Are Corded Blinds Illegal in the UK?
Although cords and chains seem to be an inconspicuous part of your blind, they can actually be a hidden danger when young children are added into the mix. Every year, there are an estimated two fatalities caused by children becoming entangled in blind cords.
But are corded blinds illegal? The team at Gemini Blinds is here to help explain the regulations to ensure you stay safe at home.
What are the legal requirements for corded blinds?
Previously, blinds companies had only been subject to very limited requirements. However, in February 2014, new UK regulations were introduced following a number of blinds-related fatalities This established a new British safety standard for internal blinds: BS EN 13120. Every set of blinds must now comply with these rules, regardless of whether they’re in a household with children present.
According to the BS EN 13120 regulations, your blinds must have no accessible cords – if they do, they must be fitted with the appropriate child safety devices. For all blinds with pull cords, there must be 150cm distance between the bottom of the cord and the floor; this is reduced to 60cm if a breakaway device is fitted. A breakaway device is a safety feature whereby the chain compartments separate from the rail if pressure of more than 6kg is applied. This ensures that, should a child become entangled, the cord will fall to the floor.
Legislation also applies to your blinds installation company; they must now fit all blinds with additional safety devices and according to guidelines. The installer must leave all safety warnings on the product and provide detailed instructions to the customer including a detailed demonstration of the blind safety features, ensuring they’re aware of the risks posed to young children. Testing must also be carried out during home installations to make certain all new blinds are fitted correctly.
What can I do to make my existing blinds safe?
Although all new blinds will comply with regulations, any blinds fitted prior to 2014 may not have the correct safety features. If this is the case at your property, there are additional steps you can implement to make older blinds as safe as possible. This includes:
- Moving all beds and pieces of furniture away from the window to prevent children from climbing up and becoming entangled.
- Keeping all blind cords out of the reach of young children.
- Using cleats to keep your cords tidy and prevent them from accidentally forming any loops.
- Inspecting your blinds for small parts that could be a choking hazard.
- Ordering new blinds which will be compliant with 2014 legislation.
- Installing the child safety devices mentioned below.
Unsure whether your current blinds are safe for your loved ones? The team at Gemini Blinds adhere to the strictest of regulations when carrying out installations.Contact our safety experts
Every corded blind must now be fitted with child safety devices to add an extra layer of safety to your home. These include:
- Safety chain break – This splits the chain loop apart should a child become entangled.
- Chain tensioning device – These devices apply constant tension to the cord or chain to keep them tidy and prevent them from forming a potentially hazardous loop.
- Breakaway cord connector – When pressure is applied, breakaway cords cause the chain to detach and split, freeing any child stuck in them.
- Cleats – Cleats keep cords neatly attached to the wall and stop loops being created.
- Anti-tangle toggles – These toggles are used with venetian blinds, to prevent the two cords that tilt them from wrapping around each other and forming a knot.
When purchasing any new blinds or safety devices, you should always consult an experienced professional. The team at Gemini Blinds follows all ‘Make it Safe‘ guidelines and adheres to the strictest of regulations, ensuring a safe installation with each and every project. Established over 40 years ago, we supply and install high-quality blinds and furnishings to homes across the North-West, including Chester, Manchester and Liverpool.
Simply get in touch today to find out how we can help you.