October, 2015
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Safety Alert: October is National Window Covering Safety Month


October 2015 marks the 13th consecutive year the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) is promoting Safety Month to increase consumer awareness of the potential hazards that window cords pose to young children. The Council urges parents to make the right choice and only use cordless window products in homes with young children.

In an effort to keep young children safe, the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) recently announced that it has launched “Best for Kids,” a new safety program designed to help consumers and retailers easily identify window covering products best suited for homes with young children. WCSC provides the following information about Best for Kids on its website:

The new Best for Kids program will require products that manufacturers want to be part of the program to meet stringent criteria, and to submit those products to a WCMA-recognized third-party testing laboratory. Products that meet these criteria will be eligible to be listed and labeled on packaging and materials as “certified” and companies can use this designation on their marketing materials.

“For years, the window covering industry has joined with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and safety groups to urge parents to use only cordless window coverings or those with inaccessible cords in homes with young children,” said WCMA Executive Director Ralph Vasami. “This new program provides clarity to consumers and retailers who will be able to easily identify those products that have been independently tested specifically to meet these criteria.”

"In order to earn the “Certified” designation, a window covering product must either have no cords or the inner cords cannot be accessible, as defined by the industry’s safety standard (ANSI/WCMA A 100.1-2012). If accessible inner cords are present in products with no operating cords, the accessible inner cords cannot create a hazardous loop in accordance with the test procedures in Appendix D of the safety standard. The Best for Kids program includes criteria to evaluate window covering products primarily intended for use in homes or buildings in which young children are expected to be present. Based on the evaluation of those criteria, the program allows for a window covering product to be certified and recommended for use in such environments."

“We anticipate the retail community embracing the new Best for Kids program as it will assist them in promoting to their customers those window covering products that are most suitable for homes with young children,” continued Vasami.

For more details, visit www.windowcoverings.org.

Practical Tips for Home Inspectors
In the article “Ensuring Safety for Children at Home”, published in the September 2015 issue of the ASHI Reporter, Linda Kaiser, founder of Parents for Window Blind Safety (PFWBS), provided questions to ask and practical suggestions that home inspectors can use on the job.