A Consumer Reports survey found that 96 percent of respondents believed manufacturers of home goods products costing over $75, like dressers, are required to follow safety standards.2 However, while safety standards exist, they are voluntary and, many believe, not rigorous enough.
Two of the voluntary standards recommend that dressers not tip when all empty drawers are open or when one drawer or door is open with a 50-pound weight hanging from it. Not only do organizations like the American Association of Pediatricians and Parents Against Tip-Overs argue that these standards should be mandatory, but they argue that the standard should be 60 pounds, which represents the 95th percentile of weight for a child who is 72 months old.1
Another standard recommends that a tip-restraint device that anchors the dresser to the wall be provided when the piece of furniture is sold. That one sounds like a no-brainer to me.
In 2016, The Consumer Product Safety Commission studied a sample of 61 dressers and found that only 51 percent complied with the safety standards. To address this problem, it launched a public education campaign called “Anchor It” to make people more aware of the tip-over hazard.
The federal government has even recognized the issue. In 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Stop Tip-Overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth Act, which would have made standards mandatory and required a 60-pound weight for stability testing. However, the U.S. Senate did not pass the bill.