Please be aware that in the spring 2014 new regulations came into force regarding Child Safety and window blinds and curtain cords and that installations MUST comply with EN13120. It will be mandatory to comply with the new regulations and there are no exceptions whether you have children in your house or not. I or any other person who fits curtains and blinds will be breaking the law if we do not comply. Please be aware that all the safety devices supplied by the manufacturer must be fitted - this is a LEGAL REQUIREMENT. The manufacturer must also provide tested and certified safety devices for all blinds that are not inherently safe.
I am proud to be a member of the British Blind and Shutter Association (BBSA) Make It Safe campaign.
Since its launch, the Make It Safe campaign has pressed for safer window blinds and the promotion of safety for all window treatments.
The Make It Safe campaign has seen:
The BBSA taking a leading role in the development of the European standards for window blinds specifically concerning child safety
The creation and promotion of a website, retail promotional materials and internationally recognised videos promoting safer window treatments
The provision of expert advice to regulators and those responsible for standard development, as well as assisting media and established safety organisations to appropriately promote safer window blinds
The insistence of early adoption of safety regulations by all of its membership
The Make It Safe campaign is endorsed by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and the Child Accident Prevent Trust (CAPT) and referenced by many other organisations.
As an accredited member of the BBSA we have been closely involved in the Make It Safe campaign and the changes required in the way internal blinds are made, sold and professionally installed.
The regulations place a legal responsibility on all suppliers and professional installers to:
Provide safety devices to reduce the risk of any cords or chains forming a hazardous loop
Test all safety critical items of internal blinds
Test blinds using safety devices
Observe maximum cord and chain lengths
Provide specific warnings and instructions
Provide information on packaging and at point of sale
Fit safety devices when professionally installing blinds
New Blinds and corded curtain tracks
There are extensive ranges of products that are safe by design, meaning that they do not use operating cords or chains or have concealed or tensioned cords. I strongly recommend that these products are always considered first when you are buying new blinds for homes or public buildings.
If you require curtain tracks or blinds that have operating cords or chains please note the new regulations will mean cord and chain lengths are determined by the European standard, and where a safety device is needed I will have to install the device, by law.
Making existing blinds safer
There are a range of safety devices which have been tested to the new mandatory standards and can help to make existing blinds safer. There are options for virtually every style of blind so you do not have to wait until you change your blind to make it safer.
General safety advice
If fitting blinds yourself, please make sure that you follow the installation instructions carefully and make sure any safety devices supplied are correctly installed
Do not place your child’s cot, bed, high chair or playpen near to a window blind
Make sure all cords and chains are always secured out of reach of babies and young children
Do not tie cords or chains together. Make sure cords or chains do not twist and create a loop
Do not put other furniture near to a window blind as children love to climb
Please ensure that all your curtain & blind's cords are safely wrapped around a cleat/safety device or made inaccessible to children
This page previously displayed safety devices which were available to make blinds safer. However the new regulations state that these devices should be tested by another standard (EN16434), and I have written to all my suppliers requesting confirmation that their safety devices comply, but until that confirmation is received, they have been withdrawn from this web-site
Below are some helpful videos from the BBSA
What to look for when buying new blinds
How to make roller blinds safer
Making Cord operated Roman blinds safer
Making Vertical blinds safer
Making Pleated blinds safer
Making Venetian blinds safer