7th – 13th June 2021
Why is child safety so prevalent when it comes to blinds?
More than 30 children have died in the UK since 1970 in accidents involving blind cords or chains and new legislation has now been introduced to address the problem.
What is the legislation?
In 2005, a safety regulation was issued to the Windows Coverings Industry stating that “No producer shall (supply or) place a (consumer) product on the market unless the product is a safe product”.
In February 2014, a new law was passed which changed the requirements of BS EN 13120:2009+A1:2014. This placed an obligation on the blind industry to supply compliant products.
Where does this apply?
The law requires blinds to have the child safety features in all places where children up to 42 months old could be present.
This includes apartments, houses, churches, schools, hospitals, shops, shared dwellings and any public buildings or places.
How does this affect specifiers?
It means that any window coverings specified with control cords or chains must comply with legislation. This applies to any blind (roller, vertical, venetian, roman etc.) that has a cord or chain and also to curtain tracks.
Is a cord or chain operated blind now non-compliant? Or can I still specify these items?
The answer is, a cord operated blind may be deemed compliant, as long as:
- The cord terminates 1.5m from the floor and has either
- A cord break that breaks at 6kg, or
- A chain tensioning or accumulation device
- Each blind is required to have a general warning notice which must be left on the blind
- Product information must be left with the customer explaining the safety device
- Roman blinds inner cords either need loops of less than 200mm or a breakaway system
- Blinds with pull cords must only have non tangle tassels
- All blinds with cords MUST HAVE the warning notices.
Are there exceptions ?
Electric blinds, and blinds operated by crank handle, wand or spring are inherently compliant and no action needs to be taken with these products.
What are the guidelines for safe specifying?
Child safety starts with the specification. We recommend that you, as a professional,
cover yourself as follows:
- By stating the inherent risk of a corded blind and recording this in the Design Team minutes.
- By specifying either a crank or motorised blind.
- Alternatively, if specifying a chain operated blind state ‘designed, manufactured and installed in accordance with BS EN 13120:2009+A1:2014’.
- As the contract progresses, ask the blinds sub-contractor to explain how the child safety requirements will be carried out, and how the modifications will impact on the installation.
Please contact us for a further conversation around child safety regulations and how to apply them.