.”

“We’ve tested dressers for stability for years, and the findings have shown repeatedly that today’s voluntary standards are failing to keep unsafe dressers off the market, and they put children at serious risk,” stated Gabe Knight, policy analyst for Consumer Reports. “It is critical for the Senate to pass the STURDY Act now. Hundreds of children have already died from furniture tip-overs, and thousands more are treated at the E.R. every year. We don’t have time to waste. Passing this legislation is the single fastest and most efficient way to get strong rules in place to help prevent furniture tip-over tragedies. Consumer Reports urges every Senator to stand with families and support the passage of this life-saving bill.”

“On behalf of Public Citizen’s more than 500,000 members and supporters, we welcome the reintroduction of the Stop Tip-Overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (STURDY) Act to combat the continuing deaths and injuries cause by furniture tip-overs,” said Remington A. Gregg, counsel for civil justice and consumer rights at Public Citizen. “The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has stated that one child dies every 10 days from a furniture or TV tip-over. These deaths are preventable and the STURDY Act is an important part of stopping them. It is up to Congress to act quickly STURDY to empower the CPSC to help ensure that kids are kept safe.”

Contact: Rachel Weintraub, CFA, 202-904-4953