Blind Safety Legislation

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Guidance Information

When does the Child Safety legislation come into force?

31st March 2014. – All ready made blinds delivered to our stores from this date, and all Made to Measure blinds (including those supplied through our Dunelm at Home service ) supplied after this date will fully comply to the updated European legislation (EN13120).

We will continue to sell stocks of ready made blinds that were in store on 31 March 2014 (as permitted by the legislation) because they have child safety devices provided with them. Store colleagues can help you to identify these if you have any concerns.

Which products will be affected by the new legislation?

All blinds supplied and / or fitted in household premises must comply with the legislation, even if children do not live at the premises at the time of the order. Commercial premises must comply if children are likely to visit the premises at any time, for example: schools or restaurants.

Why was the legislation changed?

Public awareness of the strangulation risk to young children presented by blind cords and chains has led the authorities to introduce stricter safety standards.

  • 2004: There were no child safety requirements for blinds.
  • 2009: Limited requirements were implemented.
  • 2014: Detailed requirements and test methods were introduced, together with compulsory warning labels on the product and in store.

What does the legislation say?

Blinds must either have no accessible cords (so no strangulation risk) or be supplied with child safety devices which must be fitted as per the manufacturer's instructions, either by the customer (ready made) or by a fitter (Dunelm at Home).

Warning notices must be supplied with the product and at the point of sale in store to ensure that customers are aware of the potential child safety hazards.

Safety devices are already included with our blinds, but the new legislation requires us to apply stricter test methods and also raise customer awareness to the strangulation risk posed to young children through warning labels, instructions and notices in our stores.

What sort of Child Safe devices are supplied with the products?

This varies depending on the type of blind. The safety devices fall into the following categories:

Safety chain break Splits the chain loop apart should a child become entangled in the loop.
Chain tensioning device Keeps chain/cord loops under continuous tension and secures them to the wall, so stops the cord or chain from forming a loop.
Breakaway cord connector Releases cords safely when sideways pressure applied.
Breakaway clips (roman blinds) Allow rear cords to safely detach should a child become entangled.
Cleats Secure loose cords to the wall out of reach of young children.
Anti tangle toggles Used to prevent the 2 cords that tilt a metal or wood venetian blind from forming a knot. Although the cords may wrap around each other, the design of the toggle will allow them to unravel in the event of entanglement.

Can I buy products which do not have Child safety devices?

All of our products have a child safety device, including blinds which are made before the new legislation came into effect. However, we do not recommend that Roman blinds that were sold in store prior to 31 March 2014 are used in a child's room or anywhere that a child may be unsupervised (see below).

We also sell blinds without cords, such as the TWISTSAFE Rollerblind. If not available in your nearest store, they are available online.

If you have any questions, please ask a colleague in store or email Customer Services.

Can I use a Roman blind in a child's room?

We do not recommend Roman blinds manufactured prior to 31 March 2014 are used in a child's room or anywhere a child may be unsupervised, because although they do have a child safety device with them, they do not have the exact child safety device required by the new legislation.

If you have any questions, please ask a colleague in store or email Customer Services.

I'm worried about my existing blinds, what can I do to make these safe?

Follow the product instructions and use the child safety device supplied. If the device is not used regularly, make sure that you test it and replace it if it is broken.

Please also follow the advice below to avoid the risk of harm to children:

  • Keep blind cords out of the reach of young children.
  • Move beds, cots and furniture away from windows that have blinds installed.
  • Do not tie cords together. Make sure that cords do not twist and create a loop.
  • Be aware that the release of small parts can cause a child to choke if swallowed.

You can purchase cleats to attach to the wall and wrap the spare cord around. The cleats should be attached at least 1.5m from the floor. The safety of chains can be improved with the use of a tensioning device such as a "P" clip, which stops the chain from hanging loose, while still allowing the blind to be operated freely.

Are Dunelm blinds safe?

All our blinds are supplied with a safety mechanism to secure any loose cords or chains, they also include fitting instructions and warnings. However, not all our current stock is fully compliant with the 2014 improvements, because the safety devices do not have the new warning labels attached. Please also see the note above in relation to Roman blinds.

From the 31st March, all new stock being delivered to store, will be fully compliant to the new 2014 legislation.

Am I still safe if I buy old stock?

With the exception of Roman blinds (see above), our blinds have the required safety features even though some of the old stock doesn't have the new warning labels attached to the product. If you fit and use the blind and the safety device correctly in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions the product is as safe as the new stock.