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Corded Blind Legislation

A run down of the regulations and information sources for corded blind compliance in Queensland.

  • Lessors are obliged to ensure a rental property is in a good state of repair and fit for the tenant to live in.
  • The greatest risk is with a looped cords hanging low enough to be within reach of children. It is possible for children to strangle themselves by putting their head into the loop and then falling or spinning to the point where they cannot escape the danger. There is potential for blind cords to form a loop even if they are not manufactured as a looped cord.
  • The Office of Fair Trading recommends the bottom of any blind cord is at least 160cm above the floor level.
  • Complies with the Australian Standard AS 3786-1993 or has the Standards Australia Mark or is Scientific Services Laboratory (SSL) certified
  • Any blinds that were installed prior to compliance regulations or do not comply can be made safe by either cutting the cords or hooking them up out of harm’s way.
REFERENCES

RTA Recommendations

Source:
https://www.rta.qld.gov.au/Managing/Open-house-property-managers-and-owners-newsletter/Apr-May-2014/Blind-and-curtain-cord-safety

This text is an extract taken from the RTA about legislation and regulations in relation to corded blinds.

Blind and curtain cord safety

To minimise the risk to children, all new corded blinds, curtains and window coverings must comply with a national safety standard.

Blind and curtain cords have the potential to harm babies and children, who can be easily entangled in the loops.

According to the Office of Fair Trading, since 2000 at least 12 children have died from blind or curtain cord strangulation in Australia.

All new window coverings supplied to rental properties must follow the mandatory standard, which came into effect in 2010 and is detailed on the Product Safety Australia website.

Blinds and curtain cords supplied before 2010 can be made safe by either cutting the cords or hooking them up out of harm’s way.

Safety tassels, which join the ends of blind cords together and separate when pressure is applied, are available from hardware stores.

Alternatively, blind cords can be wrapped securely around hooks attached high on the wall.

The Office of Fair Trading recommends the bottom of any blind cord is at least 160cm above the floor level.

Lessors are obliged to ensure a rental property is in a good state of repair and fit for the tenant to live in.

Queensland Government Recommendations

Source:
https://www.qld.gov.au/law/your-rights/consumer-rights-complaints-and-scams/product-safety-for-consumers/safety-advice-and-warnings/furniture-and-fixtures/curtains-and-blinds-safety/

This test is an extract from the QLD Government website that offers useful recommendations about how to keep a home safe in relation to corded blinds.

Curtains and blinds safety

Low hanging blind and curtain cords pose a serious risk of strangling small children. A child can put their head in the loop created by a blind or curtain cord. If the child then falls or tries to sit down, they can hang themselves in the loop.

Since 2000, at least 10 Australian children have died in this way.

All new internal blinds, curtains and window fittings must follow a mandatory safety standard. Despite this, many of the blinds, curtains and shades in Queensland homes are still unsafe.

QLD Government have published a step by step guide for reducing the risks associated with corded blinds that are useful for lessors and tenants.

Follow these 7 easy steps

Step 1—Keep away from children

Make sure children can’t reach any blind or curtain cords.

Step 2—Don’t have low-hanging cords

Make sure the bottom of any blind or curtain cord is at least 160cm above the floor.

Step 3—Keep away from children’s equipment

Don’t let cords dangle into or near children’s equipment. This includes:

-cots (or portable cots)
-high chairs
-playpens
-anything else your child sits on, lies in or climbs on.

Step 4—Keep away from furniture

Make sure your child can’t reach the blind or curtain cord if they climb on the furniture.

Step 5—Wrap cords on a hook

If you have low-hanging cords:

-attach a hook to the wall out of the reach of your children
-wrap the cord around the hook
-Don’t let the cord dangle less than 160cm from the floor.

Step 6—Install safety devices

Vertical blinds often come with tensioning devices. These weigh down and bundle your cords so that loops don’t easily form.

If your cords don’t come with tensioning devices, consider installing them yourselves.

Step 7—Consider other products

There are other mechanisms that you can use. If you’re installing blinds, ask your supplier about using ‘blind wands’.

ACCC Product Safety Australia

Source:
http://www.productsafety.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/981424/fromItemId/974977

This text is an extract from the ACCC website explaining recommendations and legislation in relation to production and supply of corded blinds from a point of sale perspective. Many of the information in this text is relevant to meeting the obligations of a lessor in maintaining safe properties.

Blinds, curtains and window fittings – products and installation

The mandatory standard for internal blinds, curtains and window fittings (corded internal window coverings) was declared on 8 July 2010 and applies to relevant blinds, curtains and some fittings supplied after 30 December 2010. The mandatory standard that deals with the installation services of window coverings was made on 28 March 2014 and came into effect on 1 January 2015.

This page includes information on hazards and how to comply with these national mandatory standards.

Australian homes often have blinds, curtains and other window coverings that are manipulated by cords or chains.

Corded internal window coverings are window coverings that can be used inside a building and are either:
-window coverings, such as curtains or blinds with a cord, or
-fittings used with a window covering, such as a traverse rod or track.

These include, but are not limited to:
-curtains
-blinds
-shades
-traverse rods
-tracks.
-Hazards

Strangulation

Children can become entangled in blind or curtain cords if they try to use, play with or play around window coverings. Even with raised coverings, children can climb onto window sills or furniture to access the cords. Cords or looped cords that become tangled around a child’s neck can very quickly cause strangulation. Cords can also strangle infants sleeping or playing in cots placed near a window where cords are within reach, or hang into the cot.

Mandatory standard

For complete information about the mandatory requirements for the supply of corded internal window coverings, we strongly advise that you read Trade Practices (Consumer Product Safety Standard – Corded Internal Window Coverings) Regulations 2010. This information is essential to ensure you and your business complies with the requirements of this mandatory standard.

For complete information about the mandatory requirements for corded internal window coveringsinstallation services, we strongly advise you to read the Competition and Consumer (Corded Internal Window Coverings) Safety Standard 2014. The information in this standard is essential to ensure you and your business complies with the requirements of this mandatory standard from 1 January 2015.

Does this apply to your business?

Under the ACL supply includes:
-in relation to goods – (including re-supply) by way of sale, exchange, lease, hire or hire-purchase and
-in relation to services – provide, grant of confer.

This mandatory standard applies to anyone in the business of corded internal window coverings, including:
-manufacturers
-importers
-distributors
-retailers
-hirers.

The mandatory standard applies to all corded internal window coverings supplied from 30 December 2010.

Complying with the mandatory standard

Corded internal window coverings have been associated with hundreds of deaths and many near strangulations. It is an offence to supply corded internal window coverings that do not comply with the requirements of this mandatory standard.

Guidance on warning labels

The warning label is a critical piece of safety advice and is intended to warn consumers of the potential dangers of cords and chains associated with window coverings.

The warning label should never be removed from the window covering. It is designed to alert users of the risk of death to young children by strangulation from blind cords, and provides guidance on measures to reduce that risk.

Suppliers are reminded to ensure that the wording of the warning is accurately presented on the warning label and to avoid adding any other information on the label which may reduce the effectiveness of the warning message.

The ACCC intends to review the warning label requirements when it next reviews the safety standard and will consult with stakeholders during that process.

Penalties and consequences

Supplying corded internal window coverings that do not meet requirements of mandatory standards can make you liable for product recalls and fines.

Alerts

Cots & cords don’t mix: Keep cots away from blind, curtain and electrical cords.

Loose or looped cords near cots can accidentally strangle and kill small children. Babies have died from being strangled in blind, curtain and electrical cords they accessed in their cots. There are simple steps you can take when preparing baby’s sleep area to make sure it’s safe from these hazards.

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