When it comes to making a home safe, there are numerous things that must be taken into consideration. One thing that people often overlook when taking steps to make their home safe, is window coverings. Unfortunately, window coverings, and blinds in particular, can be very hazardous especially if there are small children in the home. While many newer products available meet safety standards, older window coverings may not and as such it is important to take steps to make them as safe as possible.

Why Window Coverings Can Be Dangerous
The number one reason that window coverings, especially blinds, can be dangerous is due to the fact that they are a strangulation hazard. Currently, cordless window coverings are available however if you have corded blinds, there are some steps that can be taken to make them safer. Along with the cords, other parts of blinds that can be considered dangerous include the looped cords or chains within the blinds as well as the cord that is pulled to provide tension. It is very important to keep in mind that even when a product states that it meets standards, these standards are voluntary and extra steps should still be taken to ensure safety.

Blind Injury Statistics
Blinds are one of the leading causes of strangulation injuries in children. Studies have proven that more than two thirds of window covering injuries could be avoided if the proper safety precautions are taken. It was also discovered during research that about 80% of blind related injuries were caused by older products that did not meet safety standards. Even though steps have been taken to make window coverings safer, injuries are still being reported.

How to Ensure Window Coverings Are Safe
The best thing to do to ensure window covering safety is purchase products that meet safety standards and regulations. If purchasing all new window coverings is not an option, there are steps that can be taken to make older products safer. When decorating, especially in children's rooms, make sure that there is never a bed, playpen, or crib placed anywhere near windows as this can increase the chances of injury. If you have older blinds, there are also organizations that offer free retrofitting kits. Retrofitting window coverings is a fairly easy process in which looped pull cords are completely eliminated and cord stops are installed. Tie down devices are also installed during retrofitting. One organization that offers free retrofitting kits is the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC), a coalition that aims to educate consumers about window cord safety.

Home safety is incredibly important for all families whether there are children in the home or not. Older products can also pose a safety hazard to not only children but pets as well. Along with taking the necessary steps to make sure that window coverings are safe, it is also important to keep general window safety in mind. Any windows that children have access to should be covered with bars to prevent the screen from being pushed out and falls from occurring. Safety in the home should be a top priority and safe windows and windows coverings are just the start. To learn more about window and blind safety, review the following resources.

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Article written by Lexi Westingate
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