Homes are full of opportunities for dangerous mishaps. An unlocked cabinet full of toxic cleaning supplies. A screen door that whips closed like a mousetrap. Or a rogue nail sticking out from the underside of a deck railing.
While these are isolated cases of potential problems, there is a danger lurking in many rooms of most homes. The cords that dangle from blinds or window treatments represent a potentially injurious or deadly situation.
Nearly 300 children have been killed, mostly by unintentionally getting the cord wrapped around the neck, by corded window blinds since 1990. Over 600 kids per year experience injuries serious enough to send them to emergency departments across the United States.
These statistics point to the conclusion that removing corded blinds or other window treatments with dangling cords from the home is the best course of action. Experts have suggested a mandatory requirement to remove cords from production, but this action is still voluntary at this point.
This is a good time to suggest that if you have friends or family members with small children, consider recommending removing corded blinds and window treatments from the home. Despite the common occurrence of injury, this danger is relatively unknown.
Cordless blinds have become far more prevalent and economical recently. This makes it a simple and inexpensive project to replace the blinds in your home with non-corded options.
More About Cordless Blinds
Cordless blinds may have come about to support the RV industry. These campers require extremely efficient uses of space. Cordless blinds are customizable to any size window, making them ideal for the unusual sizes found in recreational vehicles.
These benefits are carried over into the home. The lack of cords creates a seamless, decluttered look. Cordless blinds are just as durable as corded versions and many come with features that hide the blinds when in the up position.
These safe window treatments come in a variety of colors, materials, and slat sizes to accommodate any application. Cordless blinds are typically operated manually by simply lifting or pulling from the bottom. There are motorized options that can be opened and closed via a remote.
Steps to Take for Safety
A quick look at the number of safety recalls emanating from the window treatment world leads us to conclude safety is an issue. Problems with cords represent the vast majority of the recalls. The safety of your home and family falls primarily in your hands.
The best option to consider is replacing corded window treatments with cordless options. However, this may not be financially possible for many homeowners. Most landlords and rental companies forbid changing window coverings, too. If either is the case, the Window Covering Safety Council offers free retrofit kits to help make your corded window coverings safer.
Here are a few other steps you should take today if you have concerns about the safety of your window treatments.
1. Perform a Walkthrough
Take a tour through your home and check out your window treatments. Miniblinds are not the only coverings that can present hazards. Shades and curtains can also have cords or ropes that present a danger to children and pets. Look behind the coverings to ensure cording is not hidden.
2. Take Temporary Precautions
While making permanent changes to make your home safer is ideal, the cords must be dealt with immediately. Visit your neighborhood hardware store or big-box retailer to find hold-downs that prevent mobilization of cords.
Move furniture away from corded window coverings. Furniture that can be climbed on presents an enhanced danger of accidental strangulation. It also makes reaching windows far easier for children and pets.
3. Make Permanent Changes
The expert advice is to change out any corded window treatments for coverings that do not use cords. This advice applies to any home that has or hosts children who are too young to understand the danger of playing in cords.
This may not be possible due to prohibitive costs. The alternate option is to contact the manufacturer of the window treatments to ask for a kit to make the coverings safer. Most manufacturers take these requests seriously and respond quickly. Otherwise, use the link provided above to reach out to the Window Covering Safety Council for a free universal kit.
Contact a Window Treatment Professional
If the thought of considering new window coverings overwhelms you, contact a professional for help. They can provide a quote for new, safe window treatments or help guide you toward making your windows safe for children. The key is avoiding delay. If you find danger during your home walk-through, find a temporary fix and quickly take necessary steps toward a permanent solution.