Vol. 1094 | 30 Jul 2019

As part of the rulemaking process required by Section 104(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is proposing a new federal regulation: 16 CFR 1239 Safety Standard for Gates and Enclosures. The rule proposes to adopt the existing ASTM F1004 – 19, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Expansion Gates and Expandable Enclosures, with no modifications.

Gates and enclosures, as referenced by the proposed rule, refer to barriers, both expandable and non-expandable, providing physical protection to children. The ASTM F1004-19 standard defines an expansion gate as a “barrier intended to be erected in an opening, such as a doorway, to prevent the passage of young children but which can be removed by older persons who are able to operate the locking mechanism” and an expandable enclosure as a “self-supporting barrier intended to completely surround an area or play-space within which a young child may be confined.”

The CPSC’s notice of proposed rulemaking discusses the incident data and hazard patterns reviewed by the staff. The most common product related hazard patterns identified were:

  • Hardware failures: such as locking and latching mechanisms breaking, mounting hardware, hinge hardware and door/slide guides loosening or breaking and causing the gates to fall
  • Slat issues: from slats breaking and detaching
  • Material quality and finish issues: from small parts generated, splinters, sagging fabric/mesh, sharp edges, protrusions etc.
  • Design issues: including pinch points, openings between slats entrapping children, designs causing trip hazards and designs including foot holds that a child could climb over

The CPSC staff’s review of the current ASTM F1004-19 deemed it adequate to address the hazard patterns identified by the incident data. Key requirements addressed by the ASTM F1004 -19 standard apart from the general requirements for small parts, sharp edges, sharp points, openings, wood parts, labeling etc., include:

  • Completely bounded openings
  • Height of sides
  • Vertical strength
  • Push-out force strength
  • Locking mechanisms integrity
  • Slat strength

The CPSC has proposed that the rule become effective 6 months after publication of the final rule in the Federal Register. Comments on the proposed rule can be submitted until September 23, 2019.

The proposed rule can be viewed at: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-07-08/pdf/2019-14295.pdf

For questions, please contact Laxmi Ravikumar (laxmi.ravikumar@intertek.com, +1-630-209-9265).


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