The window covering industry has been working diligently to reduce strangulation risks by developing the most significant change to the window covering safety standard ever, as result of substantial work by the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) and its members, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and safety advocates, which will require that all stock products, sold in stores and online—which accounts for more than 80 percent of all window covering products sold in the U.S. and Canada, to be cordless or have inaccessible cords. This new standard is complete and awaiting approval by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
The new standard separates the market into stock and custom products. Corded window coverings will only be available on custom products, as corded products are still needed by a wide range of consumers, including the elderly and those with disabilities, those short in stature, and those with windows in hard-to-reach locations. It is important to note that the revised standard imposes new restrictions on these custom products as well. Also, because many custom products are now available with cordless operating systems or have inaccessible cords, it is likely that more than 90 percent of products sold in the U.S. and Canada will be cordless or have inaccessible cords once the new safety standard is in place.
- All companies who manufacture, distribute, or sell window coverings in the U.S. must comply
with the voluntary safety standard or face enforcement action by the CPSC and/or be open to
legal action if non-compliant products are sold. “Voluntary” simply signifies that industry
worked cooperatively with the CPSC, safety experts, and others, under the auspices of ANSI or
another recognized standards development body to develop the standard.
- Companies selling window covering products in the U.S. and Canada will be required to comply
with the standard no later than the fourth quarter of 2018 (the exact date depends on date of
ANSI approval) although many companies will likely begin introducing new products based on
the new standard earlier in the year.
- Consumers today can look for the “Best for Kids” certification label to identify cordless window
covering options. WCMA created the “Best for Kids” certification program in 2015 to make it
easier for consumers shopping for window coverings to identify cordless products.
For additional information on WCMA and the window covering safety standard, visit www.wcmanet.org.
For additional information on window cord safety, visit the Window Covering Safety Council’s website at www.windowcoverings.org.