The mandatory standard includes an important transitional provision that gives suppliers the option of complying with a relevant state or territory regulation. This option is only available after 30 December 2010 and ends on 30 June 2011.
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:
These include, but are not limited to:
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.
The US CPSC has reported 200 deaths attributable to blind or curtain cords between 1991 and 2005. Since 2006, there have been five deaths and 16 near strangulations associated with Roman shades. Roll-up blinds have been associated with at least three deaths since 2001. There are regular recalls of these products due to safety risks both in Australia and overseas.
The purpose of this mandatory standard is to introduce a national safety standard for corded internal window coverings to reduce the incidence of, and potential for, death and injuries to young children. The mandatory standard requires that:
Under the ACL supply includes:
The mandatory standard applies to all corded internal window coverings supplied from 30 December 2010.
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:
Suppliers may also find the following helpful in understanding aspects of the mandatory standard:
Supplying corded internal window coverings that do not meet requirements of mandatory standards can make you liable for product recalls and fines. For more details, view Penalties and consequences.
The requirements noted below are key requirements only. They may help to give suppliers a general idea of the detail they must look up in the mandatory standard. This information may also assist consumers when they are choosing or inspecting new and existing corded internal window coverings.
While we provide some advice on this page to help you understand aspects of the standard, suppliers must not rely on this information as a complete guide to compliance.
The supply of a corded internal window covering must be accompanied by:
If a cord guide is supplied with a corded internal window covering, the cord guide must be designed:
The warning label must contain the words:
'WARNING: CURTAIN AND BLIND CORDS HAVE CAUSED THE DEATH OF YOUNG CHILDREN AND MUST BE INSTALLED SO THAT THEY ARE NOT A STRANGULATION HAZARD. FOLLOW THE INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS'.
The words must be:
The warning label or swing tag mentioned in paragraph must contain the words:
'WARNING: Young children have died by wrapping loose curtain and blind cords or chains around their necks. Secure cords or chains with cord guides or keep them out of reach by winding them around a cleat. Move cots and furniture away from window covering cords or chains. Do not remove this label'.
The words specified must be:
The installation instructions must include: