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CPSC Finalizes New Safety Standard for Clothing Storage Units, Including Dressers and Chests

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is finalizing a new safety standard for clothing storage units that addresses tip-over risks, CPSC said in a final rule released Nov. 23. The new standard requires clothing storage units “to be tested for stability, exceed minimum stability requirements, bear labels containing safety and identification information, and display a hang tag providing performance and technical data about the stability of the CSU,” CPSC said.

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Compliance with the standard is mandatory for all clothing storage units manufactured or imported on or after May 24, 2023. CPSC had originally proposed to make the standard effective 30 days after publication of the final rule (see 2202020029), but extended the effective date to 180 days after publication based on comments that pointed to "the time, costs, and logistics necessary to modify CSUs to comply with the standard, particularly since nearly all CSUs would not meet the standard,” CPSC said.

A stockpiling provision in the final rule prohibits any company from manufacturing or importing clothing storage units that don’t comply with the new standard prior to its effective date at greater than 105% of the rate at which they manufactured or imported clothing storage units before the final rule was published.

The final rule defines a clothing storage unit as a “freestanding furniture item, with drawer(s) and/or door(s), that may be reasonably expected to be used for storing clothing, that is designed to be configured to greater than or equal to 27 inches in height, has a mass greater than or equal to 57 pounds with all extendable elements filled with at least 8.5 pounds/cubic foot times their functional volume, and that has a total functional volume of the closed storage greater than 1.3 cubic feet and greater than the sum of the total functional volume of the open storage and the total volume of the open space.”

“Common names for CSUs include, but are not limited to: chests, bureaus, dressers, armoires, wardrobes, chests of drawers, drawer chests, chifforobes, and door chests,” CPSC said. Key features that distinguish clothing storage units from other types of furniture include that they are freestanding (i.e., not built-ins) and are used for storing clothing.

“Some examples of furniture items that, depending on their design, may not meet the criteria in the definition and, therefore, may not be considered CSUs are: shelving units, office furniture, dining room furniture, laundry hampers, built-in closets, and single-compartment closed rigid boxes (storage chests),” CPSC said. The final rule also exempts clothes lockers and portable storage chests.