Corded Blinds & Safety Hazards
For a long time, corded blinds and shades have ruled the markets. These window treatments have corded strings running through them and a part of it is left hanging at the side of the shades for operation. Pulling the strings helped to raise and lower the shades. A cord mechanism is simple but over the years they posed a major threat to homeowners. These cords that kept dangling and often pooled on the floor became a health hazard for kids and pets. The energetic toddlers who are on a world mission to explore and investigate often got attracted by these cords and in the process got themselves strangulated sometimes with fatal consequences. There emerged innumerable reports of kids who choked to death because of these cords. Similar cases occurred with pets like dogs and cats who playfully got themselves tangled and sometimes strangulated resulting in death.
“We’ve known about this risk for over 70 years, yet we’re still seeing children strangled by these products,” study senior researcher Dr. Gary Smith told Health Day last December. “It’s just unacceptable.”
Corded Blinds Officially Banned
Over the years despite repeated complaints very little was done to change the mechanism of these blinds. Manufacturers included warnings in the instruction manual to parents and pet owners to display caution. Cases continued to be reported by distressed parents until a few years back when cordless window treatments slowly started penetrating the markets. These shades and blinds could be operated without cords. These window treatments were an instant hit as it brought huge relief for worried parents and pet owners. The absence of cords also made the shades look aesthetically more beautiful, neat and tidy. Corded blinds nevertheless continued to remain in the market because they were cheaper till recently.
A year ago the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) made a declaration that made it mandatory for window coverings in the USA and Canada to be cordless or have short cords so that kids and pets were unable to reach and access them. Cordless or inaccessible cords are believed to have “the most significant and immediate impact on reducing the strangulation risk to young children from certain window covering cords,” said WCMA Executive Director, Ralph Vasami. Corded blinds are no longer being sold by American or Canadian stores or websites. Corded mini blinds, cellular shades, roller shades, Roman shades, etc. will no longer available in stores for consumers. As these are officially banned by the association selling these will be illegal for the manufacturers.
Corded Blinds can be Custom-Built on Request
However, it is also important to remember that cordless blinds and shades may not be able to address the needs of all sections of the people. There may be people with disabilities, there may be those with short height who may not be able to access the shortened cords or the cordless blinds. Hence corded blinds in some format or the other must be made available to these users. While manufacturers no longer will no longer make these corded blinds anymore, they will, however, do so on request only. Going forward window treatment manufacturers will only make customized corded blinds. These will purely be custom-built to fit specific windows of consumers. Even for these custom-fit corded blinds, the manufacturers will have to follow the revised standard requirements that tilt cords to be replaced by a tilt wand and more graphic warning tags depicting possible dangers need to be included in the packaging.
Display Caution When Using Corded Mini Blinds at Home
So, yes corded mini blinds are illegal as ready-made blinds are prohibited for sale. However, if your house needs corded mini blinds for certain reason you can always go ahead and place an order for them to be custom-made for your windows specifically. Be cautious while using them particularly if you have kids and pets around. It is recommended not to leave them unattended in rooms where these blinds are installed and check on them at short intervals to ensure that they have not been up to any mischief and are safe.