The rising temperatures signal the arrival of summer vacation for kids across the country! They will soon be out of school and spending more time at home leaving parents with a bit more responsibility. Every year during Window Covering Safety month in October, Budget Blinds offers up a useful list of ideas on how to make your home a safer place for children and pets. This year, however, we’re doing it a little early in light of new safety standards set forth by the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA).
Below, you’ll find details on the new window covering safety standards, the steps Budget Blinds has taken to comply with them, as well as a few action steps you can implement now to make your home a safer place this summer and beyond.
New Window Covering Safety Standards
Each year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Window Covering Safety Council work with a task force of regulators and consumer advocates to develop the safest possible guidelines for window coverings. Entanglement by window cords is a serious danger that can cause injury to small children and even death. While accidents have decreased with improvements in industry safety standards, there is still work to be done in spreading awareness. In the United States, beginning June 1st, 2013, some of the most stringent window covering safety standards will be put into effect.
Currently, all Budget Blinds products meet or exceed the American National Standard for Safety of Corded Window Covering Products. In addition, Budget Blinds is vigorously working with its manufacturing partners to make sure we comply with the new safety standards that will be taking effect on June 1st, 2013. This is the national standard developed and maintained by the WCMA. The standard requires:
- Allowable lead content (maximum of 200 PPM or 0.02%)
- Cording methods for multiple cord blinds
- Tension devices on continuous loop cords
- Warning tags attached to cords when packaged and shipped
- Stop beads to prevent accessible inner cord loops
- Manufacturer’s identification and date of manufacture
- Warning labels affixed to a product when packaged and shipped (View Warning Label)
The Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) in cooperation with Health Canada announced an industry-wide voluntary recall to repair certain corded bottom-up top-down style window blinds and shades from multiple suppliers. Health Canada determined that certain corded products utilizing a cord-joiner device do not meet Canadian Corded Window Coverings Regulations for safety. This is to certify that as of March 2013, all window coverings distributed by Budget Blinds in Canada are compliant with Canadian window covering regulations and often exceed safety standards.
“The new standard significantly increases the safety requirements for window coverings in a home,” said Derick Marsh, CEO of RollEase and Board of Trustees member of the Window Covering Manufacturers Association. “It’s great to see companies like Budget Blinds take the initiative towards ensuring that they have the knowledge and product selection that will comply with these new safety standards.”
Steps to Make Your Home Environment Safer
Choose Cordless Window Coverings: Most styles of corded window coverings pose a tempting hazard to infants and toddlers who view dangling cords as playthings. When purchasing new window coverings, it’s better to select cordless options. Shutters, for example, offer a classic and inherently cordless window covering solution. There are also motorized shades which can be conveniently operated with the touch of a button on a remote control. Last, cordless cellular shades are a sleek and modern option that can be easily raised and lowered with one hand.
Add Safety Features to Existing Cords: Existing corded window coverings can be retrofitted with safety features. For example, spring-assisted clutches can be installed to raise and lower window coverings without the use of cords. Sliding panel track systems are an ideal safety solution for vertically oriented windows that open side-to-side. Break-away tassels are designed to break apart under minimal stress to prevent entanglement. Cord stops restrict how far internal ladder cords can be pulled from a blind or shade. Finally, cord cleats safely tie cords away from your children’s reach.
Place Furniture with Safety in Mind: Be mindful of where furniture is placed in a child’s bedroom or playroom. Moving furniture, such as cribs, changing tables, toy chests and chairs away from the window area prevents access to the window covering cords. This also minimizes the risk of children accidentally falling out of the window itself. In the event that the glass breaks, positioning furniture away from the window reduces the risk of injury from glass shards. If furniture must be placed near a window, consider adding window film which helps maintain the integrity of windowpanes during a storm or earthquake.
For more tips on keeping your home safe, visit www.windowcoverings.org/keep-children-safe-at-all-ages.