The Danger of Furniture Tip-Overs | Consumer Reports

The Danger of Furniture Tip-Overs | Consumer Reports

I opened the door, and
I saw his bed was empty. And my first thought is, oh,
he must be behind the door, playing with some
toys or something. And so when I opened
the door even further, right in front of
me was his dresser that had fallen forward. And immediately, oh, my
god, it’s so quiet in here. He has to be under it. He’s under it. Consumer Reports
launched an investigation into the stability of dressers. We recently purchased 24 dresser
models from different furniture manufacturers,
and evaluated them based on three separate
tip-over tests. It might be
surprising, but there’s no required testing for
dressers before they’re sold on the market. So we went out and looked
at what kind of dressers are in the industry, what
people are buying in stores, and what’s in their
home, and we tested them to see which dressers
are more stable than others. There is a voluntary
safety standards set by ASTM International– a
standard-setting organization, which specifies that dressers
taller than 30 inches don’t tip over when an
extended drawer is loaded with 50 pounds of weight. Yet, children continue to be
seriously and fatally injured by furniture falling onto them. That’s why CR conducted
more extensive tests. In our first test, we opened
all the drawers all the way. All 24 models passed. In the second test, the top
drawer was fully opened, and a 50-pound weight was
placed over the drawer front. 19 models passed, five failed. For our third, and
more rigorous test, we placed them up to 60
pounds on the top drawer to gauge how the
dressers might perform, simulating the weight
of a heavier child. We wanted to see how many
dressers could actually withstand this weight. 13 models passed, and 11 failed. Dressers from Pottery
Barn, Epoch, and Sauder, among others, passed
CR’s 60-pound test. While models from South
Shore and Ameriwood, among others, failed
a 50-pound test. Both South Shore and Ameriwood
say their products meet voluntary safety standards. Consumer Reports feels
strongly that based on injury data and
our test results, a mandatory and more
rigorous safety standard is required to help prevent
tragic tip-over accidents like the McGee’s, from
happening to other families. That’s the thing
about all of this– you can’t tell a
dresser whether it’s going to be tipsy
just by looking at it. So there are two things that
we can hope to put pressure on the industry. One of them is to increase
the standard weight that’s used in the ASTM standard,
from 50 pounds to 60 pounds. The vast majority of
tip-over accidents happen to kids under six, and
testing with a 60-pound weight would cover more children
in this age group. The second one is
increasing the range of heights that are
associated with the standard. And so right now, the cut-off
is 30 inches and below. So we’re now putting pressure
to include dressers that are 30 inches high and shorter. Parents should be as
vigilant as they can, listen out for recalls. We also– Consumer Reports
recommends that you anchor your dressers to the wall. Anchor, anchor, anchor. I do believe the message of
anchoring furniture still needs to be shout-out
there loud and proud for everybody to know
that you have to anchor these pieces to the wall. But in the meantime, I
do believe the standard to get true change
with this issue, and to stop these
children from dying, have to design these
dressers stronger with stronger standards. For more information on how
to anchor your furniture, and to see our full furniture
stability testing results, go to

10 thoughts on “The Danger of Furniture Tip-Overs | Consumer Reports

  1. I dont get someone would NOT anchor their furniture. This is a choice people make to kill their own children and injure themselves. they dont included the anchors for fun. the anchors are there for you to use.

  2. Bottom drawer should be a shallow drawer with weight added to the back / bottom. Make it so you would end up destroying the dresser if someone attempted to take the extra weight out. Yes it would be awkward to carry if you ever had to.

  3. Good that CR report this safety issue and bring it to light. Bad is CR withholding the anchoring instruction information.

  4. Really? Then we should give Eddie child who's not crushed by a dresser and a ward for not being an idiot. Is this really a problem I mean how many kids knock over there dresser climbing it and where the hell are the parents to teach the kids that if they do that they're going to get their asses smacked? This seems to me like a solution in need of a problem.

  5. It’s important that dressers be prevented from tipping over, but it’s no longer necessary to attach them to the wall.  I think you will be interested in the KidSafe™ non-tipping dresser baseboard:

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