Why are child safe roller blinds so important?
February 23, 2022
Choosing new blinds for our homes is certainly something very exciting and uplifting, particularly if we have just bought our new dream pad, or maybe invested time and effort on a rewarding renovation project. With so many materials, patterns, colours and designs to choose from the possibilities are simply endless!
But whilst the decision on the aesthetic qualities of our roller blinds, whether to go for a more floral pattern with bold colours and tones rather than a more traditional and understated look and feel is certainly very important, we must also think about safety. Particularly child safety.
This is not only important when we decide to buy new blinds for our homes or offices, but it is also something that manufacturers have to carefully consider when designing, producing and installing child safe roller blinds. Blinds with cords or chains have proven to potentially be harmful to babies, children and vulnerable people, particularly if they don’t meet all the relevant and necessary legal requirements and guidelines provided by the law. Their misuse can lead to injury or, in some cases even fatalities.
Why Do We Make Child Safe Roller Blinds?
In 2016 The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, or RoSPA, found that since 1999 there had been 28 confirmed cases of child deaths linked to looped blind cords in the UK alone.
At Blind Technique, we take safety very seriously and we are extremely aware of the risks, particularly to child safety, associated with poorly designed roller blinds. And this is why when we manufacture our blinds we consistently adhere to the standards dictated by the British Blind and Shutter Association, or BBSA. These guidelines and standards complement previous legislation in roller blind safety from the European Standards of Internal Window Blinds in 2014.
Technology Has Helped Blinds Become Safer
Particularly over the past few years, roller blinds have become inherently safer, technology has indeed played a significant role in the design and creation of safer blinds, and consumers have certainly become more aware of the risks associated with corded roller blinds.
Motorised blinds are a great example of improved child safety! In this way, there is no need for cords or loose chains making these types of blinds child safe by their very own design. For more information on motorisation please click here.
We have already spoken about the amazing work achieved by the BBSA and RoPSA, it is also worth mentioning their Make it Safe Campaign which aimed to have all blinds produced and sold after February 2014 compliant with child safety requirements.
How To Make Your Existing Blinds Safe
Unfortunately, in some homes, old blinds can still pose a risk to safety. However, making an existing roller blind safer is quick and easy; there are a number of safety devices that one can install to ensure that the blinds meet the new safety requirements.
Types of Safety Device
- Cleat: a cleat is securely fixed to the adjacent wall, out of reach of children. The cord or chain is secured in place after each operation of the blind
- Cord/Chain tidy: this is also secured to the adjacent wall and the chain or cord is held permanently within the device
- Chain-break connector: this device will break apart when undue force or pressure is applied to the operating chain.
Adding any of these devices to your existing blinds will create a child-safe roller blind.
Installing the safety device
- Start by making sure that you use the appropriate fixings for the construction of your wall: make a pilot hole if you are drilling into woods, use plasterboards fixings for hollow walls and wall plugs for masonry ones
- After fitting the chosen safety device onto the blind/chain cord make sure you mark the position of the screw on the adjacent wall
- Tighten the screws with a hand screwdriver to ensure a secure fitting
- This will allow the blind to operate as before but with the difference that now the cord/chain is kept taut with no risk of being loose or swinging and therefore posing a risk of injury to children and vulnerable people
Other safety preventions
Why not go the extra mile to make sure that not only your blinds are child safe, but your home too? By adopting the following simple precautions you can achieve just that:
- keep your child’s cot, bed or playpen away from blinds
- don’t position your sofas, chairs, tables, shelves or bookcase near a window blind… we all know far too well how experienced climbers children can be!
You can find more information about blind safety on both the RoPSA, BBSA websites and of course on our own website safety page.