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ASTM sets new anti-tipping standards PDF Print E-mail
Written by HGO Staff   
HIGH POINT, North Carolina - ASTM International, the global product standards organization, has revised its tip-over requirements for furniture and is now requiring manufacturers to include a "tip restraint" with each chest, door chest or dresser taller than 30 inches.

"Tip restraints attach the piece of furniture to an interior wall, framing or other support to help prevent the piece from tipping over," explains American Home Furnishings Alliance vice president Bill Perdue, who served as co-chair of the furniture safety subcommittee that worked on the revised standard.

"Furnishings that comply with the new standard also will carry a new warning label that cautions parents not to open more than one drawer at a time, not to place televisions or other heavy objects on the top of the product, and not to allow children to climb on drawers," he added.

The AHFA, formerly known as the American Furniture Manufacturers Association, is the largest organization of furniture manufacturers, importers and distributors in the U.S.

AHFA said it will use its consumer web site, www.findyourfurniture.com, to help inform parents about the proper use of tip restraints.

AHFA also plans to post a safety video on the site to demonstrate how tip restraints work and to urge consumers to consult the manufacturer for specific installation instructions, since these instructions may vary depending on the piece.

The video also will reinforce the warnings that are listed on the permanent safety label required under the revised standard. These warnings include:

  • Place heaviest items in the lowest drawers.
  • Do not set TVs or other heavy objects on the top of the product.
  • Never allow children to climb or hang on drawers, doors or shelves.
  • Never open more than one drawer at a time.
  • Do not defeat or remove the drawer interlock system.
The label also advises parents that "use of tip-over restraints may reduce but not eliminate the risk of tip-over."

Although standards issued by ASTM are voluntary, it is the largest standards development organization in the United States and its rulings play a critical role in reducing injuries and fatalities based on identified hazards in the use and performance of many consumer and household products.

The revised tip-over standard was issued just as a new study was released by the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, which reported the number of injuries related to furniture tipping over increased more than 40 percent from 1990 to 2007.

According to the study, published in the online issue of Clinical Pediatrics, most tip-over-related injuries during the 17-year-period involved children younger than 7 years of age and resulted from televisions tipping over. However, more than one quarter of the injuries occurred when children pulled over or climbed on furniture.

To pass the ASTM tip-over standard, an empty chest, armoire or dresser taller than 30 inches must not tip when the doors (if any) are open and all drawers are open two-thirds of the way or to the stop. It also cannot tip when one drawer is open two-thirds of the way and a 50-pound weight is applied to the center front of that open drawer.

ASTM has designated the standard as F2057 and is available online at http://www.astm.org/Standards/F2057.htm. For more information, contact ASTM by telephone at 610.832.9585 or by e-mail at . Its web site can be found at www.astm.org.

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Picture of the Day
Kenneth-HoThermador-kitchen

Kenneth Ho of the Toronto-based BiglarKinyan Design Planning was awarded the grand prize – some $20,000 worth of Thermador appliances – in the first ever Thermador Canada Kitchen Design Contest for the kitchen seen here. Click here for details.


 

 

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