Window blinds come in an endless range of colours and finishes but when buying new blinds for your home, you must consider the way they are operated. Window blinds can be dangerous, and over the years Blinds and Child Safety has been an under estimated topic. Cords used within blind systems have been the main issue with regards child safety, accidents have occurred caused by loose blind cords, in some cases leading to death due to strangulation.
When buying new window blinds consider the following:
Safe By Design
A blind which is safe by design is one that is cordless or has concealed or tension cords. Typically these blinds are pushed or pulled into position. Motorised blinds also remove the need for operating cords. Wooden shutters and external blinds are other cordless styles of window dressing.
In-Built Safety Systems
In-built safety systems are those that are built into the product and so do not require additional installation or operation in use. Some window sizes or shapes may not lend themselves to cordless window blinds or you may specifically wish to co-ordinate with your existing blinds. If this is the case then choose a blind style with an in-built safety device, such as a chain break connector where the chain is designed to separate under any undue pressure. Breakaway tassels at the bottom of cords work in the same way.
Note: By law there are limitations on cord and chain lengths for in-built safety systems.
Separate Safety Systems
Separate safety systems are those that require additional installation and/or operation in use. If cordless options or those with in-built safety devices are not suitable for your specific situation then the only alternative is to use a blind with a separate safety device such as a tensioning system or an accumulation device like a cleat. Make sure the device is securely fitted and always used.
Note: By law there are limitations on cord and chain lengths for separate safety systems.
BY LAW All internal blinds sold must comply with the 2014 standards
BY LAW Professional installers must fit compliant (safe) blinds in all homes
With the new regulations now coming onto force early 2014 everyone from those manufacturing, supplying & installing internal blinds will now be responsible for keeping in line with the new regulations to make blinds more safer.
You can also visit The British Blinds & Shutters Association’s website (www.makeitsafe.org.uk) where you can also pick up some more information on blinds and child safety or click MAKE-IT-SAFE to download the ‘Make-it-Safe Leaflet.
Red Rose Blinds & Curtains are a member of the BBSA (British Blind & Shutter Association).
The BBSA represents member companies that manufacture and supply interior and exterior blinds, awnings, security grilles and shutters and associated motor and control systems.
The Association takes a leading role to ensure the highest possible standards of product, service and fair trading throughout the trade. Each member adheres to a strict Code of Practice and is kept updated with changes in the industry via regular communications.
The BBSA is the single largest source of information about the solar shading industry and the sections of this website will demonstrate the benefits of the products this industry offers along with the benefits of using a BBSA member.
The BBSA has been instrumental in leading the campaign for safer window blinds via its ‘make it safe’ campaign.