Council issues blind cord safety advice

Hackney Council’s Trading Standards Team is urging businesses and residents to be alert to the dangers posed by unsafe blinds and curtains.

Each year, several children in the UK die as a result of strangulation by cords and chains of window blinds and curtains. To help reduce such incidents, in 2009 a new safety standard* was introduced to assist businesses in manufacturing and supplying blinds and curtains which are safe for consumer use.

Under this standard, traders are required to include warning tags and safety devices when selling window coverings, and over the last month Trading Standards officers have been visiting retailers in the borough to check for compliance and to provide advice.

In addition, the team will be giving away 1000 free blind cord cleats on a first-come, first-served basis. When fixed correctly, cleats provide a way to tie blind and curtain cords away safely. To pick up a free cleat, visit the reception of Hackney Town Hall, or the general enquiry desk at Hackney Service Centre. They will also be available at Hackney Homes Neighbourhood Offices.

Councillor Feryal Demirci, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods at the Council, says: “Loops on curtains and blinds can be lethal. For this reason, we have been visiting traders to advise them of their legal obligations, and to help them comply with the safety standard. Residents can take precautions too, either by snipping their blind cords, or by picking up a cleat from the Service Centre or from Hackney Homes.”