NEW YORK, – The Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) in cooperation with Health Canada is announcing today a voluntary recall to repair certain corded bottom-up top-down (BUTD)-style window blinds and shades made in various dimensions, and colors. The majority of these products are custom made. The retrofit kits are also available to consumers in the United States. BUTD window blinds and shades come in a variety of fabrics and dimensions. Each has an intermediate rail located between the bottom rail and head rail of the shade. This intermediate rail has its own cord which can be located on either side of the blind or shade. This design allows the fabric at the top to be lowered to manage light while maintaining the desired level of privacy for the user. Health Canada has taken the position that corded BUTD products that use a cord joiner device on the intermediate rail operating cord which is not intended to separate when subjected to force, do not meet the 2008 Canadian Corded Window Coverings Regulations. These products have an exposed loop above the joined cord of the intermediate rail operating cord which can be accessible when the intermediate rail of the shade is fully raised. The loop can pose a strangulation hazard for young children who may place the looped cords around their necks. Health Canada is aware of one fatality in Canada (which occurred in 2011) and one fatality in the United States (which occurred in 2008) from incidents involving these products. Both of the children were under three years of age. Consumers who have a BUTD window blind as described above should contact the WCSC immediately to order a free retrofit kit by visiting www.windowcoverings.org or by calling (800) 506-4636. The retrofit kit converts the joined cord device for the intermediate rail operating cord to separate cords, and includes cord cleats to help keep cords out of reach of young children. The Window Covering Safety Council encourages parents and caregivers to follow these basic window cord-safety precautions:
- Move all furniture, cribs, beds and climbable surfaces away from windows.
- Keep all window cords well out of the reach of children.
- Install only cordless window coverings in homes with young children.
- Make sure tasseled pull cords are adjusted to be as short as possible.
- Continuous-loop pull cords on draperies and blinds should be pulled tight and anchored to the floor or wall with a tension device.
- Be sure cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit movement on inner cords on blinds and shades.
To learn more about window-cord safety and to order free retrofit kits for BUTD-style window blinds and shades and for older window coverings, visit the Window Covering Safety Council’s website at www.windowcoverings.org or call toll-free at 1-800-506-4636. Parents and caregivers can also learn more about window covering safety by connecting with WCSC on Facebook and Twitter.
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Retrofit Kit Order Hotline: (800) 506-4636 WCSC Media Contact: (212) 297-2146 To view this press release in French, please click here.