Young children are exposed to the risk of strangulation by the cords of blinds that seem very inviting to them. Cords, tapes, inner cords and chains which comprise the operating system of blinds are high threats for children as there are high possibilities of these wrapping around their necks. Several instances of accidents to children occurring from blinds with cords have compelled governments to look into the safety aspects of blinds and have resulted in introduction of laws that stipulate specific guidelines about safety measures that have to be incorporated in blinds. Manufacturers are bound by law to incorporate adequate safety measures into blinds. Users are also responsible for selection of blinds that are compliant with the safety standards.
When installing new blinds it is imperative that users will look for blinds that meet all safety requirements. But if you want to upgrade existing blinds to incorporate the safety features that can also be done. Here are some safety options that can be considered.
Fusing safety into the design
Buyers who are aware about the safety requirements of blinds insist for blinds that have safety built into the design of blinds. These kinds of blinds do away with cords and if it is not possible then cords are kept concealed or tension cords that do not dangle invitingly are used. Cordless blinds can be motorized which are operated by remote control without the necessity of handling the blinds. There can be three alternatives for achieving cordless operation.
- Wand operated – Cords are replaced by wands that perform the tasks of pulling, pushing and tilting or twisting of slats or vanes.
- Spring operated – This is applicable for roller blinds where spring action is utilized for operating the blinds. For moving the blinds uniformly and at a gentle speed some blinds use a decelerator.
- Tension pleated blinds – There are cords held under tension and not freely dangling. The blind is operated by pulling and pushing the slats to fix it at any position.
Safety systems placed within the blinds
There are some safety systems that can become integral part of blinds but without the need of additional operations to activate the safety system. These can be incorporated in all types of blinds. The systems activate on its own when the threshold level of safety is exceeded.
- Chain-break connector – These are like switch fuses used for electrical circuits. The connector breaks apart whenever the pressure on the chain exceeds the set limit and can be reconnected once again. Chain-break connectors are specified according to chain design.
- Chain/Cord tidys and tensioners – These devices meant for holding cords or chains taut permanently are fixed securely adjacent to the blinds at a maximum distance from the top level of the blind.
- Cleat – Cleats are fixed above a height of 1.5 metres from the floor on a surface that is adjacent to the blind. After every operation the cord must be securely fastened to the cleat.
The safety compliance label affixed on blinds displays the safety warnings as well as product instructions.