13 August 2019 – Consumer Reports, the nonprofit consumer advocacy organization, today praised the signing of a new law in New York state to help protect children from deadly furniture tip-over incidents.
Consumer Reports is a strong supporter of “Harper’s Law,” named after 3-year-old Harper Fried of Monroe, N.Y., who died from a furniture tip-over incident. The Yonkers, N.Y.-based CR has reported extensively on furniture tip-overs and tested the stability of a wide range of dressers for tip-over risks.
Harper’s Law requires New York retailers to sell only dressers and other clothing storage units that meet minimum stability standards, if such standards exist for the type of furniture being sold. For other clothing storage units, retailers need to ensure that the products come with wall-anchoring kits, provided either by the manufacturer or the retailer, so that parents have equipment to help keep their children safe.
“We applaud the state of New York for standing up for children’s safety. Harper’s Law is a major milestone in the effort to help prevent tip-over tragedies and save lives,” said Meagen Bohne, associate director of campaigns for Consumer Reports. “The Fried family’s extraordinary work to turn tragedy into action, and to make this day a reality, is an inspiration to all of us. Furniture tip-overs are a hidden hazard in our homes. The problem is an epidemic, as one child in the U.S. dies every two weeks when a TV, furniture, or appliance tips over on them. Harper’s Law is a victory for consumers in New York, and it sends a message to the rest of the country to raise the bar for furniture safety nationally.”
CR’s ongoing investigation of furniture tip-overs has shown that manufacturers can design dressers at various price points that are safer and more stable. CR is working with policymakers, companies, safety advocates, and the families of children killed in tip-over incidents to find solutions and improve standards.
In addition to advocating for Harper’s Law in New York, CR is urging Congress to pass the STURDY Act, a federal bill to strengthen furniture safety standards nationwide.