Child and pet safety
At Charbel blinds we place paramount importance on child safety; not only is it our legal responsibility but, as parents ourselves, we understand the concerns our clients may have about unrestrained cords and chains. Young children and babies can be strangled by loops in pull cords, chains, tapes and inner cords that operate window blinds, resulting in injury or death. Likewise, pets are also at risk of death or serious injury. All blinds supplied by Charbel Blinds comply with the child safety requirements of BS EN13120.
The EU regulations governing internal window blinds were significantly revised in 2014 in relation to child safety requirements:
Limitations were placed on cord and chain lengths
Safety devices are required to prevent cords and chains from creating a hazardous loop
The fitting of safety devices on cords and chains is now mandatory at the point of manufacture
All safety critical components of internal window blinds must be tested
Safety warnings and product instructions must be provided.
When buying blinds not only should you pay consideration to the type of blind, the colour or finish, you must also consider the way the blind is operated.
Safe by Design
A blind which is 'safe by design' is one that is cordless or has concealed or tensioned cords. We recommend you consider Safe by Design blinds first when choosing your blinds.
Safe by Design blinds are usually pushed or pulled into position eg. wand operated vertical blinds, Venetian blinds that can be raised, lowered or tilted by hand or a spring-operated roller blind with a decelerator fitted.
Motorised blinds can also remove the need for operating cords at the side of the blind.
Wooden shutters and external blinds are other cordless styles of window treatments.
Blinds operated by cord and/or chain
If a blind has an operating cord or chain that could form a hazardous loop you have a duty to keep it out of reach of babies and young children. There are a variety of safety devices for every type of blind, including:
These break apart when undue pressure is applied on the operating chain. They can be reconnected again. As chain sizes vary the correct chain-break connector must be fitted.
These devices should be securely fixed to an adjacent surface and at the maximum distance from the top of the blind so the cords and/or chains are held permanently taut by the device.
The cleat should be securely fixed to an adjacent surface out of reach of children and at least 1.5 metres from the floor. The cords must be secured in a figure of eight after each and every operation of the blind. All spare cord must be securely contained on the cleat.
More steps you can take within your home
Do not tie cords or chains together, ensure they are not twisted to form a loop and secure them out of reach of babies, young children and pets.
Move cots, beds and other items of furniture away from windows with coverings that have cords or chains.
Ensure older children in the family understand the importance of securing chains and cords safely.
Child safety compliance - installation
"I do not want a chain tensioner installed"
We can only offer you an alternative operating system, such as a motorised product, or not install the blind at all.
"Can I sign a waiver and get a longer chain?"
No, chain lengths must be supplied in accordance with the Legislation.
"I don't want safety devices fitted to the surrounding window recess"
We cannot fit the blind for you, and we must complete the sale as supply only. In this situation we are also not allowed by law to install the brackets to enable you to clip the blind in yourself.
"If I get another tradesperson to fit the blind can I avoid child safety compliance?"
Whether you use us or another tradesperson, the installer is responsible for ensuring the product is fitted in accordance with the child safety legislation.