August 31, 2023 | Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Starting September 1, 2023, furniture manufacturers and retailers must comply with new furniture safety requirements. Clothing storage furniture, such as dressers, must meet stability standards to avoid injury and deaths from furniture tip-overs and include kits to anchor the furniture.
The new mandatory requirements are a result of the bipartisan Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (STURDY) Act, which Congress passed in December 2022. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will enforce the STURDY Act, and CPSC adopted the ASTM F2057-23 standard as a mandatory requirement that will now go into effect on September 1. The STURDY Act came after many years of advocacy from parent-advocates and consumer groups for safer laws. At least 234 people have been killed by furniture tip-overs from 2000 to April 2022. At least three children died from furniture tip-overs this year.
Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and Kids In Danger (KID) warn consumers, however, that the mandatory requirements only impact clothing storage furniture made after September 1, 2023. Retailers can still sell clothing storage units made before September 1, even though this furniture may not meet the lifesaving safety guidelines the CPSC adopted. Further, the rule only addresses clothing storage units, such as dressers, but does not impact other unstable furniture or televisions.
“Manufacturers and retailers must do the right thing now and only sell clothing storage units that meet these critical safety standards. Business profits are not more important than children’s lives. Children should not endure the fatal consequences of further delay,” says Courtney Griffin, Director of Consumer Product Safety at CFA.
“The dangers of unstable furniture have been apparent for years,” stated Nancy Cowles, Executive Director of KID. “Unstable furniture sold during this transition stage will lurk in homes for decades, likely leading to deaths and injuries. All furniture sold now should meet the tough new standard.”
“Thanks to the collaborative efforts that led to the STURDY Act becoming law, starting today, manufacturers will finally be required to make dressers and other clothing storage furniture that must pass strong safety and stability tests and come with a furniture anchor,” says Kimberly Amato, Vice Chair of Parents Against Tip-Overs (PAT). “We strongly encourage parents to anchor all furniture with drawers, doors, and shelves to the wall as a secondary safety measure and for added protection from tip-over.”
CFA and KID urge consumers and caregivers to mitigate the risk of furniture tip-overs with the following tips:
Too Many Real Estate Agents For Too Few Home Sales: New CFA Report Documents the Costs to Industry and to ConsumersJuly 10, 2023 | Press ReleaseWashington, D.C. – Today
Washington, D.C. – Today the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is releasing a new report – “A Surfeit of Real Estate Agents: Industry and Consumer Impacts” – that uses industry sources to document the costs to industry and to consumers of too many residential real estate agents. More than 1.5 million residential agents (including brokers) compete for home sales usually totaling 5 to 6 million annually.
Those costs include:
In examining home sales in three cities– Jacksonville (FL), Minneapolis (MN), and Albuquerque (NM) — the study found that marginal agents (with five or fewer sales a year) received an estimated 25-30 percent of commission income. According to data collected by the industry from Realtors in 2021:
“Without 5-6 percent rates, even fewer agents would survive financially in today’s marketplace,” said Brobeck. “Ironically, relatively high rates attract new entrants into the industry, increasing competition for clients and reducing individual income for all.”
The report raises the question of whether the industry should make greater efforts to ensure the competence and commitment of new agents. Such efforts could include more stringent entry requirements and required mentoring of new agents. A future CFA report will address in depth these two issues.
OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLES: As July 4th Approaches, Consumer Federation of America Urges Caution For OHV Riders. Fourth of July Remains Most Dangerous Day for OHV Fatalities June 27, 2023 | Press Release
Washington, D.C – As summer begins, Consumer Federation of America (CFA) reiterates its yearly alert to off-highway-vehicle (OHV) riders to operate their vehicles with caution. So far in 2023 CFA has documented 201 OHV fatalities, with children under the age of 16 accounting for the most tracked fatalities at approximately 23%.Children under the age of 16 have ranked in the top three age categories of tracked OHV fatalities since 2019. For the past six years, children aged five and under have also accounted for an increasing number of OHV fatalities, growing from five in 2018 to 12 in 2022. So far in 2023, CFA has tracked five fatalities for this age group.
“Year after year, CFA has seen that more children die in OHV-related incidents on July 4 than any other day of the year,” said Courtney Griffin, CFA’s Director of Consumer Product Safety. “We urge all OHV riders to prioritize safety, use proper safety equipment and restraints, never operate on roads, never permit children to operate adult-sized OHV, and never carry more passengers on an OHV than it is designed to carry.”
