Children's Blinds and Cord Safety
Children's blinds and Cord Safety
We recently launched our Marvel, Disney and Star Wars range of blinds. As we were organising folders of images etc, it made us think about what they should come under. Are they Childrens Blinds? One would argue that they appeal to children, but they might appeal to an adult just as much. For the purpose of today. Let's call them Branded Children's Blinds for the sake of this post. Obviously, if we are going to sell a Child Blind, we have to ensure that these products are entirely Child Safe (All of our Blinds conform to the child safety requirements of BS EN 13120:2009+A1:2014.) The following is just some thoughts on Blind Safety in general. Get in touch if you have any questions about Child Safety.
Blind (and child) safety should be one of the main priorities of blind manufacturers, retailers, tradespeople and customers. Unfortunately, there have been instances of child fatalities due to unsafe cords and chains. As a window blind installer, you will know that there are now many regulations in place to ensure blind safety at the point of manufacture and installation. Make sure your customers are well aware of the fact that you are a Child Safe Certified Company. If you are not already ... then make it your first priority.
The above video is a great example of some of the great work that the BBSA (British Blinds and Shutter Association) are doing via the Make It Safe initiative and others like them. Below are some good links for further and up to date information. You can find more videos here.
Here are some things you (and your customers) need to know about blind cord safety:
Blind Safety Regulations
In 2014, the UK published safety regulations regarding all internal window blinds with cords and chains. The requirements apply to homes, public buildings (i.e. schools, churches, nurseries, hotels, etc.) and some commercial buildings. In essence, any building which may be accessed by children aged 0-42 months must meet safety standards.
Here are some of the main points you need to be aware of:
- Blinds must be "safe by design" or fitted with a blind cord safety device.
- All safety critical systems of internal blinds must be tested.
- There are limitations on the length of cords and chains.
- Blinds must come with warnings and instructions.
Those are the rules and regulations you need to be concerned about, but what does this actually mean...
New Blinds: What to Look for
Which blinds are "safe by design"? Cordless blinds are a great option to prevent hazards. Alternatively, you should opt for blinds where the cord is hidden in the blind's system or held under tension.
There are safe options for every style of blind on the market. For instance, some blinds are controlled using a wand instead of a cord. You can also get motorised blinds which are operated via a remote, switch or even a smartphone. They are your safest option, especially when it comes to children's blinds.
How to Make Existing Blinds Safe
All new blinds meet the safety regulations at the point of manufacture. But what about blinds that already exist in your home or building?
Firstly, ensure that all blind cords are kept out of reach of children. You can also purchase blind safety devices to make cords and chains safer. Use a chain tensioner if your blind has a looped chain, for example, a roller blind. Looped cords and chains pose the most risk for babies and small children. For other types of cord, fix a cleat to the wall, which acts as a blind cord tidy you can wrap any spare cord around.
This information is vital for those not in a position to buy new blinds. So, spread the word to family, neighbours, grandparents, carers and so on.
Blind safety, for children, in particular, is something we all need to take careful consideration of. It is best to be armed with the right facts and advice to prevent future accidents. For more information, visit Make it Safe run by the British Blind & Shutter Association (BBSA) or the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), another organisation which campaigns for blind cord safety.