The mandatory standard for internal blinds, curtains and window fittings (corded internal window coverings) was declared on 8 July 2010 and applies to relevant blinds, curtains and some fittings supplied after 30 December 2010. The mandatory standard that deals with the installation services of window coverings was made on 28 March 2014 and came into effect on 1 January 2015.
This page includes information on hazards and how to comply with these national mandatory standards.
Australian homes often have blinds, curtains and other window coverings that are manipulated by cords or chains.
Corded internal window coverings are window coverings that can be used inside a building and are either:
window coverings, such as curtains or blinds with a cord, or
fittings used with a window covering, such as a traverse rod or track.
Children can become entangled in blind or curtain cords if they try to use, play with or play around window coverings. Even with raised coverings, children can climb onto window sills or furniture to access the cords. Cords or looped cords that become tangled around a child’s neck can very quickly cause strangulation.
Cords can also strangle infants sleeping or playing in cots placed near a window where cords are within reach, or hang into the cot.
Corded internal window coverings have been associated with hundreds of deaths and many near strangulations. It is an offence to supply corded internal window coverings that do not comply with the requirements of this mandatory standard. For complete information about the mandatory requirements, we strongly recommend you read:
The warning label is a critical piece of safety advice and is intended to warn consumers of the potential dangers of cords and chains associated with window coverings.
The warning label should never be removed from the window covering. It is designed to alert users of the risk of death to young children by strangulation from blind cords, and provides guidance on measures to reduce that risk.
Suppliers are reminded to ensure that the wording of the warning is accurately presented on the warning label and to avoid adding any other information on the label which may reduce the effectiveness of the warning message.
The ACCC intends to review the warning label requirements when it next reviews the safety standard and will consult with stakeholders during that process.
Loose or looped cords near cots can accidentally strangle and kill small children. Babies have died from being strangled in blind, curtain and electrical cords they accessed in their cots. There are simple steps you can take when preparing baby's sleep area to make sure it's safe from these hazards.