Are your blinds up to the current safety standards?
The National Safety Authority Ireland recently announced three new European Standards to protect children from window blind cords.
Loop cords and chains on window blinds pose a strangulation risk for young children and there have been a number of tragic accidents involving children in Ireland in recent years. This has raised safety concerns about window blinds in homes and places where children visit.
The 3 new standards that have been published are:
- ‘Internal blinds – Performance requirements including safety’ – This standard amends the previously existing European standard (EN13120) which was published in 2009. It specifies the requirements that internal blinds should fulfil when they are fitted to a building. The amendment expands the scope to cover many types of blinds, while expanding the clause on ‘protection from strangulation; to address specific hazards posed by cords.
- Internal blinds – Protection from strangulation hazards – ‘Test methods’ – This is a new standard that specifies test methods which can be used to verify that a window blind conforms to the requirements relating to protection from strangulation.
- ‘Internal blinds – protection from strangulation hazards – Requirements and Test methods for safety devices’ – This standard specifies the safety requirements for test methods for safety devices that can help to improve the safety of window blinds and prevent accidents. These safety devices can be fitted to window blinds during the manufacturing process or alternatively fitted to window blinds that have already been installed.
Here are some simple steps that can be taken immediately to remove any potential hazards from existing blinds and help to prevent tragic accidents and fatalities in the home:
- Cords ending in a loop are particularly risky. If possible, cut the cord to get rid of the loop and install tassels;
- Cords should end at least 1.5 metres above the ground so children cannot reach them. Replace cords with curtain or blind wands;
- Where cords cannot be cut, a tie-down or tension device should be used to pull the cord tight and secure it to the floor or wall;
- Never place a child’s cot, bed, playpen or high chair near a window or patio door where a child could reach a curtain or blind cord;
- Keep sofas, chairs, tables, shelves or bookcases away from windows to prevent children climbing up and reaching curtain or blind cords
For further information please go to the National Consumer Agency on www.consumerhelp.ie/window-blinds
*All of the blinds supplied by Right Price Blinds are made to European Safety Standards and are always fitted with a child safety device