WASHINGTON, D.C. — According to Consumer Reports, the furniture maker Homestar must recall approximately 33,000 dresser sets because they pose a high risk of tipping over. Any piece of furniture that tips over could injure or kill a small child. However, consumer advocates argue that Homestar should offer a full refund of the dresser’s purchase price. Instead, Homestar’s purchaser, Ashley Furniture, is only offering an anchor kit instead of money back. Consumer advocates state that providing an anchor kit does not ensure safety down the line when the dresser is moved and then not properly anchored. Homestar’s dresser model is one of many dressers that pose a tipping risk to children; some have been recalled, while others have not.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) tested 150 dresser sets according to Consumer Reports. The agency was examining the dressers for safety and trying to identify those models which could pose a risk of severe harm to a child. Homestar’s Finch model failed the test. Consequently, Homestar, now Ashley Furniture, issued a recall notice.
The CPSC says that there are no standardized requirements for safety in the furniture-making industry. Additionally, there is no standardized testing for furniture manufacturers, either. Instead, most furniture makers adhere to a voluntary standard for safety. According to the voluntary standard, a dresser that stands 27 inches or high must remain upright when a 50-pound weight is suspended from an open drawer.
The standard changed in August of 2019 in the industry. The 50-pound weight test applied to dressers standing 30 inches or higher. However, dressers only a couple of inches shorter could pose a risk of injury or death. Therefore, the industry changed its limits.
Statistics demonstrate that one child dies every two weeks, and one person sustains an injury from a falling dresser set or another piece of furniture every twenty minutes. Dressers that have toppled over have killed 212 people since 2000. Most of those killed were young children.
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