New Manufacturing Guidelines for Window Blind Safety

Three new European Standards have been announced which will help manufacturers in the improvement of internal window blinds safety. These standards are particularly aimed towards reducing the risk of accidents which are associated with the cords utilized for window blind operation.

The reason behind the development of these latest European Standards for internal window blinds was due to a request made by the European Commission issued on September 4, 2012 — Standardized Mandate 505. The CEN Technical Board accepted this request in October 2012, this was done with a sense of urgency after there had been reports of young children undergoing fatal accidents die to strangulation by the cords which hung loosely. New products are able to apply these solutions the CEN defined as can blinds which have already been installed.

CEN released the following three new European Standards today:

• Internal Blinds — Requirements for Performance Which Include Safety (EN 13120:2009+A1:2014.)
• Internal Blinds — Test Methods for Guarding Against Strangulation Hazards (EN 16433:2014)
• Internal Blinds — Test Methods and requirements for Forms for Safety Device Methods Guarding Against Strangulation Hazards (EN 16434:2014)

The European Commission will now be offered the standards to be referenced in the Official Journal of the European Union, this way the products that are manufactured adhering to these standards are able to benefit from the EU’s Directive on General Product Safety´s `presumption of conformity.´

The updated European Standards for internal window blinds were created by the Working Group for ´Blinds and Shutters’ of the Technical Committee at CEN (CEN/TC 33/WG 3) on `windows, doors, building hardware, shutters and curtain walling. The Working Group were able to benefit for the experts who participated and represented the manufacturers and testing laboratories for window blinds, as well as from ANEC nominated child safety experts who are the voice in standardization for the European consumer. There have also been benefits for CEN form the close cooperation provided by Australian, Canadian and American product safety regulators, towards the framework of an Pilot Alignment Initiative that is International and on the Safety of Window Coverings that are Corded.

Patio Blinds

The new standards will also cover the highly popular outdoor patio blinds and zip screens. Sydney outdoor blinds will need to be fitted with the same safety mechanisms.

Today on February, 19 the CEN Members will be provided with the new European Standards. Over the following six months, these will also be implemented, meaning published by all CEB members, signifying the thirty three European countries National Standard Bodies that include all EFTA and EU Member States — in accordance to the Internal Regulations provided by CEN. These European Standards may also be translated by CEN Members into the national languages of each of their countries.

The previously existing internal blinds requirements are amended by EN 13120:2009+A1:2014 including safety and published on 2009, these specify the requirements which should be fulfilled by internal blinds when they are being fit in a building. Being as the scope of this text is considerably extended by the amendment, it not only covers roller blinds, pleated blinds, venetian blinds and vertical blinds — but also Roman shades, panel blinds, roll-up blinds, honeycomb blinds, Australian/Festoon blinds and plantation shutters. The clause of `protection from strangulation´ is also significantly expanded to address specific hazards that cords pose.

Internal Blinds — Test Methods for Guarding Against Strangulation Hazards (EN 16433:2014) is a new standard in which test methods that are able to be used to make certain that window blinds conform the related requirements which are specified in EN 13129 in relation to `protection from strangulation´ are specified

Internal Blinds — Test Methods and requirements for Forms for Safety Device Methods Guarding Against Strangulation Hazards (EN 16434:2014) is a new standard in which requirements and test methods are specified for safety devices which are able to improve the safety associated with window blinds as well as prevent accidents from occurring. These safety devices are able to be fitted to window blinds through the process of manufacturing or they may also be retrofitted to a window blind that has already been installed.