Groundbreaking New Child Safety Standard Takes Effect December 15, 2018
Rollease Acmeda wishes to inform you of a groundbreaking new child safety standard was implemented effective December 15, 2018 under the auspices of the Window Covering Manufacturers Association and the American National Standards Institute. Also contributing to this effort and publicly in support of this new standard is the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Here are the items that you will need to know to navigate the exposure.
The new standard divides its impact into two window covering categories: (1) Stock window coverings, which are pre-made window coverings usually having an SKU and sold pre-packaged and pre-sized and (2) custom window coverings that are individually manufactured to the specifications requested by or on behalf of the end user to fit that user’s specific window. Stock window coverings are by far the most common window covering sold and also by far the most likely to involve a child injury or fatality. This is a function of the typically lower quality of these window coverings and their lack of precise fit into or on top of a window casing. Custom window coverings are not typically involved in child injuries or fatalities as they are typically manufactured with higher quality components and designed to fit precisely into or onto the window casing.
The new standard prohibits stock window coverings from being sold with operating cords, meaning they must be cordless or have operating cords that are inaccessible. Stock window coverings include so-called cut-down or cut-to-size window coverings, which are pre-made to specific sizes and then later cut to fit the desired space. These types of window coverings tended to be 2” horizontal blinds and frequently used in multi-family units.
Safety requirements surrounding custom window shading systems coverings were largely untouched from the prior standard. Updates to the prior standard included altered warning tags to make the hazard more graphic and clear, more stringent testing requirements to assure sufficiently durable window coverings and tension devices, as well as a requirement that tilt mechanisms for blinds default to wands (vs. two cords with tassels) and that operating cords default to 40% of the length of the window covering (in order to increase the likelihood that the cord is out of reach to a young child). It is of paramount importance that on all custom chain-driven shading systems properly installed and approved cord tension devices be used. If proper precautions outlined here (and fully in ANSI-WCMA A100.1-2018) are not followed and a fatality or injury occurs, not only does the CPSC get involved but civil liability cases are invariably filed.
Rollease Acmeda has never sold components or complete stock blinds or shades and carries various cordless or cord-inaccessible options that will allow operation of any type of window covering sold into the market. All Rollease Acmeda components and systems significantly outperform the minimum durability, anti-UV and other test requirements imposed by the new standard. New precision engineered motorized, automated and manually driven Rollease Acmeda anti-ligature systems have been engineered, developed and brought to market to help you navigate these risks such as our S45 Crank-Driven manual shading system, Easy Spring Wand manual shading system, EasySpring Ultra and over 25 new motorized options in our Automate motor line.