New Child Safety Legislation
From 2009-2019, six young children were strangled to death by cords on window blinds. These deaths were tragic and preventable. To protect the young children of New Zealand and prevent a similar tragedy from occurring again, the New Zealand Government is planning to introduce legislation adapting the Australian corded window covering safety standards. There will be stricter guidelines on supplying and installing corded window coverings such as blinds and shades.
Aspect’s Key Messages
At Aspect, we acknowledge the threat that corded window coverings pose to children across New Zealand and fully support the new safety standards that are being put into place. We’ve revised the specifications for some of our products to meet the new legislation in the hope that we can help keep Kiwi kids safe.
As always, we at Aspect are committed to manufacturing and distributing only high-quality products with your clients’ safety, convenience, and well-being at the forefront of our minds. We hope this shows in our dedication and approach to complying with these new laws.
In order to comply with the new safety standards that will be put into place regarding corded window coverings, Aspect will:
- Provide a safety cord guide or cleat, necessary screws, and an installation guide sheet with all our blinds
- Attach a swing tag on the potential cord strangulation hazard to every blind
- Add warning labels on blinds packaging.
Along with this, we’re also:
- Providing cord connectors with all our roller blinds
- Sharing our training video on how to install a child safety cord guide – we’d encourage you to watch it now
- Creating a child safety brochure to distribute to our retailers
- Removing chained bottom weights on vertical blinds
- Removing the metal link/buckle on tilting cords from our PVC and Marupa blinds
- Reviewing adding breakaway cords for PVC and Marupa venetian blinds
- Providing comprehensive training for our key staff
- When installing both the blinds and cord guides or cleats into your clients’ homes, ensure that the cord guide/cleat is inaccessible from any climbable object that may be in reach of young children. This includes chairs, sofas, tables, and cots. If no such area is available, advise your clients to consider cordless options (e.g. motorised blinds).
- When installing a cord guide into the window frame, ensure that the chain is well-secured but still easy to operate. If a chain connector is present, ensure that the cord guide is not installed in such a way that makes it impossible for the chain connector to pass through.
- Please inform your customers who have or are planning to have young children about motorisation or other cordless alternatives. Additionally, inform them about proper operation and stowing away of cords if they opt for a cleat.
- Heavily stress the importance of not removing the swing tag from the installed blind, regardless of whether they have children.
For more information, please refer to Blinds and window shades with cords – Product Safety New Zealand
You can also find the detailed description of the Australian safety standards for corded internal window coverings on Blinds, curtains and window fittings | Product Safety Australia