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Are Corded Blinds Child Safe?

Are Corded Blinds Child Safe?

Many of us will have blinds fitted in our homes and operate them on a daily basis without really thinking too much about it. However, no matter how harmless they seem, blind cords and chains can represent a hidden danger when young children are involved. Each year, an estimated two deaths occur as a result of children becoming entangled in blind cords. This is a completely avoidable tragedy, so it’s essential that all corded blinds in your home are child safe.

But how do you make corded blinds child safe? And are corded blinds even legal in the UK? The team at Solo Blinds is here to answer all of your questions.

Are corded blinds illegal?

No, corded blinds are not illegal, but they are subject to strict regulations. Prior to 2014, there were very few official child safety measures for blinds in place. However, following a spate of blind-related fatalities, a new British safety standard for internal blinds was established – BS EN 13120.

All corded blinds are subject to these guidelines, regardless of whether or not they’re installed in a child-free household. Corded blinds must comply with the following conditions:

  • Your blinds should have no accessible cords.
  • If your blinds do have accessible cords, they must be fitted with the appropriate child-safety devices to reduce risk.
  • If your blinds are equipped with pull cords, you must leave a gap of 150cm between the floor and the bottom of the cord. If you fit a breakaway device (we’ll cover this in more detail below), then this gap is reduced to 60cm.
  • Your blind installation company must fit your new blinds in line with all regulations and the blinds must be tested prior to use to ensure they have been installed correctly.
  • Safety warnings must be supplied with every product and the homeowner must be made aware of the strangulation risk to toddlers and young children.

Child safety devices

Accidental strangulation by a blind cord happens quickly, silently and without warning. If your home is equipped with corded blinds, it’s essential to ensure they are fitted with the necessary child safety devices to mitigate this risk, including:

  • Breakaway device: If a weight of more than 6kg is applied to your blind cords, a breakaway device will release the tension and detach from the rail.
  • Cleats: To keep your blind cords neat and tidy, you can use cleats. By wrapping the cord around the cleat, it is prevented from hanging freely.
  • Anti-tangle toggles: Commonly found on Venetian blinds, anti-tangle toggles prevent the two cords used to control the angle of the blind slats from wrapping around each other and forming a loop.
  • P-clips: P-clips ensure your blind cords are kept taut against the wall to prevent any loops from being created.

How to make corded blinds safe

If you have corded blinds in your home, don’t panic! If your blinds were fitted after 2014, then they will already be compliant with these regulations so you won’t need to do anything to them. However, if you have older blinds that were installed before BS EN 13120 was put in place, there are a number of steps you should take to ensure your blinds are child safe.

  • Assess the length of your blind cords – are they long enough that a loop could be inadvertently formed? If so, you should use cleats to keep the cords tidy.
  • Carefully inspect all of your existing blinds to identify any small parts that could be potential choking hazards.
  • Move any cots or playpens far away from your window blinds to ensure the cords are kept out of reach.
  • Ensure that any sofas, chairs, shelves and tables are kept well away from your window blinds – children love to climb! 
  • Install the necessary child safety devices mentioned above.
  • Order replacement blinds from a trusted supplier like Solo Blinds; that way, you can ensure your new blinds will follow all legal requirements.

What are ‘Make it Safe’ guidelines?

Any blinds company worth its salt will follow all ‘Make it Safe’ guidelines when installing your blinds. ‘Make it Safe’ is a campaign run by the BBSA (British Blinds and Shutters Association) that aims to raise awareness and promote blind safety in all domestic and commercial properties. Before employing any blinds company, you should always ensure they are approved by the BBSA – check out our previous article on the importance of this accreditation here.

Best child-safe blinds

Here at Solo Blinds, we have a whole host of child-safe blinds that are perfect for your toddler’s bedroom and are available in a range of colours, styles and designs, including:

  • Automated blinds: Why not eliminate the need for cords entirely and opt for electric blinds that can be operated at the touch of a button? Convenience and safety in one stylish package – what’s not to love?
  • Venetian blinds: We’ll fit the appropriate anti-tangle devices to ensure your Venetian blinds can be operated safely.
  • Roller blinds: Our roller blinds are available with crank control or a spring-operated system to maximise safety.

Here at Solo Blinds, we’re committed to creating a safe and secure environment for your family. As a BBSA-accredited company, we prioritise child safety and complete all blind installations in line with all child safety guidelines. Our highly-trained team has been serving homeowners across the North East, including Cramlington, Ashington, Morpeth and Blyth, for more than 40 years – why not get in touch and find out how we can help improve blind safety in your home?

For expert advice, call our friendly team using the numbers below:

Domestic enquiries 01670 630 108

Commercial enquiries 01670 630 107

Book a consultation
  • Free home visits, quotations and fittings Our expert team help you find the right product before purchasing
  • Fully bespoke design service We help transform any room in your home with tailored blinds and shutters
  • Local, family-run business Our family has been dedicated local customers for 40 years
  • A history of quality installations We’ve fitted blinds at Barclays Bank head office and even Wembley Stadium
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Contact Details

Domestic Enquiries: 01670 630 108

Commercial Enquiries: 01670 630 107


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