NEW SAFETY LAWS REQUIRE CORDLESS WINDOW COVERINGS
In January of this year the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) announced the approval of a new safety standard for the majority of window coverings manufactured in the U.S. and Canada. This new standard will require window coverings to be cordless or have inaccessible or short cords that don’t pose a strangulation risk to young children or pets.
The new standard requires that all stock products sold in stores and online—which account for more than 80 percent of all window covering products sold—to be cordless or have inaccessible cords.
To clarify, most window covering products sold to consumers in retail stores or online are “stock” products, meaning that the products are manufactured in advance of being distributed in stores or online. So the product can either be sold “as is” or modified or adjusted by the seller, manufacturer, or distributor prior to being distributed in commerce in the U.S. and it would still be considered a stock blind, shade or shading product.
Requiring stock products to be cordless or have inaccessible cords can 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.
However, cordless products do not meet all the needs and desires of all consumers. Seniors, people with disabilities, or people of short stature still need corded blinds, which means that manufacturers need to be able to sell corded products to certain customers. For that reason corded blinds will still be available on custom-order basis. However, the revised standard requires the cords to be shorter, default to a tilt wand instead of a tilt cord, and have more graphic warning tags depicting the dangers.
“All companies who manufacture, distribute, or sell window coverings in the U.S. must comply with the voluntary safety standard or face enforcement action by the CPSC and/or be open to legal action if non-compliant products are sold,” said Vasami.
The new industry standard is the result of cooperation with the CPSC, safety experts, parents’ advocacy groups, and others under the guidance of the internationally-respected American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
The compliance date of the new standard is December 15, 2018. That means that all blinds and window coverings manufactured after this date have to comply with the new standard.
However, many companies, including Bonded, have already introduced many cordless products to their customers. We offer the following cordless products: faux woods, vertical blinds, mini blinds, roller shades, and honeycomb shades.
For more information visit www.windowcoverings.org, or check out our recent blog post, 7 Simple Tips on Child and Pet Safe Window Coverings.