Council acting on blinds cord toddler deaths

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News

Armagh City Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council has said it is working hard to prevent accidental deaths from blind cords.

The council’s clear message to those who manufacture, import, distribute or sell (including supply and fit) internal window blinds is to only supply ‘safe products’ as is their legal duty under ‘The General Product Safety Regulations 2005’.

As part of a regional initiative during 2016, councils across Northern Ireland visited 232 blind manufacturers and suppliers to provide advice on placing products on the market that are safe and comply with the regulations.

The stringent new standards governing the manufacture, sale and installation of new internal window blinds mean that all internal blinds now have to display warning labels on the front of blinds as well as on the packaging.

They must include safety instructions, as well as safety devices to ensure blind cords are kept out of the reach of young children.

Where there is a likelihood of young children 0-42 months being present, there is a new maximum cord and chain length being imposed which affects homes and public places like hotels, hospitals, schools, shops, places of worship and nurseries.

Councils are also discouraging the use of internal blinds with looped cords and support innovators developing cordless blinds or blinds with concealed systems.

The industry is also encouraged to promote safety messages and provide and fit safety devices.