WASHINGTON, D.C. – 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 15, 2018.
“The new standard is the result of years of collaboration among the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA), industry, the safety community and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). As older window coverings are replaced with these cordless products, I expect a significant reduction in strangulations of young children,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle.
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.
For more information, check out CPSC’s Window Covering Safety Education Center.