New Federal Safety Standard for Custom Window Coverings


prevent child strangulation

Prevent Child Strangulation


In an effort to reduce the risk of strangulation deaths and serious life-threatening injuries to children from corded window coverings, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has voted, by a vote of 4 to 0, to approve a new federal safety standard for operating cords on custom window coverings. Custom window coverings include shades, blinds, curtains, drapery or other cord-operated products, created to a consumer’s specifications. The Commission also approved a new federal safety rule that added non-compliant window covering cords to CPSC’s substantial product hazard list.


Young children can quickly and silently become strangled on pull cords, continuous loop cords, inner cords or any other accessible cords longer than 8 inches on window coverings. On average, about nine children under 5 years of age die every year from strangling in window blinds, shades, draperies and other window coverings with cords, according to CPSC’s latest data.


The new rules address the risk of strangulation deaths and injuries to children 8 years old and younger on all types of window cords:

  1. Custom window coverings: The new mandatory consumer product safety standard establishes performance requirements for safe operation of custom window coverings. The products subject to the new standard present an unreasonable risk of injury. Less stringent measures have historically been ineffective in addressing the risk of strangulation. The new rule goes into effect 180 days after publication in the Federal Register.
  2. Stock and custom window coverings: The rule deems the presence of hazardous operating cords and inner cords on stock window coverings, and hazardous inner cords on custom window coverings, to be a substantial product hazard. The new federal safety rule incorporates the most recent voluntary standard developed for window coverings, ANSI/WCMA A100.1 – 2018, American National Standard for Safety of Corded Window Covering Products (ANSI/WCMA-2018). This rule goes into effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register for window covering products manufactured after that date.


CPSC urges consumers to choose cordless window coverings, which are the safest option for children. If you are unable to replace existing window coverings with cordless ones, CPSC recommends the following safety steps:

  • Eliminate any dangling cords by making the pull cords as short as possible.
  • Keep all window covering cords out of the reach of children.
  • Ensure that cord stops are installed properly and adjusted to limit the movement of inner lift cords.
  • Anchor to the floor or wall continuous-loop cords for draperies and blinds.
  • Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window covering cords, preferably to another wall.


Source: CPSC

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