The Office of Fair Trading has thrown its full support behind the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) campaign to increase awareness of the dangers of blind and curtain cords.
Minister for Fair Trading Peter Lawlor said the threat posed by hanging cords from blinds and curtains was often not fully understood by the public, despite the cords causing the death of at least 13 children in Australian since 2000.
“This national campaign follows an initiative released by the Queensland Office of Fair Trading in July earlier this year,” Mr Lawlor said.
“In Queensland there are strict mandatory safety standards for window covering cords to minimise the risk of children becoming strangled.
“However, as these standards were introduced in 2006 there would be hundreds of thousands of potentially unsafe blinds still in people’s homes.
“The problem with looped window covering cords that hang loosely near the floor is that small children can become tangled in the loop created by the cord and be strangled.
”Blind cord deaths are largely preventable if a simple safety toggle is installed.
“As part of our campaign, the Office of Fair Trading is giving away 10,000 free safety toggles which enable parents and carers to prevent cords from being a safety risk.
“These toggles allow a hanging, looped cord to be cut, with the two ends tying onto the two sections of the toggle.
“The toggle can then be clicked together to re-join the cord. It will split when pressure is applied, preventing cords from choking small children. “
Safety toggles can be ordered online at www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au or by calling 13 13 04.
Minister’s office: 3225 1005 / 3224 2002
Telephone: 13 13 04