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Blind Cord Safety

One Cord, One Minute, One Life

32 children have died as a result of blind cord accidents in the UK between 1999 and 2015, the children were aged between 15 months and 36 months.

It takes less than 60 seconds for a child to lose their life on one window cord.

Children can become entangled on hanging cords when playing, climbing or exploring near window blinds – and they are a real danger for toddlers whose heads still weigh more than their bodies, who don’t have full muscular control, and whose windpipes are not yet fully developed. They can’t untangle themselves and suffocate much more quickly than an adult.

Reduce The Risk

  • If you’re buying a new blind always look for one that is ‘Safe by Design’ (e.g. cordless or concealed cord systems).
  • If new blinds are operated by cords or chains, follow the instructions supplied with the product and make sure you fit any safety device. If professional installers are fitting your blinds, they must fit the safety devices.
  • Examine every blind in the home especially in children’s bedrooms. If any have a chain or cord that is looped or could form a loop then make sure a safety device is used to keep the cord or chain securely tidied away out of the reach of children and young children. Safety devices are low cost and easy to fit, so don’t wait until you replace a blind to improve its safety.
  • Be mindful of blind safety in other places your children might visit and spend time (child minders, the homes of grandparents, friends and family, hotels and restaurants).
  • Children love to climb, so move cots, beds and any furniture away from windows and blinds.
  • Some safety devices are more appropriate for some blind types than others and if you need advice, contact the Environmental Health service.

A local Bellaghy resident, Martin Regan, lost his grandson, Dean in 2011, as a result of a blind cord accident. In this video Martin courageously tells his story to help ensure that others are more aware of the potential dangers of blind cords.

 

We Can Help

Our Home Safety Officers help to raise awareness of the dangers of blind cords and can supply blind safety devices for blinds already in your home through our home safety equipment scheme.

Contact the Home Safety Officers on 03000 132 132, E: [email protected]

Consumer protection will continue to work with businesses to ensure that they are meeting the full legal requirements. In 2014 a new standard (EN13120) was introduced which put in place stricter requirements on businesses manufacturing, selling and installing new internal window blinds.

More Information

www.rospa.com/blindcords

A Frequently Asked Questions section is also available by clicking here.

To download a free copy of the Make it Safe leaflet click here.

You can also search for a ‘make it safe member’ or ‘make it safe dealer’ by clicking here.