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CPSC Issues New Federal Mandatory Safety Standard for Adult Portable Bed Rails

Release Date: July 06, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today took action to protect older adults and other vulnerable consumers from unreasonable risks of injury and death associated with entrapment by adult portable bed rails (APBRs). CPSC has identified 284 entrapment deaths involving adult portable bed rails between January 2003 and December 2021.

To address the entrapment risk, and also reduce deaths and injuries resulting from falls and other adult portable bed rail hazards, the Commission today voted to adopt a mandatory safety standard for these devices. The rule establishes a mandatory performance requirement and test procedure to reduce the risk of entrapment and other hazards associated with the use of adult portable bed rails and requires all APBRs sold in the United States and manufactured after the effective date to comply with the standard’s performance and testing requirements.  

The standard incorporates by reference the voluntary ASTM International (ASTM) F3186-17, Standard Specification for Adult Portable Bed Rails and Related Products, with modifications. 

The modifications to the ASTM standard that are made in the new rule provide clarity and improve safety, as follows: 

Adding new definitions to ensure consistency throughout the rule. 

Improving requirements for manufacturers to inform the consumer of the range of mattress thicknesses to ensure safe use of the product and to provide testers with guidance for selecting the correct mattress thickness during the test setup. 

Updating the requirements for entrapment testing to be consistent with known hazards. 

CPSC testing conducted in 2018-2019, and again in 2021, indicates there is not substantial industry compliance with the ASTM standard. CPSC has issued five public warnings regarding specific adult portable bed rails that did not comply with the voluntary standard and numerous recalls. The Commission vote was 4 to 0.

The effective date for the final rule is thirty days after its publication in the Federal Register. This effective date is expected to be in August 2023.  


CPSC Chair and Commissioner Statements

Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric
Commissioner Mary T Boyle 
Commissioner Richard Trumka

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About the U.S. CPSC
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years. 

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