MAKE BLINDS CORDS SAFE
Each year we hear tragic news of young children dying after becoming accidentally entangled in blind cords in the UK – as well as many near misses.
Research shows that most deaths have been children between 16 and 36 months old, and the majority have been in children’s’ bedrooms, especially where cots or beds have been close to the windows. The reason? Children this young have windpipes that have not fully developed, are smaller and less rigid than older children and adults. With their heads proportionally weighing more than their bodies and muscular control not fully developed they suffocate more quickly if their necks are constricted.
Complete elimination of the strangulation risk can only be achieved by keeping cords, chains and tapes and similar out of the reach of children. The use of additional safety devices will reduce the risk of strangulation but cannot be considered fool proof.
The only European regulations for internal blinds is (EN 13120). The Regulations require you to manufacture and sell "Safe Products'. A 'Safe Product' is one which under normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use including duration and, where applicable, putting into service, installation and maintenance requirements does not present any risk or only the minimum risk compatible with the products use, considered to be acceptable and consistent with a high level of protection for the safety and health of persons. The regulations only refer to blinds specifically. Corded curtain tracks have been included in our policy by implication.
The standards have been revised and have been significantly strengthened. Their scope broadened in relation to child safety. They affect everyone associated in the industry. All internal window blinds and corded tracks which have cords or chains which may form a hazardous loop are covered by the revised standard.
The child safety elements of the revised standard will be mandated under the General Product Safety Regulations in effect making them mandatory for all internal window blinds and corded tracks installed in a building where a child under 42 months may live or visit.
Our Commitment to Child Safety
1) All blinds and tracks with a hazardous cord or chain will display a warning swing tag, which the customer can remove at a later date. Any available product instructions will also be left with the customer.
2) All blinds and tracks with a hazardous cord or chain will be supplied to clients with at least one safety device.
3) The customer will be required to sign a disclaimer form stating if the he/she agrees or disagrees to have a safety device installed.
4) Our fully trained, in-house fitters will advise the client how to operate the blind and the safety device, before leaving the client’s premises. They will sign back a form stating they have installed a safety device on each blind.
5) All our staff are fully trained to advise clients about the risk of looped cords or chains on blinds for both new products and existing installed blinds. For example, the dangers of installing blinds with looped cords or chains near cots, beds, sofas, chairs, tables.
6) We will always be able to offer products that have no cords or concealed cords or systems under tension where young children may be present.
7) When supplying corded curtain tracks, we will use those that hold the cords taut against the wall using tensioned holders and not those with freely hanging cords with cord weights.