According to data gathered by CFA and its OHV Safety Coalition, OHV fatalities disproportionally occur during summer months and often spike in July. From 2013 through 2022, CFA and the OHV Safety Coalition have documented 793 total deaths during the month of July.
CFA data from 2013 through 2022 show that the most fatalities for all people, (children and adults) occurred on July 4. Of the total 70 recorded deaths on July 4th occurring from 2013 through 2022, 17 were children under the age of 16, comprising nearly one quarter of all deaths (24.3%).
“All OHVs, even youth models, pose risks,” said Dr. Gary Smith, President of the Child Injury Prevention Alliance. “OHVs are fast, complex machines, and due to their design, they roll over easily. One wrong choice could lead to the emergency department or worse. Children younger than 16 years just aren’t ready for the demands of safe riding, so we encourage parents to find a different activity for their child.”
CFA has been working to minimize deaths and injuries from OHVs for decades by petitioning the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to ban adult-size ATVs for children, convening a coalition to prevent OHV road access, compiling fatality information in real time with that coalition, and urging the CPSC to collect annual Recreational Off Highway vehicle (ROV) data among other requests to take steps to reduce OHV deaths and injuries. Just this week, the CPSC voted to make it unlawful for EGL Motors to import or distribute its ATVs in the United States after the company repeatedly failed to comply with federal legal requirements, including failing to ensure ATVs that obtain speeds permitted only for adults are not marketed and sold to youth-aged riders.
CFA urges consumers to take the following seven critical steps to reduce OHV deaths and injuries:
You have only minutes to escape during a fire. Working smoke alarms save lives. More than 2,200 people die each year because of unintentional home fires. Almost two-thirds of these fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or with smoke alarms that don’t work. A smoke alarm’s warning can cut the risk of dying from a fire in your home by almost half.
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September 23rd, 2021 The Boppy Company Recalls Over 3 Million Original Newborn Loungers, Boppy Preferred Newborn Loungers and Pottery Barn Kids Boppy Newborn Loungers After 8 Infant Deaths; Suffocation Risk
Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and The Boppy Company, of Golden, Colorado, are announcing the recall of the Boppy Original Newborn Loungers, Boppy Preferred Newborn Loungers and Pottery Barn Kids Boppy Newborn Loungers. There have been eight reports of infant deaths associated with the Boppy Company Newborn Lounger and this hazard. The infants reportedly suffocated after being placed on their back, side or stomach on the lounger and were found on their side or on their stomach. The infant deaths occurred between December 2015 and June 2020.
“These types of incidents are heartbreaking,” said Acting Chairman Robert S. Adler. “Loungers and pillow-like products are not safe for infant sleep, due to the risk of suffocation. Since we know that infants sleep so much of the time – even in products not intended for sleep – and since suffocation can happen so quickly, these Boppy lounger products are simply too risky to remain on the market.”
“We are devastated to hear of these tragedies,” a spokesperson for Boppy commented. “Boppy is committed to doing everything possible to safeguard babies, including communicating the safe use of our products to parents and caregivers, and educating the public about the importance of following all warnings and instructions and the risks associated with unsafe sleep practices for infants. The lounger was not marketed as an infant sleep product and includes warnings against unsupervised use.”
This recall involves all Boppy Newborn Loungers. The loungers were sold in a variety of colors and fashions and measure about 23 inches long by 22 inches wide and 7 inches high.
Boppy sold about 3.3 million of the recalled loungers at juvenile product stores and mass merchandisers nationwide and online, including Pottery Barn Kids, Target, and Walmart and online at Amazon.com. The loungers were sold from January 2004 through September 2021 for between $30 and $44.
Boppy also distributed about 35,000 in Canada.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled loungers and contact The Boppy Company for a refund. Contact The Boppy Company toll-free at 800-416-1355 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online at www.boppy.com and click “Recall & Safety Alert” for more information.
CPSC continues to emphasize that the best place for a baby to sleep is on a firm, flat surface in a crib, bassinet, or play yard. Parents and caregivers should never add blankets, pillows, padded crib bumpers, or other items to an infant’s sleeping environment. Babies should always be placed to sleep on their backs.
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