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Clothing Storage Units

CPSC published a final rule in the Federal Register (87 FR 72598) that establishes a mandatory safety standard for clothing storage units (CSU): Safety Standard for Clothing Storage Units (16 CFR part 1261). The rule includes requirements that CSUs be tested for stability, meet minimum stability requirements, bear labels containing safety and identification information, and display a hang tag providing performance and technical data about the stability of the CSU. The requirements apply to all covered CSUs manufactured after May 24, 2023.

A “clothing storage unit” is defined a freestanding furniture item with drawer(s) and/or door(s) that may be reasonably expected to be used for storing clothing and meets all of the following:

  • Designed to be configured to at least 27 inches in height
  • Weighs at least 57 pounds with all extendable elements filled with at least 8.5 pounds/cubic foot times their functional volume (cubic feet)
  • Total functional volume of the closed storage is greater than 1.3 cubic feet
  • Total functional volume of the closed storage is greater than the sum of the total functional volume of the open storage and the total volume of the open space

Additional definitions are as follows:

  • “Extendable element” – a drawer or pull-out shelf
  • “Closed storage” – space inside drawers and/or behind opaque doors (includes sliding and hinged)
  • “Open storage” – space not inside drawers or behind opaque doors that reasonably can be used for storage (e.g., shelving, space behind transparent door)
  • “Open space” – space within the frame of the furniture but without a bottom surface (e.g., open space between legs) 

Some products that, depending on their design, may not meet the definition of a “clothing storage unit” include shelving units, office furniture, dining room furniture, laundry hampers, built-in closets, and single-compartment, closed-ridged boxes (storage chests).

Clothes lockers (predominantly a metal furniture item without exterior drawers and with one or more doors that either locks or accommodates an external lock) and portable storage closets (freestanding furniture item with an open frame that encloses hanging clothing storage space and/or shelves) are exempt from the requirements for clothing storage units. See 16 CFR § 1261.1(c).

The tip-over moment of the CSU, as calculated via the test methods outlined at 16 CFR § 1261.4, must be greater than the threshold moment, which is the greatest of the following:

  • For units with an extendable element(s): 55.3 pounds times the extendable element extension from fulcrum distance in feet, plus 26.6 pound-feet
  • For units with a door(s): 51.2 pounds times the door extension from fulcrum distance in feet, minus 12.8 pound-feet
  • For all units: 17.2 pounds times maximum handhold height in feet

For definitions of terms related to clothing storage units, refer to 16 CFR § 1261.2.

CSUs must also bear a warning label and an identification mark or label, see 16 CFR § 1261.5, as well as a tag that displays the stability rating, see 16 CFR § 1261.6.

Section 14(a) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) requires manufacturers of consumer products subject to a regulation, standard, or ban enforced by the CPSC to certify that those products meet the requirements of the standard by issuing a certificate of compliance (Children’s Product Certificate or CPC for children’s products, General Certificate of Compliance or GCC for general-use products). For more information on certification, please visit our CPC business guidance page or GCC business guidance page.

For frequently asked questions, please visit our FAQs page.

Contact

For more information, please contact the Small Business Ombudsman (SBO) team:

  1. Email: SBO@cpsc.gov
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