By 2018, Canada will enact new legislation imposing strict regulations on corded window coverings to protect children from the threat of strangulation.
The legislature has found that strangulation by cords on drapes and blinds is a “preventable hazard that affects a vulnerable population,” namely small children. In fact, a small child who becomes entangled in a cord can lose consciousness within fifteen seconds and brain damage occurs after four minutes without oxygen. The new regulations restrict cord length, cord loop length, and impose new product warnings.
For consumers, the new regulations will mean safer window covering products and exciting new technologies. If you are thinking about child-proofing your home or updating your drapes or blinds, there are a lot of options available; however, cordless window coverings are the safest product because they eliminate the risk of cord strangulation.
What Purchasing Drapes or Blinds Will be Like Moving Forward.
The days of long cords on drapes and blinds are over; Canada’s new corded window covering regulations eliminate the threat of strangulation by restricting cord length. The new law restricts the length of any reachable cord to 22 cm and any looped cord to 44 cm. The law also imposes new product warning requirements.
With the new regulations scheduled to take effect by 2018, manufacturers and sellers are already introducing new window covering products. The safest among the new products are cordless drapes and blinds.
New Cordless Drapes & Blind Products
Manufacturers have already introduced many new cordless window covering products that are widely available today. If you are planning on purchasing new blinds or drapes, cordless products are the safest option according to the advocacy group Parents for Window Blind Safety.
Motorized Blinds & Drapes
Manufacturers like Hunter Douglas have developed exciting new cordless motorized window covering products. Motorized blinds and drapes may be controlled by remote, wireless wall switch, or even from your cellphone using a special app. Hunter Douglas offers the cordless motorized PowerView system on most of its products. The PowerView system is not only safe for small children but is exceptionally convenient.
Other Cordless Blind & Drape Products
In addition to motorized blind and drapes, manufacturers have developed a variety of innovative cordless products. Once again, Hunter Douglas is a leader in cordless technology and offers hand-operated and wand products. Hunter Douglas’ LiteRise and SimpleLift hand-operated systems eliminate cords and offer a simple blind or drape operation product. The operator simply raises or lowers the blinds using a locking mechanism on the bottom of the product.
Hunter Douglas has developed new wand-operated blinds and drapes that allow you to open and close and raise and lift the window covering using a single wand. This not only eliminates dangerous cords but makes blind and drape control a breeze.
As Canada phases-out window coverings with long, dangerous cords, manufacturers have developed many exciting new products to take their place. Whether it’s the sleek convenience of a motorized product or the economical hand-operated option, consumers will have endless options for purchasing safe blinds and drapes.
How Can I Make My Old, Corded Blinds & Drapes Safe?
The simple answer to that question is the surest way to ensure your blinds and drapes are safe is to purchase a new cordless product; however, if purchasing new window coverings is not an option there are some steps you can take to mitigate the threat of corded blinds and drapes.
- Place any low-standing furniture, including cribs, away from windows.
- Eliminate dangerous dangling cords with cord stops.
- Eliminate looped cords by installing tassel ends.
- Anchor continuous loop cords on drapes and vertical blinds to the floor or wall.
Also, there are retrofit kits available at most window covering stores that provide all the materials and instructions to eliminate long cords on your blinds and drapes. Retrofitting old blinds and drapes ought to be seen as a temporary measure with the purchase of safer cordless products as the end goal for maximizing safety.