The importance of safety
Window blinds and curtains are just one of the everyday household objects that can present a hazard when in the hands of very young and curious children. It’s the operating cords and chains that pose a potential issue. A new European Standard for blinds and curtains that covers the safety of these products was introduced on 1 April 2014.
Why is safety legislation required?
The new European legislation includes safety standards that specifically target products with looped chains and cords. These products are seen to pose a danger of strangulation to very young children, from 0-42 months. Manufacturers and installers of these products must remove any loops that are part of the design of the blind or curtain as well as accessible cords and chains that it may be possible to form a hazardous loop from. Warning tags and labels must also be used to clearly communicate the potential hazard of these products. The labels will be shown on the cord/loop and the child safety device.
What does that mean to me?
Safety devices must now be fitted when blinds with looped cords and chains are installed into a home or any other premises where children could spend time.
There are two safety devices:
- A cleat for blinds with control cords. These include Romans, metal, wood and faux wood Venetians and freehang Pleated blinds. The cords of these blinds simply wrap around the cleat when the blind is opened. It keeps the cords tidy and neat, but most importantly, out of the reach of children. Blinds with a cleat must be fitted at a minimum height of 1.5m so if you require a blind to be at a lower height, you must choose another product. Cleats must be fitted no lower than 1.5m too.
- A safety hook is used with our products that have a looped control chain. These include Rollers, Verticals and certain Roman blinds. The chain will be held permanently taut and under constant tension by the safety hook. Hooks must be fitted at the maximum distance from the control mechanism. In addition, there are guidelines when fixing the length of control chains for these types of blinds. These ensure the chains will not be too close the ground.