The past year has seen an inordinate number of window blind and other window treatment recalls due to strangulation hazard. The cords from window coverings have caused at least 120 fatalities in the United States since 1999, 28 deaths in Canada since 1986 and six child deaths in Europe since 2008. It’s a serious problem, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission is responding accordingly by joining forces with Health Canada and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Consumers are joining forces to call for stronger and more comprehensive international safety standards on window coverings. Both manufacturers and standards organizations are to be impacted by the new standards.
According to the CPSC announcement, this is the first time the the three safety agencies have joined together to demand stronger safety standards on a product category.
We at BobVila.com have been following the window covering recalls over the past few years, which includes tens of millions of corded shades and blinds. As a regular writer for this blog, I’m always on the lookout for topics to cover. Corded shade and blind recall is one topic I hope I never have to write about again. Let’s get safer products into this popular home improvement product family.
Until higher standards are established, CPSC recommends using cordless window coverings in homes where children live or visit.