Blind safety measures explained
Safety measures for blinds are designed to try and reduce the risk or injury, or worse, posed by blinds and their operating mechanisms. In 2014, legislation was passed to ensure that all blinds are supplied with an adequate cord safety device; alternatively, if you have blinds with cords fitted professionally, a safety device has to be fitted for you. In this article we will look at why these safety measures are necessary and some of the methods used to achieve blind safety.
Why are blind safety measures necessary?
Blinds which operate by means of a looped cord pose a risk to young children, and even pets, of strangulation. There have indeed been numerous tragic cases where a child has died as a result of getting caught in blind cord loops. As a result, campaigning has occurred to raise awareness of this hazard and make blinds safer, removing the risk these mechanisms pose.
Safe by design
Campaigning led to legislation being introduced in 2014 which requires all newly manufactured blinds to be ‘safe by design’; this means that potentially unsafe off-the-shelf, cord loop operated blinds must be supplied with safety devices. Furthermore, when new blinds are fitted by a professional, if they have a looped cord mechanism the installer is legally required to also fit a safety device. Blinds which do not operate using a cord loop – for example, motorised, hand operated or wand operated blinds – are deemed ‘safe by design’ and do not pose a risk to children, therefore safety devices are not necessary.
Blind safety measures
It is perhaps most important to ensure that blinds in a child’s room have effective safety measures in place, and ideally they would not be cord operated. Devices should be installed across all loop cord operated windows in your home to guarantee child safety. As a general rule, you should not place your child’s bed, cot or highchair near a window, nor should you have climbable furniture near windows, as these furnishings can give your child easy access to blind cords. Preferably, blinds will be ‘safe by design’ options, however, older blinds can be bettered by installing safety measures to increase child safety. These include:
- Cord/chain break connectors: this device is part of the chain/cord and will break the loop if undue pressure is applied, thus preventing the risk of strangulation. The device is reusable and the loop can be reconnected post-split.
- Cord tensioner: this device is attached to the window frame and the cord is looped through it, keeping the cord held taut. This prevents the cord from being free and easy to play with and also keeps the loop gap very narrow.
- Cleat: this device provides a way to store the blind cords out of reach of children. The cleat is attached on a surface next to the blind and at least 1.5 metres off the ground. After operating the blind, the cords should be wrapped in a figure of 8 around the cleat which keeps the cords inaccessible to children.
A professional will install one of these options for you on new, loop cord operated blinds but it is up to you to update existing blinds with one of these safety devices to ensure you meet safety standards.
Denton Blinds offer a great selection of high quality blinds and window coverings for domestic and commercial properties throughout the areas of Burton on Trent and Kettering. Our experts can tailor blinds perfectly to your windows and will always ensure the legislative safety standards are met. For further information or advice, get in touch with our friendly team today.