Cordless Window Blind Voluntary Safety Standard Approved

Bloomberg Law’s® extensive network of reporters and editors provides comprehensive authoritative coverage of significant developments and issues  in  product safety and liability...

By Martina Barash

Off-the-shelf or “stock” window blinds must be free of accessible cords to meet a newly approved voluntary standard, industry and consumer groups said.

The standard is intended to address a persistent child strangulation hazard and has been in the works since June 2016.

Voluntary-standards association ANSI gave its official approval Jan. 9, according to Paul Nathanson, a spokesman for the Window Covering Manufacturing Association. That approval followed a December vote of a committee made up of manufacturers, retailers, and consumer advocates, Nathanson told Bloomberg Law in an email.

The new safety standard, ANSI/WCMA A100.1-2018, will cover “more than 80 percent of all window covering products sold in the U.S. and Canada,” the WCMA said in a statement.

Custom-made window coverings that are also cordless are likely to bring the figure higher than 90 percent, the trade association said.

The Consumer Federation of America and other safety groups called the standard “an important step forward in reducing the number of dangerous corded products put into the market.” But corded products are still available for sale, they said in a statement.

“We urge a reopening of the voluntary standard” to address custom-made products, Rachel Weintraub, legislative director and general counsel with CFA, said in the statement.

The compliance date for the new standard will be Dec. 15, 2018, according to the WCMA statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Martina Barash in Washington at mbarash@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Patrick at spatrick@bloomberglaw.com

Copyright © 2018 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Try Product Liability & Toxics Law News