We spend a lot of time making our homes child-proof but for some reason blinds often end up being overlooked. There’s no reason why any blind can’t be child safe if you take all the correct precautions.
As members of the BBSA (British Blind and Shutter Association), we’re committed the the Make It Safe campaign, to ensure that everyone has the information they need (new EU regulations are being introduced in 2014, more details to follow).
Do Not Place Furniture Near Blinds
It sounds obvious but this is still something that happens frequently. What is essentially a piece of climbing apparatus to a child is often placed near to a window with free hanging cords. Make sure that cots, chairs and anything else that can be climbed onto are set back from your window area. It’s not always easy in limited space but is a good first step towards ensuring safety.
No Loose or Hanging Cords
There are a number of options for keeping blind cords out of reach of little hands and all reputable manufacturers these days will include at least one safety element with a new blind.
Cleats are small plastic brackets that attach to your wall, allowing for loose cable to be wound around them. Ensure that they are at a suitable, out-of-reach height when you attach them. Whenever opening and closing your blinds, ensure that all loose cord is wound tightly around the cleat. These are mostly used for venetians but can be used for other blind styles too.
Designed for roller blinds, this is similar in idea to a cleat although it is an enclosed box that contains the cord. The bracket is attached to the wall and the blind chain cut to size so that it fits around the hook on the bracket. The front of the box is then clipped on so that the chain passes through it when being opened and closed. It’s a very effective solution and also gives a very neat finish.
An effective way to make roller blinds even safer is by adding an easy break link into your chain. Cut your chain to as short a length as is practical then simply clip it back together using an easy break link. Add another one further up the chain facing in the opposite direction to ensure that the chain separates easily in case of an emergency. Be sure that you can wind your blind all the way up and down before cutting the chain.
Eradicate Cords Completely
By far one of the safest options would be to install cord free blinds in your home. Many of the newer blinds these days have a ‘locking system’ so that cords are no longer needed. Perfect Fit is one such range and blinds can be moved up and down simply by raising the bottom bar to unlock it and pressing it down again to lock the blind into place. Although Perfect Fit are designed and manufactured here in the UK, it is surprising that so few people have heard of them.
Quite shockingly, we have people turn down the offer of child safety attachments or refusing to fit them due to it spoiling the look of their room. Nothing is too much trouble if it means keeping your little ones safe.
Please share this article to ensure that parents don’t have to endure any more tragedies with window blind cords.