Roman Shades are a classic choice of window treatment for your beautiful home. Enjoying a continued presence in the market and an untainted reputation for decades, Roman Shades have remained a favorite among homeowners. Often termed as a hybrid window treatment solution between drapes and blinds, Roman shades ooze elegance and beauty. They are made of fabric which gives them a rich aura and luxurious appeal akin to the drapes. They function as blinds as they can be raised and lowered using pull cords. You can choose from a range of colors, patterns, textures and designs for your Roman Shades which means that they can pull off any look and blend beautifully with any room decor. They help to add a feminine touch and softness to the hard edges of the room and their distinct looks are directly responsible for their survival in the face of stiff competition from other more versatile window treatments.
Roman Shades & Safety Concerns: Corded & Cordless
Roman shades were primarily corded till recently when they offered an opportunity to be upgraded to cordless versions. Roman Shades come with pull cords which remain dangling by the side of the windows and this has often proved extremely hazardous. Little children and toddlers have the entire wide world laid bare before them to explore and anything that remotely attracts them and interests them they will leave everything behind to investigate it. Nothing misses their curious eyes and they are all over the place once they start crawling. These pull cords of Roman Shades are no less interesting and one finds them reaching out to hold the cords, pull them down and play with them. Unnoticed by parents, these cords have often resulted in unfortunate incidents and even tragic ones. Kids have got themselves tangled and even strangulated sometimes resulting in fatalities much to the shock of parents. Their loops created by the cord mechanism which have proved fatal in the past. Lives have been lost bringing endless miseries for the parents. Keeping the loose ends of the cords rolled up will not prevent mishaps.
Are Cordless Roman Shades Truly Cordless?
The ‘cordless’ Roman Shades too are not safe and let their cordless appearance not fool you. There are inner cords that have killed several children. Cordless does not mean that these shades are cord-free. Roman shades that come with tags ‘child-safe breakaway device installed’ are not as fool-proof either. As per the breakaway device, if a child puts its full weight the cord is supposed to pull away and supposedly prevent mishaps. But there may still be strings with loose ends which can form a noose around a child. Any cord that is more than seven and a quarter inches can strangle a child. Dozens of kids have lost their lives in this manner and it is time to look into the flaws and rectify them. Hence we recommend only child proof blinds that have no cords at all.
Retrofitting Roman Shades for Safety
You can remove cords from Roman Shades and it is quite easy. You can retro-fit Roman Shades for safety. It is a temporary solution but it addresses the choking hazard to small children quite effectively. Once you retro-fit the shades the latter will have to be raised manually and use a metal clip to keep the shades in the raised position.
Steps to Retro-fit Shades
1. Lower the shades completely. The operating cords must be cut off from the eyelet or the ring located at the bottom rear side of the shades. Take care to keep about 4-5 inches of the cord at the bottom of the shades.
2. There are metal clips available that need to be tied to the remaining lift cord. You will use this clip to keep the shades in place.
3. Take out the metal clips from the retro-fit kit and then attach them to the upper rings that are located on the rear side of the shade.
4. From the bottom of the Roman Shades, the metal clip needs to slide through each ring and then work your way up the shade on either side of the shade.
5. Insert the metal clips through the smaller rings on the backside of the shade as you slowly raise the window shades. The desired height where you want the shade to hang you needs to close the larger metal clips.
6. For lowering the shade you will have to reverse the direction. When the shades have been lowered simply attach the metal clips to the lowest ring and then closed.
If you are unsure about how this retro-fit system works you could do a round of testing before cutting the lift cords. You need to follow step 2, insert the metal clip and raise the shades without using the cords. This step is recommended before you go ahead and cut the cords to ensure that you are comfortable with the system.
If you are not comfortable with the system you can go for motorized window treatments. These window treatments can be operated with the help of remotes and integrating them into the home automation system will allow you to operate them from your Smart Phones and tabs as well.