Advice for manufacturers and suppliers: blinds and window shades with cords

Window coverings with cords pose a serious hazard to young children.

What manufacturers and retailers need to know

Window coverings with cords – including blinds, roman blinds, roller shades and curtains with a pull-cord – have caused the accidental death of 6 young children in New Zealand between 2010 and 2019.

To protect Aotearoa's young children, the safest window coverings have no exposed pull cords or inner cords – including cords against the back of the fabric, which can be equally as deadly.

Actions to take

As a business that makes or sells products – whether you're a retailer, online seller, or manufacturer – you are responsible for making sure the products you supply are safe.

Product safety requirements for all businesses

1. Avoid selling window coverings with long or looped cords

We recommend retailers and manufacturers move away from producing or selling blinds, window shades and curtains with long or looped cords (the Australian standard defines this as any cord that could form a loop of 22cm or longer).

Competition and Consumer (Corded Internal Window Coverings) Safety Standard 2014 - Federal Register of Legislation Australian Government(external link)

Move towards selling cordless alternatives instead.

2. Inform consumers of the danger

We recommend you provide signage and information to inform customers of the risk corded window coverings pose to young children.

This information should steer customers towards cordless alternatives, or recommend they install safety devices and provide information on how to install them.

Product Safety Australia has an installation guide here:

Corded internal window coverings installation guide – Product Safety Australia(external link)

We have advice for consumers available here:

Blinds, roman blinds and window shades with cords

3. Supply and strongly recommend safety devices to be installed with all corded window coverings

Corded window coverings can be made safer by installing a tension safety device (also known as a cord guide or tension device) on all loose or looped cords.

Tension devices should be sold or provided with all corded window coverings, and installers should strongly recommend they are installed with each blind or curtain – whether or not there are children living in the house.

Advise or make sure that the tension device is fixed firmly to the wall or window frame so that a child cannot remove or break it.