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Government, industry focus on window-cord hazards: October has been designated National Window Covering Safety Month. Repair or replacement of window coverings manufactured before 2001 is encouraged.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the window covering industry have joined forces to declare October as National Window Covering Safety Month. Since 1991, more than 160 children have died from accidentally strangling in window cords.

The month-long campaign, co-sponsored by CPSC and the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC), will focus consumer and media attention on window-cord strangulation hazards and launch an official CPSC recommendation that parents and communities with children under the age of 6 repair or replace any pre-2001 corded window-coverings with today's safer products.

With the safety spotlight on older window blinds and the need to repair or replace them with products meeting current ANSI safety standards, multifamily housing owners and managers are urged to contact their window-covering suppliers to obtain the necessary retrofit cord-repair devices for window coverings manufactured before 2001.

Since 1994, WCSC has worked with the window covering industry to redesign corded products to address strangulation hazards. In 1995, looped pull cords were eliminated from all two-corded blinds and pleated shades. In 1997, the ANSI/WCMA product safety standard came into effect, calling for access-limiting cord designs, permanently attached tie-downs and warning hang tags. In 2001, cord stops were required for all horizontal blinds and shades to eliminate inner-cord strangulation risks and added to the standard.

Although WCSC provides individual consumers with free retrofit tassels, tie-downs and cord stops for repairing the looped pull-cord and inner-cord hazards associated with older window coverings, repair devices for multifamily housing units are generally obtained directly from suppliers.

A full range of window-cord safety information, as well as illustrated repair instructions, can be found on the WCSC Web site at www.windowcoverings.org.

To assist NAA members with identifying specific window-cord hazards and recommended repairs for pre-2001 window coverings, WCSC offers illustrated repair guidelines on the reverse side of this page.

How To Repair Potential Window-Cord Hazards

ELIMINATE LOOPED PULL CORDS (pre-1995 miniblinds and pleated shades)

1. Cut the looped pull cord just above the tassel, and remove equalizer buckle (if any).

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

2. Insert cord through tassel and tie cord ends to secure the tassel

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

INSTALL CORD STOPS (all pre-2001 horizontal blinds and corded shades)

1. Lower the blind to its proper length and lock cords into position at head rail.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

2. Pinch together a portion of the pull cord to create a loop near the head rail, then slide the cord stop over the loop end.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

3. Slip the free end of the pull cord through the loop to loosely knot the cord stop onto the pull cord.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

4. Tighten the knot to secure the cord stop 1"-2" below the head rail.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

INSTALL TIE-DOWN DEVICES (pre-1997 vertical blinds and traverse draperies)

Insert cord or chain into tie-down device.

Attach the tie-down device to the floor or wall so that the cord is fully extended and securely fastened.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Window Covering Safety Council

355 Lexington Avenue, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10017

www.windowcoverings.org
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Publication:Units
Date:Oct 1, 2003
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