New regulations on blinds - a year on…
A year on from the implementation of regulations governing window coverings with cords we take a look at the safety of blinds and the resulting products.
In June 2017 the Government of Canada proposed new regulations that would help to prevent strangulation from corded window blinds. After 5 years of research, consultations and education we now have the new Corded Window Covering Regulations (CWCR) under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) that came into effect on May 1, 2022
According to Graber when asked ‘What is the new regulation in Canada for window coverings?’. Their response was:
The Corded Window Coverings Regulations: SOR/2019-97 (CWCR) enacted in April of 2019, establish new rules that restrict the length of reachable cords and the size of loops that can be created effective May 1,2022. This rule applies to indoor window coverings with at least one cord including inner cords, rear cords, and power cords. The rule change limits free hanging cords or tethered cords to no longer than
22cm and, for other cords such as inner cords, limits loop size to no larger than 44cm when a specific force is applied. Also changed are product requirements for product labelling and small parts.
Why they are in place
According to the Government of Canada’s website ‘the CWCR serve an important purpose to help eliminate the strangulation hazard associated with corded window coverings and help protect the health and safety of children.’ Specifically ‘to address the root cause of the pathway to injury or death by strangulation by restricting the length of reachable cords and the size of loops that can be created by a cord, among other requirements’
Facts from Health Canada:
- It takes just over 22 centimetres of cord to strangle a child, 15 seconds for a child to become unconscious, and 4 minutes for brain damage to occur. Death can occur in less than six minutes.
- Health Canada is aware of 39 deaths in Canada concerning the strangulation hazard posed by corded window coverings since 1989.
- Between 1998 and March 2019, there were 39 recalls in Canada related to strangulation hazards associated with corded window coverings.
- Over the past 30 years, the department has worked to address this risk through a number of actions, including: requesting warning labels on products, implementing various consumer education campaigns and public outreach strategies, issuing product recalls, advisories and consumer alerts, collaborating with other regulatory bodies on safety initiatives, engaging with industry stakeholders, and conducting market surveys.
Blind and Window Cover Safety - https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/home-safety/blind-cord-safety.html
How we comply
There has been research and development on window coverings in order to be compliant with the CWCR regulations in order to remove hazards like cords and clutch based operating systems.
New Horizontal wood, faux wood and vinyl blinds will now only be available in tilt options with no lift.
Window coverings that offer a top-down option will have a sheer fabric that cover the cords in order to comply with the CWCR regulations.
Roller Shades will offer cordless lifts. One new innovated cordless lift is Graber’s new UltraLite Cordless Lift systems that allows a greater ease of precise lifting and lowering for roller shades without the use of cords.
Window coverings that have been discontinued due to the regulations of the CWCR:
- Aluminium Horizontal and Vertical blinds
- Continuous Loop Corded
- Pleated Window Shades
- Bottom Up/Top-Down cellular shades without shear fabric for top down
- Corded or Lift Horizontal Wood/Vinyl/Faux Wood Blinds
Due to rules now in place because of the CWCR regulations, blind manufacturers are not making and shipping non-compliance product to Canadian companies.
The safest blinds for families with children
Roller Shades – Available in Blackout for bedrooms
Honeycomb Cellular – available in Blackout
SoftStyle Cellular Shades
Dual Shades or Layered Shades
Additional Informational Webpages
Government of Canada:
Corded window Covering Regulations (CWCR) - https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2019-97/page-1.html