Preventing furniture tip-over
On August 13th, 2019, the State of New York enacted the 'Harper’s Law' (Bill A04421B) which will require retailers who sell certain new furniture offer for sale compatible tip restraint devices and post a notice informing consumers of the risk of furniture tipping.
Under the new regulation, 'furniture' is defined as “a clothing storage unit that is freestanding and at least twenty-seven inches in height including but not limited to chests, dressers, armoires, and bureaus” and “tip restraint device” is defined as “a mechanism that is designed to reduce the risk of furniture tipping over.”
The new law states that retailers shall not sell new furniture unless the furniture conforms to standards endorsed or established by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or, if no such standard exists, a standard established by ASTM International which requires furniture to contain a tip restraint device and carry a permanent warning label, including but not limited to, ASTM F2057.
Retailers may sell new furniture that does not meet the standards mentioned above if the furniture is outside the scope of the standards and contains a compatible tip restraint device and carries a permanent warning label, or if the furniture is outside the scope of the standards and the retailer: (a) maintains in stock and prominently displays within the store tip restraint devices available for sale that are compatible with such furniture; and (b) posts a notice, in a conspicuous location which may be easily seen or reached by customers, that, in a legible format states:
“Certain furniture may become unstable and tip over, leading to possible injury or death. Tip restraint devices may prevent tipping of furniture when properly installed.”