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Furniture Tipover Tested by ASTM

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 8,100 injuries associated with furniture tipover were treated in emergency rooms in 1994. Of about six deaths from tipover reported annually to the CPSC, approximately 80 percent occur to children age five and under, and two- thirds involve storage units with drawers. To help prevent these tragedies, ASTM, in concert with the CPSC, has developed a new gauge of furniture stability, Standard F 2057, Safety Specification for Chests, Door Chests, and Dressers.

In the standard specification, 50 lb. (22.7 kg) weights are applied to loaded and unloaded units, as 50 pounds matches the 95th percentile weight of a five-year old child. The standard is intended to reduce tipover injuries and deaths of children up to and including five years of age, specifically from units if over 30 inches (760 mm) high, such as:

• Drawer chests;
• Door chests;
• Dressers; and
• Bureaus.

F 2057 was developed by ASTM Subcommittee F15.42 on Furniture Tipover, consisting of representatives from the CPSC, American Furniture Manufacturers Association, N.C. State University, Safety Behavior Analysis, Good Housekeeping, as well as safety consultants, manufacturers, testing laboratories, retailers and consumers.

Shelving units such as bookcases, entertainment centers, night stands, or under-bed drawer storage units are not covered in the specification. Published November 2000, F 2057 replaces ASTM PS 110, Provisional Standard Safety Specification for Chests, Door Chests, and Dressers.

For further technical information, contact Andy S. Counts, Vice President, Environmental and Technical Affairs, American Furniture Manufacturers Association, High Point, N.C. (phone: 336/884-5000). To learn about ASTM Committee F15 membership or meetings, contact Director Kathie Morgan (phone: 610/ 832-9721). //

Copyright 2001, ASTM