Clothing Storage Units
The rule seeks to reduce the unreasonable risk of injury and death to children associated with clothing storage units tipping over.
A “clothing storage unit” is defined as “a consumer product that is a freestanding furniture item, with drawer(s) and/or door(s), that may be reasonably expected to be used for storing clothing, that is designed to be configured to greater than or equal to 27 inches in height, has a mass greater than or equal to 57 pounds with all extendable elements filled with at least 8.5 pounds/cubic foot times their functional volume (cubic feet), has a total functional volume of the closed storage greater than 1.3 cubic feet, and has a total functional volume of the closed storage greater than the sum of the total functional volume of the open storage and the total volume of the open space.”
Clothing storage units that are subject to this rule are commonly referred to as
- Chest of drawers
- Drawer chests
- Door chests
Specifically exempted products are:
- Clothes lockers – a predominantly metal furniture item without exterior drawers and with one or more doors that either locks or accommodates an external lock
- Portable storage closets – a freestanding furniture item with an open frame that encloses hanging clothing storage space and/or shelves; may have a cloth case with curtain(s), flap(s), or door(s) that obscure the contents from view
Some products that, depending on their design, may not meet the definition of a clothing storage unit are:
- Shelving units
- Office furniture
- Dining room furniture
- Laundry hampers
- Built-in closets
- Single compartment, closed, rigid boxes (storage chests)
You can find a recording of how to test a clothing storage unit here: Clothing Storage Unit Testing Demonstration (16 CFR 1261) - YouTube.
Yes. Manufacturers or importers of clothing storage units must issue 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 certificates, please visit our CPC page or GCC page.
No, the requirements allow for testing of units that do not have an interlock. If the product does have an interlock, there are requirements for such devices. Units with interlocks that fail to meet the applicable requirements must undergo stability testing with the interlock disabled or bypassed.
The stability rating is calculated by dividing the tip-over moment by the threshold moment.
The tip-over moment is determined in one of two ways:
- For units that have an extendable element that extends at least 6 inches from the fulcrum:
Record the horizontal distance from where the center of force will be applied (the center of gravity of the weights to be applied) to the fulcrum. Gradually apply, over a period of at least 5 seconds, weights to the face of an extended extendable element of the unit to cause the unit to tip over. The weights are to be placed on a single drawer face or distributed evenly across multiple drawer faces or as adjacent as possible to the pull-out shelf face. The weights shall not interfere with other extended extendable elements. Record the tip-over force. Calculate the tip-over moment of the unit by multiplying the tip-over force (pounds) by the horizontal distance from the center of the force application to the fulcrum (feet).
For units where the above test does not apply:
Record the vertical distance from where the center of force will be applied to the fulcrum. Gradually apply over a period of at least 5 seconds a horizontal force to the unit orthogonal to the fulcrum to cause the unit to tip over. Record the tip-over force. Calculate the tip-over moment of the unit by multiplying the tip-over force (pounds) by the vertical distance from the center of force application to the fulcrum (feet).
The threshold moment is the greatest of the following options:
- 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 (the top of the CSU, or 4.12 feet maximum)
Clothing storage units must bear a warning label per 16 CFR § 1261.5 that contains specific pictogram(s) and prescribed text. Content of the warning label varies, based on whether the unit is designed to hold a television, and whether the unit has an interlock. Clothing storage units must also bear an identification mark or label per 16 CFR § 1261.5 that contains prescribed information and text. Manufacturers of clothing storage units shall also give notification of performance and technical data related to performance and safety to prospective purchasers per 16 CFR § 1261.6 that includes a stability rating.
Yes. Such products are considered to be “consumer products” under the jurisdiction of CPSC; therefore, they are subject to applicable consumer product safety rules, which would include 16 CFR part 1261.
That depends on the individual unit. The test requires that force (vertical weight in Test Method 1, or horizontal force in Test Method 2) be applied until the unit would tip over.
The scope applies to products manufactured after the effective date, regardless of whether they are manufactured domestically or manufactured overseas and then imported. Note that there is a stockpiling provision under 16 CFR § 1261.7.
No, clothing storage units manufactured after the effective date must comply with the applicable requirements when they are sold to the consumer.