Three New European Standards will improve safety of internal window blinds

CEN, the European Committee for Standardization published three new European Standards, which come to help improving the safety of internal window blinds and reduce risk to children. These standards are aimed in particular at reducing the risk of accidents associated with the cords that are used to operate window blinds.

The new European Standards were developed in response to reports of fatal accidents involving young children strangulated by loosely hanging cords. The three new standards can already be applied to new products but also to products already installed, which need to conform to the EU’s General Product Safety Directive (2001/95/EC).

The three new European Standards released by CEN are:

EN 13120:2009+A1:2014 amends the previously existing European Standard on ‘Internal blinds – Performance requirements including safety’ (published in 2009), which specifies the requirements that internal blinds should fulfill when they are fitted to a building. The amendment considerably extends the scope of this text so that it covers not only venetian blinds, roller blinds, vertical blinds and pleated blinds – but also honeycomb blinds, Roman shades, Austrian/Festoon blinds, panel blinds, plantation shutters and roll-up blinds. It also significantly expands the clause on ‘protection from strangulation’ to address specific hazards posed by cords.

EN 16433:2014 ‘Internal blinds – Protection from strangulation hazards – Test methods’ is a new standard that specifies test methods which can be used to verify that a window blind conforms to the requirements relating to ‘protection from strangulation’ as specified in EN 13120.

EN 16434:2014 ‘Internal blinds – Protection from strangulation hazards – Requirements and Test methods for safety devices’ is a new standard that specifies requirements and test methods for safety devices that can help to improve the safety of window blinds and prevent accidents. These safety devices can either be fitted to window blinds during the manufacturing process or retro-fitted to window blinds that have already been installed.

Sources:

European Commission. (2013, May 05). The General Product Safety Directive (GPSD). Retrieved from European Commission Website: https://ec.europa.eu/consumers/safety/prod_legis/index_en.htm

European Committee for Standardization. (2014, February 20). Press Release. Retrieved from CEN: https://www.cen.eu/cen/News/PressReleases/Pages/PR-CEN-20140220.aspx

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2 thoughts on “Three New European Standards will improve safety of internal window blinds”

  1. As a manufacturer and installer of all types of blinds and window shadings we acknowledge totally that we have a responsibility in ensuring that our products meet with the new en13120 standards. As a parent we also accept that child safety is a primary concern also. I am a former member of the BBSA (British Blind and Shutter Association) and decided to withdraw our membership about 18 months ago when the association announced that it was accepting applications for membership from persons and businesses operating from home and non retail or commercial premises. This decision followed our belief that the same attitudes to product quality and safety conformity would not be present in businesses operating outside the recognized retail sector and being able to undercut established business due to having extremely low or nil overheads.

    As a business we operate totally within the scopes of the present legislation but are extremely annoyed that the new standards which are supposedly legislation are not available freely for public awareness.
    The British Standards Institute and the BBSA are guilty of making such a high profile issue into a lucrative money spinner by selling copies of the new standards and legislation for many hundreds of pounds at a time. Given the fact that the BBSA has over 400 members all associated to the Make-it-Safe campaign and at liberty to purchase the standards through the BBSA means that hundreds of thousands of pounds have changed hands into the BBSA alone.

    CHILD SAFETY IS OF PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE, BUT AWARENESS AND CONFORMITY TEACHING SHOULD BE FREE..

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