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: http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/safety/prod_legis/index_en.htm

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

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