CPSC encourages voluntary window covering safety standard

(U.S) – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is encouraging the public to go cordless when it comes to window coverings.

In a press release published late last month, officials explain stock window coverings sold in stores or online should be cordless or free of accessible cords to meet a revised voluntary safety standard that took effect on December 15th, 2018.

“The new standard is the result of years of collaboration among the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA), industry, the safety community, and the CPSC,” explained CPSC Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle. “As older window coverings are replaced with these cordless products, I expect a significant reduction in strangulations of young children.”

What are the requirements of the updated voluntary standard?
Earlier this year, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved an updated window covering safety standard, ANSI/WCMA A100-2018, which now requires that stock or substantially fabricated window coverings be cordless or have inaccessible cords or short cords (eight inches or less) in any position of the window covering.

The standard also has restrictions for corded custom-order window coverings, such as a specific default length and default to a tilt wand instead of a tilt cord. The standard also provides for more robust warning tags that emphasize the strangulation hazard.

CPSC worked with WCMA, retailers, manufacturers, test labs, and various safety advocates to make the updated standard a reality.

“I expect compliance with the voluntary standard based on the stakeholder involvement in its revision. I also appreciate WCMA’s agreement to begin addressing the remaining hazards associated with custom window coverings, by convening the first meeting of stakeholders to discuss the issues on January 23, 2019,” Buerkle added.

Window covering safety tips
For consumers who still have corded blinds, CPSC urges them to replace their corded blinds with cordless, particularly in homes where children live or visit. Until then, consumers with corded blinds should follow these safety tips:

  • Move all cribs, beds, furniture, and toys away from windows and window cords.
  • Make tasseled pull cords as short as possible.
  • Keep all window cords well out of the reach of children. Eliminate any dangling cords.
  • Permanently anchor continuous-looped bead chains and cords to the floor or wall.

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