After a lot of work in recent years across EU member states the new guidelines for blind safety were published on the 28th February 2014 by the BSI and now become law.
It is now illegal to supply or professionally install an internal window blind which does not comply with the child safety requirements of BS EN 13120:2009+A1:2014
Blind Technique takes responsibility for our customers' safety very seriously. There have been far too many tragic accidents involving young children and blind cords and these new laws together with public awareness aim to prevent any further fatalities and injuries. This is now adopted across the EU member states and will hopefully follow soon worldwide in countries such as the USA where this February alone there were 4 unnecessary and tragic fatalities.
So what does this mean for Blind Technique and for you our customers going forward:
- Installation of safe blinds to all homes regardless of whether children or babies are present or not,
- Limitations on cord and chain lengths,
- Safety devices for preventing any cords or chains from creating a hazardous loop,
- Safety warnings and instructions.
All of our products at Blind Technique fall into 3 categories regarding their safety:
- Products that are inherently safe - our products that fit into this category are tensioned pleated blinds, spring controlled roller blinds, wand operated vertical blinds, Velux and Skylight blinds, Perfect-fit roller and pleated blinds, INTU blinds, motorised products, crank operated blinds, plantation shutters, awnings. This is quite a large range and none of these products have any cords that can form a hazardous loop.
- Inbuilt safety systems - examples of these are chain connectors where they will pull apart when a certain force is applied, therefore preventing a loop from being formed. There are still restrictions on the cord or chain length and the minimum distance from the floor. Click below to see examples of these devices.
- Separate safety devices - these are separately installed cord/chain tensioners of cleats to keep unsafe looped cords safe and away from children. These devices are also show via the link below and can normally be retrofitted to existing blinds to make them safe, ask us for more information.
How can we help?
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) recommends that "pull cords on blinds should be kept short and kept out of reach of children."
The following are recommended:
- Install blinds that do not have a cord, particularly in a child's bedroom,
- Do not place a child's cot, bed, playpen or highchair near a window,
- Pull cords on curtains and blinds should be kept short and kept out of reach,
- Tie up the cords or use one of the many cleats, cord tidies, clips or ties that are available,
- Do not hang toys or objects that could be a hazard on the cot or bed,
- Do not have chain style cords in infants nurseries and childrens bedrooms,
- Don't hang drawstring bags where a small child could get their head through the loop of the drawstring.
- Follow this link for more information - ROSPA Blind Cords Campaign
Unfortunately fatalities are happening in the UK and worldwide every year. Although we are not always fitting safe products, you also need to be aware of the hazards particularly with existing unsafe products. When speaking to us about new blinds or your existing blinds we are more than happy to give you all the information and help you require - just ask us!
Make it Safe
Essential reading for anyone who has small children and any type of blinds in their home or place of work. There have been fatalities in the UK in the last year due to blind cords. Blind Technique takes safety very seriously and urges everyone to be aware of the risks.
Child Safety Video
Here is a video produced by the British Blind and Shutter Association that gives information on inherently safe blinds and lots of advice on how to keep those looped blind cords safe from small children and infants.