An illustration of a child tilting a dresser.
Illustration: John Ritter

Stopping Furniture Tip-Overs

Every 60 minutes, a child is treated in an emergency room for injuries from furniture that tipped over onto them. Many manufacturers say families should "anchor" their furniture—but that's not always a viable solution.

In fact, two-thirds of Americans don't do that, according to a new, nationally representative CR survey. Reasons include uncertainty about how to find wall studs, and other aspects of installation. And many just say their furniture already seems stable.

But the onus to make these products safe should not be on consumers: CR's tests show that it's possible to design furniture that resists tipping, across a range of prices. So we're urging Congress to pass the Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (STURDY) Act, which cleared the House in June and awaits a Senate vote. If it passes, the Consumer Product Safety Commission will have to mandate more rigorous testing.

Go to "Let's stop deadly furniture tip-overs!" to send a message to your senators, urging them to pass the bill, and see "How to Anchor Furniture to Help Prevent Tip-Overs" for a video guide to anchoring.

CR Call to Action

When CR members helped test drinking water across the country, the results were deeply troubling: Almost every sample contained measurable levels of PFAS, a group of toxic compounds known as "forever chemicals" because they don't break down easily in the body or the environment. In July—spurred in part by more than 16,000 emails from CR members—the U.S. House passed the CR-endorsed PFAS Action Act, which would require the Environmental Protection Agency to set a new federal standard for PFAS in drinking water. Help us urge the Senate to do its part, by emailing your representatives "Get ‘forever chemicals’ out of our water."

Making Cars Fuel-Efficient

What's at stake: In August, President Joe Biden committed to stronger auto pollution standards, issuing an executive order that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new passenger vehicle sales by more than 60 percent by 2030, compared with vehicles sold in 2020.

A nationally representative summer 2020 CR survey of 3,879 U.S. adults found that 9 in 10 agree automakers should continue to improve fuel economy for all vehicle types.

But CR advocates feel the proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency to imple­ment Biden's order doesn't go far enough, even though it would represent a big improvement over the rolled-back standards of the previous administration. Unfortunately, the proposal includes loopholes for automakers that make it weaker than it looks on paper. And CR's analysis shows that it would deliver only 75 percent of the benefits of the fuel efficiency standards established—and agreed to by the auto industry—in 2012.

How CR has your back: CR advocates are trying to strengthen the new rules before they're finalized later this year.

In particular, we're encour­aging the Biden administration to adopt a better plan that the EPA included in the same proposal: This "Alternative #2" would eliminate some of the loopholes, strengthen efficiency standards, save consumers up to $2,100 over the life of the average new vehicle, and put us on track to meet the goals the president has committed to.

What you can do: Sign CR's petition, "Cleaner Cars: Hold the auto industry accountable," asking the EPA to go with Alternative #2.

Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the November 2021 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.