Smith+Noble Addresses Window Covering Safety

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Protect the ones you love from risks we seldom think about.

smith+noble Addresses Window Covering Safety

Window treatments might not immediately come to mind as home safety hazards, but as recent media reports confirm, they could well be - especially if industry standards and government regulations are not followed.

On December 15th, 2009, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the industry group Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) announced that nearly 50 million potentially hazardous Roman-style window shades and roll-up blinds are the focus of a voluntary corrective action plan. This move was in response to a number of safety incidents involving children and window treatments since 2001, including five child deaths, and the near strangulation of 16 other children.

For your peace of mind, please be aware that all smith+noble window treatments conform to industry and government safety standards. Further, our installers are instructed not to install any of our products without their associated safety devices.

Additionally, we feel an obligation as a window covering industry leader to protect consumers and their loved ones from potential dangers by offering education and solutions that minimize or eliminate the risks.

Window cords can be hazardous, due to the risk that can occur when a child (or pet) accidentally becomes entangled with a dangling operating cord, or with the cords on the backside of some shade styles. For your peace of mind, please be aware that all smith+noble window treatments strictly conform with all industry and government safety standards. There are, however, additional steps you can take to further ensure your family's safety, including downloading our Child Safety Guide.

Child safety is serious business.

That's why the window coverings industry uses warning tags, warning labels, and other methods to communicate the potential hazards of corded window coverings. The warning shown here, for example, communicates the important message about cords being a potential strangulation hazard and suggests choosing cordless alternatives or products with inaccessible cords.

Call 800.248.8888 to order your choice of the following FREE safety kits:

Cord Cleat Retrofit Kit Loop Cord Tensioner Retrofit Kit Roman Shade Retrofit Kit
Cord Cleat Retrofit Kit Cord Tensioner Retrofit Kit Roman Shade Retrofit Kit
  • White Cord Cleat Retrofit Kit
  • Bronze Cord Cleat Retrofit Kit
  • Beaded Cord Tensioner
  • Braided Cord Tensioner
  • Free Roman Shade Retrofit Kit

Every smith+noble window treatment conforms strictly to today's safety standards, including permanent tie-down devices and built-in cord stops. For additional child and pet safety, consider these affordable styles and upgrades:

Cordless Operation
Our Cordless Lift System replaces dangerous lift cords as you lightly push a handle up or pull down to position your shades. Available in these popular shade styles:

Loop Control
Loop Control is offered on many of our most popular shade and blind styles. This desirable upgrade eliminates dangling lift cords, with the bonus of being able to raise, lower and position your treatment easily and evenly. A cord guide keeps cords neatly in place for added safety, and a clutch stops and holds the shade or blind precisely at any height. Loop Control is available as a very reasonably priced upgrade on:

Wand Control
For traversing systems, select wand pull rather than cord operation. Available on:

Cord Cleats
All smith+noble cord-operated shades and blinds come with easy-to-install cord cleats that allow you to secure cords by wrapping them around a metal cleat mounted on the wall or window frame. Cord cleats come at no extra charge on:

Roller Operation
Loose lift cords are replaced by a spring-like clutch lifting system; our roller mechanism - made of steel, not wood - is the most durable you'll find. Standard on:

Since Shutters open and close by rotating louvers, rather than raising and lowering with lift cords, they avoid the inherent dangers of cord-operated shades or blinds.

Window Covering Safety Council

Specifically, parents and caregivers should pay close attention to window cord safety and the danger of children accidentally strangling in window cords. Strangulation can occur when a child places his/her neck between the exposed inner cord and the fabric on the backside of the blind or when a child pulls the cord out and wraps it around his/her neck. Pet owners should also be aware of this problem, since a frolicsome pup or inquisitive cat can also be easily entrapped by a stray cord.

In recent years, the window covering industry has redesigned its corded products and developed cord-safety standards to respond to child strangulation concerns. Looped pull cords were eliminated from mini blinds as of 1995, permanent tie-down devices were attached to vertical blinds and traverse draperies in 1997, built-in cord stops were added to horizontal blinds and corded shades beginning in 2001, and steps were initiated to reduce the hazards posed by accessible inner cords in 2009.

Still, it's estimated that consumers have not yet retrofitted millions of older, corded window coverings, and new parents and pet owners are sometimes unaware of potential cord dangers.

"Because cord-safety features are now built into window coverings, we believe parents will feel more confident about their child's safety if they replace their older window coverings with the products now available," explains the Window Covering Safety Council. "We also recommend that parents consider using cordless window coverings in children's bedrooms and play areas."

Converting to safe new window treatments or retrofitting old ones is vitally important. You can maximize safety when pets or children under the age of six are present by following a few easy rules:

  • Replace window blinds, corded shades and draperies manufactured before 2001 with today's safer products, which include safety features such as loop control, cordless operation and wand pull
  • Install only cordless window coverings in children's bedrooms and play areas
  • Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and widnow cords, preferably to another wall
  • Keep all window pull cords and inner lift cords out of the reach of children. Make sure that tassel pull cords are short, that continuous-loop cords are permanetly anchored to the floor or wall, and that cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit movement of inner lift cords.
  • Lock cords into position whenever horizontal blinds or shades are lowered, including when they come to rest on a window sill
  • Be sure to consistently utilize included safety features such as cord cleats and tensioning devices
Smith+Noble Cordless options

We trust that our safety suggestions and product solutions will safeguard you and your loved ones. For more information, we encourage you to call our knowledgeable Customer Service representatives at 800.248.8888

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