How safe are the window treatments in your home? “If you have blinds that were bought before 2001, they should be replaced or updated to make them safer,” according to Lisa Vandermaus of Bali Blinds. As of 2001, the entire window coverings industry has improved the safety of blinds and shades by adding these enhancements to all products:
- Tension pulleys and tie-down devices in all continuous-loop pull cords
- Tassel ends on lift cords
- Cord stops on horizontal blind lift cords that prevent user from pulling internal cords through the slats
- For a free retrofit kit, contact the Window Coverings Safety Council via the web at www.windowcoverings.org or by phone at 1-800-506-4636
The Window Covering Safety Council urges parents and caregivers to check all windowed areas of the home for potential window cord hazards by following these important cord safety rules:
- Install only cordless window coverings in young children’s bedrooms and sleeping areas.
- Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window cords, preferably to another wall.
- Keep all window pull cords and inner lift cords out of the reach of children. Make sure that tasseled pull cords are short and continuous-loop cords are permanently anchored to the floor or wall. Make sure cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit movement of inner lift cords.
- Lock cords into position whenever horizontal blinds or shades are lowered, including when they come to rest on a window.
- Replace window blinds, corded shades and draperies manufactured before 2001 with today’s safer products.