Why is blind safety so important?
Since 1999 there have been at least 30 accidental deaths across the UK, and 16 near misses, caused by looped cords.
Research indicates that most accidental deaths involving blind cords happen in the bedroom and occur in children between 16 months and 36 months old, with the majority (more than half) happening at around 23 months.
Window blind safety standards
Current safety standards require that new blinds must be “safe by design” or be supplied with the appropriate child safety devices installed. This means that where there is a loop present, a safety device must be installed at the point of the manufacture. Such safety devices either break under pressure, tension the cord or chain or provide the facility to store cords out of reach. These devices must be fitted by professional installers. If you are fitting blinds yourself follow the instructions supplied with the product and make sure you fit any safety device.
The current safety standard also imposes a maximum cord and chain length. All blinds must also continue to carry safety warnings.
It is important to be aware that whilst new blinds may be safer, many homes still have existing blinds that do not meet safety standards. This is also important to consider when moving into a property with existing blinds of unknown history. It is important to raise awareness of blind safety with anyone who may care for children or vulnerable adults.
How to improve blind safety within your home:
- Install cordless blinds, especially in children’s bedrooms.
- Ensure that you do not place highchairs, playpens, beds or a child’s cot near any windows.
- Keep all pull cords on curtains and blinds short and well out of reach of children or vulnerable adults
- Utilise cleats, cord tidies, clips or ties that are available to keep cords out of reach
- Ensure all blinds you install meet current safety standards. The main standard is supported by two additional standards: EN 16433:2014 and EN 16434:2014 which relate to testing requirements.