Window Covering Manufacturers Association Launches Process to Update Corded Window Covering Safety Standard

Window Covering Manufacturers Association Launches Process to Update Corded Window Covering Safety Standard

Window Covering Manufacturers Association Launches Process to Update Corded Window Covering Safety Standard

Washington, October 29, 2015 – The Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) announced today that it has initiated the process of revising the voluntary corded window covering safety standard.  The update to the standard will be done in strict accordance with the internationally-respected American National Standards Institute (ANSI) process and will be the seventh revision of the standard since 1996. “The current U.S. standard, ANSI/WCMA A100.1-2012, last updated in 2012, is already the most stringent in the world,” said WCMA Executive Ralph Vasami.   “However, we have pledged to constantly reexamine the standard to ensure that window covering products are on the leading edge of safety and quality, and the industry wants to continue to incorporate ongoing innovation and new product development in order to make its products as safe and up to date as possible.” The revisions to the standard will be done in accordance with the ANSI essential requirements, which mandate an open and balanced process with public review opportunities.  The process will require assembling a consensus body (the canvass group), accepting proposals, developing a draft standard, submitting the draft standard to the canvass group for ballot and comment, addressing the comments received, re-balloting, a public review period and then finally achieving approval of the standard.  The first organizational meeting will be held by the end of the year. “We will have an inclusive process to update the standard, and we look forward to working with representatives from the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), Health Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union, as well as representatives from consumer groups and all facets of the window covering industry throughout this process,” said Vasami.  “We will also take this opportunity to investigate the possibility of developing a joint standard with the Canadian Standards Association to ensure regulatory consistency between the U.S. and Canada.” The last update to the standard,  ANSI/WCMA A100.1-2012, added requirements for durability and performance testing of all safety devices (including devices used to hold cords under tension); new requirements for the installation and anchoring of products; and, specific warnings and pictograms on packaging and merchandising materials for products containing cords.  It also provided a method for new innovations for controlling cords to be tested immediately for compliance to the standard; added new requirements for products that rely on “wide lift bands” to raise and lower window coverings; and added and expanded test requirements for cord accessibility and hazardous loop testing. In addition to updating the new standard, WCMA and its member companies continue to support the Window Covering Safety Council’s year-around national public education and information program to educate consumers about making the right choice and only using cordless products or products with inaccessible cords in homes with young children. October is National Window Covering Safety Month, jointly sponsored by the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) and the CPSC, designed to raise awareness of safety issues. “The WCMA will continue to support industry efforts to educate consumers about the strangulation hazard to infants and young children posed by exposed or dangling cords, and we invite all stakeholders to join us in helping improve window covering safety in the United States by participating in these education efforts and in updating the voluntary standard,” concluded Vasami. To learn more about the voluntary standard for corded window covering products, please visit http://www.wcmanet.org/wcmastandard.html.   About WCMA Organized in the 1950s as the Venetian Blind Council, the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) represents the interests of the window covering industry manufacturers, fabricators and assemblers. Industry products include blinds, shades, shutters, curtains, curtain rods, drapes, drapery hardware and other window treatments. Visit us on the web at www.wcmanet.org.    Media Contact: Tim Bennett 212-297-2108 TBennett@kellencompany.com