The Federal Government has moved to protect children from possible strangulation from corded blinds by strengthening standards for commercial installers.
This standard will take effect on 1 January 2015 and will complement the existing supply standard, which requires suppliers to provide consumers with warnings about the risks associated with these products, installation instructions and safety devices when they purchase these products.
The standard has been designed to address risks resulting from the unsafe installation of corded internal window coverings and requires that installation be done in a way that prevents cords from forming dangerous loops where they can be reached by children.
The strengthened requirements follow the death of three children in the last six months from corded blinds.
Children are particularly vulnerable to injuries and strangulation from blind cords.
The ACCC recommends parents check for any blinds, curtains or fittings with long cords that are either loose or looped.
This includes any cords that are within children’s reach at floor level or near furniture they can climb on, or sleep in.
Even though this new standard applies to new installations after 1 January 2015, everyone and especially parents of babies and young children are urged to take a close look at the cords on their blinds, curtains and fittings and take action to make them safe. Tips on how to do this can be found on the Product Safety Australia website.
The ACCC will work with suppliers and installers of these products to ensure that these businesses comply with the services standard when it commences on 1 January 2015.
The ACCC routinely undertakes surveillance activities to ensure compliance with the Corded Internal Window Coverings supply standard.
In September 2013 it accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Bunnings Group Ltd for selling window blinds that failed to comply with mandatory safety standards.